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REA frustrated at lack of direction on biofuels

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has criticised the Department for Transport for failing to outline “concrete measures” for the UK to achieve its mandatory renewable fuel obligation.

In responses to two consultations on biofuels, the department proposed a “limited set of changes” to the current Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) framework and gave no clear indication on how the obligation level will increase for the UK to meet a EU target of 10% renewable transport fuel by 2020, the REA argued.

The RTFO orders fossil fuel suppliers to produce evidence showing that a percentage of their fuels for road transport comes from renewable sources and are sustainable, or that a substitute amount of money is paid.

The REA noted that the current RTFO level is set at 4.75% by volume, or approximately 3.5% by energy, so a nearly three-fold increase in biofuel supply would be needed to meet the target.

Nina Skorupska, chief executive at the REA said: “Government has missed an opportunity here to set out a trajectory to its 2020 10% renewable transport target and will not introduce any substantive support for advanced biofuels until the second half of 2015 at the earliest.”

Advanced biofuels are fuels that can be manufactured from various types of biomass.

However, the REA expressed support for three changes proposed by the Government, which include support for biomethane from anaerobic digestion and for synthetic fuels made using renewable electricity, as well as balancing the playing field for different types of biodiesel.

The document containing the Government response to the consultations on biofuels is available here.

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