Monday, 20 June 2011

Biofuels - Part 3 - The Actions

BioFuels - Part 1 - The Good
BioFuels - Part 2 - The Bad
BioFuels - Part 3 - The Actions

Having managed to resist completing the Sergio Leone reference by calling this "Part 3-The Ugly", Bftf has sent off a bunch of stuff relating to Biofuels.. .

Norman Baker (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Sent Email thanking the government for taking measures to ensure that indirect land-use effects do not result in bio-fuels having adverse environmental impacts and for taking steps to persuade the EU to implement robust measures in this area. Also asked what plans there were to utilise animal wastes to generate bio-methane, as is done in Germany and other countries. Lastly, why was funding for the "Algal Biofuels Challenge" project cut?

Dr Ibbett
Sent Email thanking him for his lecture. Asked him for his comments on the bio-methane technology being used in Germany to generate fuel from animal and food wastes. Asked him if he thought the IEA roadmap was realistic.

Local mosques
Sent Email suggesting that this in another area where common ground with the wider society can be found.

UPDATE (Norman Baker)
Received a comprehensive response from Defra, who my question had been passed onto. . .

The reply mentioned that that Government (or rather Defra) has published an Anaerobic Digestion Strategy (see here), part of which looks at the opportunities for the use of biomethane as a transport fuel.

Regarding the cutting off of funding to the Carbon Trust algal biofuel challenge, the response said that there had been no commitment to funding beyond April 2011 and that the Government had identified this as an area where there was already significant industrial funding and interest

Also, in a recent consultation (see here) the Government proposed giving two certificates for each litre of fuel (instead of one) if the fuel was made from a non-food crop (e.g. wood or algae derived).

(Note : The UK has a target of 5% of all road transport fuel to be from renewable sources. This is known as the “Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation”. Fuel suppliers show they have met the obligation by obtaining “Renewable Transport Fuel Certificates. The fuel suppliers can obtain these certificates if their fuel production has sufficiently low greenhouse gas emissions and is sufficiently sustainable. If a fuel supplier does not have enough certificates at the end of the reporting year, it must either buy more or pay a 'buy-out' penalty. )

UPDATE(Dr Ibbett)
Dr Ibbett kindly replied to my email and commented that anaerobic digestion of waste was, as he understood it, already commercially underway in the UK and around the world, although more work may be required to improve the efficiency of the process

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