The ethanol group CropEnergies called "incomprehensible" the
European Union's decision to scrap specific carbon-reduction targets in road
fuel from the end of 2020.
The company claimed that the EU's latest policy proposals would
increase the amount of fossil fules used, while a drive to increase the use of
biofuel from wastes and residues would trigger a shortage of animal feed in
years to come.
CropEnergies pledge to lobby for binding targets on the use
of renewable fuels in the transport sector.
New renewables policy
On November 30 last year, the European Commission put
forward proposals for its new energy policy, to run until 2030, after the
current measures expire at the end of 2020. .
These new measures include the increased use of renewable
energy, but notably fail to set targets for carbon reduction in road fuel.
And policy makers aim for a sharp increase in so-called "second
generation" biofuels, made from waste products and non-food feedstocks, at the
expense of fuels made from arable feedstocks.
This would mean less potentially less demand for
CropEnergies' ethanol, produced from cereals and sugar beet.
CropEnergies said it was "incomprehensible that the European
Commission intends to do away with specific targets for improving the
greenhouse gas balance sheet of fuels after 2020".
"It is to be feared that
the 2020s will develop into a lost decade for climate and environmental
protection on Europe's roads," the company said.
In fact, the company claimed that the proposals "would
result in more fossil fuels, or those even more harmful to the environment
Animal feed factor
CropEnergies also claimed that the drive to increase the use
of second-generation biofuels at the expense of first-generation overlooked the
economic benefits of using arable crops for fuel.
"The European Commission justifies its intention by
referring to the purportedly moderate climate effects of biofuels from arable
crops," said CropEnergies.
But the company flagged up the fact that "the manufacture of
protein-rich food and animal feed products connected with the production
process replaces extensive soy imports from North and South America".
The production of bioethanol leaves behind high-protein residues
that are fed to animals.
CropEnergies also pointed to the support the ethanol
industry supplies to grain farmers.
"By using feed grain from the surplus region of Europe, the
ethanol industry is also reducing market pressure, particularly in the case of
low-quality grain," CropEnergies added.
"Alternative bio fuels, such as ethanol from straw or wood,
are currently not yet commercially available on account of their high costs."
"Furthermore, it is usually not possible to produce valuable
and protein-rich food and animal feed products from the raw materials."
"The reduction in biofuels from arable crops in favour of
alternative fuels proposed by the European Commission would therefore
drastically increase the problem of soy imports."