Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


Energy Voices: Insights on the future of fuel and power

EU limits use of biofuels

The European Union announced new laws aimed at limiting crop-based biofuels to only 5 percent of transport fuel used in the region, according to Consumer Energy Report.

By CER News DeskGuest blogger / September 22, 2012

Corn kernels peer out from the husk on an ear of corn in this August 2012 file photo. Biofuel, which the European Union plans to limit, is made from the stalks and leaves of corn.

Janet S. Carter/The Free Press/AP/File

Enlarge

The European Union announced a major change in its biofuel policy earlier this week, making clear that new laws aimed at limiting crop-based biofuels to only 5 percent of transport fuel used in the region will soon be introduced, putting the biofuel industry itself in peril.

Skip to next paragraph

Our mission is to provide clear, objective information about the important energy issues facing the world, address and correct misconceptions, and to actively engage readers and exchange ideas. For more great energy coverage, visit Energy Trends Insider.

Recent posts

The decision is being made in order to allow room for so-called “advanced biofuels,” a source of energy made from waste products that the EU hopes will take the lead in the industry. This would allow more crops, such as grains and sugar, to be used to feed the world’s population, a cause that has been championed by groups influential enough to paint a negative public image of the biofuel industry at large. (See also: Are You Looking to Invest in the Google of Biofuels?)

Despite this hope, industry analysts are adamant that Europe’s biofuel sector will take a hit that it cannot recover from, predicting near-immediate closures of biofuel plants throughout the EU that will lead to thousands of lost jobs. With the industry itself heavily invested in meeting the current energy target dictated by previous EU policy — 10 percent biofuel as transport fuel by the year 2020 — the potential economic impact is severe. (See also: Five Challenges of Next-Generation Biofuels)

“It’s a big U-turn in EU policy,” said Jean-Philippe Puig, chief executive of French oilseed group Sofiproteol, the parent company of the EU’s largest biodiesel producer. “We have made lots of investment in order to meet the 10 percent target in 2020, including more than 1 billion euros in biodiesel plants in France.”

Because the European Union government body behind the proposal will need to have the policy change approved by governments and the European Parliment before it can be implemented as law, the process itself is expected to take up to two years to complete. Given that both sides of the debate are heavily invested in the outcome, with both humanitarian concern and bank accounts on the line, lively campaigning from all involved is to be expected as the issue plays out.

Source: Industry in Peril as EU Limits Use of Food-Based Biofuels

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best energy bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer

 

Doing Good

 

What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

 
 
Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!