The Renewable & Low-Carbon Liquid Fuels Platform, which comprises associations for the EU liquid fuels value chain, has issued a call for action to the European Commission to include more renewable and low-carbon liquid fuels in its Fit-for-55 Package to tackle climate change.
Fit-for-55 sets out the EU’s proposed regulations which will enable the bloc to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 and work towards carbon neutrality by 2050. However, the Renewable & Low-Carbon Liquid Fuels Platform says that it expects that the package ‘to continue to underplay or even ignore the important contribution that renewable and low-carbon liquid fuels can make’, as Europe negotiates the energy transition. It says that its members are working to decarbonise road transport in a sustainable, affordable and socially inclusive way.
‘Just as there is no single type of car, there is no single way to decarbonise road transport. In the fight against climate change, the EU needs every sustainable solution it can muster – and that includes renewable and low-carbon liquid fuels,’ it says.
The widespread existing infrastructure for liquid fuels, their high energy density, and the ease of storage and transport, low carbon liquid fuels should play a bigger role, allowing for greenhouse gas savings while at the same time preserving consumer choice and access to affordable mobility. It does not make sense to limit their use to hard-to-electrify sectors such as maritime, aviation and agriculture for non-road machinery.
The Commission’s proposals in the Fit-for-55 package include some for the Renewable Energy Directive (RED). This will be the third change for the directive since its introduction in 2009, and the Renewable & Low-Carbon Liquid Fuels Platform says that if RED III is to succeed it needs a technology-neutral approach using all potential sustainable solutions. This includes certified biofuels from sustainable agricultural biomass, waste and residues, and renewable fuels of non-biological origin such as hydrogen and hydrogen-derived synthetic fuels. A level playing field is necessary for all renewable and low-carbon liquid fuels in the road, maritime and aviation sectors.
‘A range of technologies – from more efficient internal combustion engines to electric and hybrid vehicles – are required for reducing automobile emissions. To accurately guide the market towards climate neutrality, the EU needs to judge the emissions of these technologies on equal terms. This means moving away from a pure tank-to-wheel approach and towards well-to-wheel, which takes into account the carbon footprint of the respective technologies. In the meantime, an incentive for the uptake of renewable/low-carbon energy should be introduced through an appropriate accounting mechanism such as a voluntary crediting system of additional renewable fuels,’ says the group.
The associations in the Renewable & Low-Carbon Liquid Fuels Platform are Advanced Biofuels Coalition, Copa and Cogeca, eFuel Alliance, ePURE – European renewable ethanol, EBB – European Biodiesel Board, EWABA, Fediol, FETSA – Federation of European Tank Storage Associations, FuelsEurope, Liquid Gas Europe, Methanol Institute, Sustainable Fuels, UPEI.