24 November 2016 2016 10:36 AM GMT

Biofuels From Cultivated Biomass: A Sustainable Solution For Renewable Mobility

With the ratification of the Paris agreement on climate change, the signatory states will have to publish binding action plans for decarbonization, particularly, in the transport sector by 2020. At a global level, the decarbonization of transport is one of the most effective ways for realising the climate protection targets. Next to higher engine efficiencies and the simultaneous hybridization of engine technologies. Biofuels will have to play an important role in terms of a bridging function. There is a simple reason for this: they are already available and with biofuels from cultivated biomass, it will be possible to make an immediate and effective contribution to the lowering of emissions in existing vehicle fleets. Against this backdrop, the European Union should have an interest in pursuing post-2020 support policies in order to be able to continue to take part in the definition of sustainability requirements and the certification schemes that have been approved by the European Commission so far.

In this critical and also crucial environment as regards the future of biofuels in the European Union, the forum “Commodity markets in the context of international trade flows and price developments” during the 14th International Conference on Renewable Mobility will discuss facts and issues surrounding the question of how food security can be brought in line with the future demand for biomass for biofuel production. Keith Klein, a researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Center for BioENERGY and Sustainability, USA, will speak in detail on this topic.
These issues are closely linked to the question of what connection exists between the global biofuel market and the agricultural markets and how the oil price influences price formation. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Schumacher, an expert for agricultural markets at Agri Consult, will explore these interrelationships in his presentation including an overview of the actual amounts and end uses of agricultural crops.

The appropriate assessment of the biomass supply for biofuel production will be discussed with the participants both as regards the European Union and third countries. Brazil has already announced its intention to include its biofuel policy based on bioethanol from sugar cane into its national action plan. Other signatories of the Paris agreement will follow, according to market experts, not least because structural supply surpluses such as on the global vegetable oil markets make this kind of “market intervention” with the aim of stabilising supplies and prices necessary.

At this point, biofuel critics point towards the effects of the associated indirect land-use changes, arguing that the supplies withdrawn from the food markets need to be offset by making further land available. This criticism focuses mainly on the deforestation on peatlands and the additional emissions known as “iLUC factors”, which are released in the process. But can these effects, when calculated on the basis of indirect modelling methodologies, also be used to derive scientifically valid results for the drafting of corresponding policies and regulations? Hugo Valin from the International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg, Austria, will take a stand on this question. His institute was in charge of the so-called “GLOBIOM project” for the European Commission, which had the objective of enabling a new assessment of the negative effects of emissions according to biomass feedstocks.

In view of the criticism leveled above all from environmental organizations on the use of palm oil not only as a biofuel, but also for use in many other fields of application in petrochemistry and at the level of the private households, Martina Fleckenstein, WWF Germany will provide an overview of the findings of a WWF study that has been conducted on this topic.

Given this controversy on the supply of commodities, the policy-makers have seen a way out in a stronger promotion of biofuels from waste and residual materials. But here, too, the availability, greenhouse gas efficiency and therefore also sustainability remain issues to be resolved. After all, the use of residual materials such as straw – which, ultimately, is also the result of biomass being produced on arable land – raises the question of whether the current legally prescribed emission factor of “0 g CO2 / MJ” is an appropriate solution when it turns a residual into a “valuable” material. In his presentation, Detlef Evers, Mittelstandsverband Abfall basierter Kraftstoffe, will take a closer look at the potential and the prospects of biofuels produced from these raw materials.

With this forum, the 14th International Conference on Renewable Mobility, Fuels of the Future 2017, which will take place from 23-24 January 2017 in Berlin, addresses highly topical issues influencing the public opinion, but, in particular, the opinion of political decision-makers when it comes to the prospects of biofuel policy beyond 2020. The conference will be held prior to the European Parliament’s voting procedure, which is expected for the spring of 2017, on the proposals of the European Commission envisaged for December 2016. In that sense, the conference will take place “at the right time” to engage in discussions with representatives from the industry, science and, above all, from politics, and to make an impact on the formation of opinions.

October 9th 2017
ASEAN Eyes Clean Energy To Fuel Economic Growth And Build Climate Resilience

Governments of ASEAN and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), have established a strategy to accelerate the region’s transition to low-carbon, sustainable energy and build its climate resilience. “Increasing investment in renewable energy across Southeast Asia’s growing populations has significant social and economic benefits across the region, liberating them from expensive fossil fuel imports while boosting economic growth, supporting energy security, job creation and national resilience,” said Adnan Z. Amin, co-chair of the Dialogue.

October 16th 2017
Nordex Adds To Successes In Argentina, Winning 100 MW Pomona Wind Farm Order

The Nordex Group has added a further chapter to its success story in Argentina with an order for 26 N131/3900 turbines for the “Pomona” wind farm. The contract will be executed on a full EPC basis, including civil and electrical engineering, procurement, construction and manufacturing, delivery and installation of the wind turbines. Preparations for construction will be commencing in 2017, after which the wind power systems will be installed at the beginning of 2019. In addition, a ten-year full operation and maintenance contract has also been signed. 

October 16th 2017
Uganda Inaugurates Breakthrough Tororo PV Plant. A Future Model For Africa?

Production has commenced at the Tororo PV power plant; which, with 16 GWh of renewable energy generated annually, will cater for the energy requirements of 35,838 people and help reduce CO2 emissions by 7,200 tons. Overall, $19.6 million was invested to build the 10 MWp plant, with the engagement of several major organisations including KfW and FMO Development Banks, the World Bank and the EU. Attilio Pacifici, EU Ambassador said, “One of the key objectives of this plan is to encourage private sector participation in higher risk investments and we’re happy to demonstrate that Uganda is well positioned to be successful and a good model for replication.”

October 10th 2017
EDF Completes Blythe Installation Of Potent New Turbines, Powering 34,000 Homes

The Blyth Offshore Demonstrator project will produce enough low-carbon electricity to power approximately 34,000 UK households, using 8.0MW wind turbines with a power mode uprating them to 8.3MW. It will save around 57,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year and is the first offshore wind project to connect using 66kv rated cables. It’s also the first time that a “float and submerge” gravity-based foundation (GBF) has been used for offshore wind turbines. Each GBF is made up of more than 1,800m3 of concrete and weighs over 15,000 tonnes when fully installed on the seabed, and the structures have a total height of around 60 metres from the base to the access platform.



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