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Government support for sustainable biofuels

26 August 2008

Ensus welcomed the release of a Government report showing that biofuels can be produced sustainably and calling for efforts to ensure that 'good' biofuels are supported as part of the UK’s strategy to promote renewable energy.

Government support for sustainable biofuels
Government support for sustainable biofuels

Alwyn Hughes, Chief Executive of Ensus commented: “Producing food alongside fuel in the same process greatly reduces the amount of land required for biofuels - increasing the efficiency of the food supply chain and alleviating pressure on deforestation through reduced requirements for imports of soy,” he said.

“However, we are very concerned at the suggestion of backtracking on existing commitments under the RTFO. We think this is unnecessary when sustainable production can already be achieved. Such a move would only serve to jeopardise the industry’s ability to deliver the substantial benefits that are possible. Furthermore this runs the risk of frightening off the very investment in renewable energy that the Government is relying on to meet their own climate change targets,” he added.

“What the Gallagher study shows is that, produced in the right way, biofuels offer a clear and compelling opportunity to take positive action not only in the battle against climate change, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport, but also in improving energy security for the UK, by reducing our dependence on foreign oil.”

“This is particularly valid for bioethanol, where the UK has projects underway or planned to achieve the 5% bioethanol in petrol target by 2011. However, we recognise the greater challenge in meeting the 5% biodiesel target in a sustainable way, given the nature and sources of the feedstocks available.”

“We think that the Government is absolutely right to focus on sustainability and, in the case of Ensus, what we produce are sustainable biofuels. The bioethanol we supply will deliver carbon savings in the order of 70% relative to the fossil fuels displaced. Furthermore, all of the protein from the wheat feedstock is conserved and recycled straight back into the food chain, thus ensuring none of it is ‘lost’. Our model means it’s not about food vs. fuel. It’s food and fuel.”

“Climate change is a very real and very serious threat and one where action must be taken now. The Government itself has acknowledged that there can be little prospect of meeting the carbon reduction and renewable energy targets the UK has committed to without a meaningful contribution from sustainable biofuels. Instead of encouraging a “go slow” approach, we therefore need to press ahead quickly to actively promote a sustainable biofuels industry in both the UK and Europe.”

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