REA welcomes biofuels report

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has welcomed the publication of two reports concerning the UK’s biofuels policy.

The UK has a legally binding target of meeting 10 per cent of transport demand from renewable sources by 2020. However, the REA claims that recent figures suggest we are seriously lagging behind at just 2.9 per cent.

The reports conclude that, not only could biofuels contribute towards meeting this target, they also offer a cost effective alternative to continued use of fossil fuels – conclusions that the REA reached itself in the organisation’s own report released last week.

DECC/Defra and DfT’s ‘UK Bioenergy Strategy’ stated that: “potentially for as long as we use fossil fuels, sustainable first generation biofuels … offer a cost-effective contribution to reduced emissions from transport in line with our carbon reduction objectives.”

The previous day, the International Energy Association presented to the Clean Energy Ministerial findings from its new report ‘Tracking Clean Energy Progress’, which added: “Biofuels production needs to double, requiring a four‑fold increase in advanced biofuels production over currently announced capacity by 2020.”

Both these publications also stress the importance of rigorous sustainability criteria, concerns which the REA says it shares.

REA’s chief executive, Gaynor Hartnell, added: “The Government cannot afford to ignore the transport sector in the move towards a sustainable energy economy. The ‘Bioenergy Strategy’ is welcome but we urgently need a dedicated low carbon transport strategy. This is vital for building the investor confidence to steer us towards our mandated renewable energy and carbon targets.

“As we argue in ‘Renewable Energy: Made in Britain’, released last week, we should seek to maximise domestic renewable energy, including our transport fuels, which have exemplary green credentials. The sooner Government gets its policies in order, the more we can rely on biofuels made in Britain, and the less we will have to rely on imports.”