The Action deals mainly with four issues, all interconnected:
1. Greenhouse gas performance and cost of biofuels
The Action will take care of updating the biofuels- aspects of the JEC
WTW study, inserting improvements in the existing pathways (especially
the second-generation biofuels routes), and expanding to cover new
biofuels pathways (biodiesel from palm oil, soya#) as well as pathways
for comparing alternative uses of biomass (electricity, heat-and-power, bio-heat).
It will publish and justify a methodology for the assessment of GHG
performance of different pathways to biofuels production and bioenergy.
It will develop a simplified form to use as a basis for GHG
certification for different biofuels processes in the implementation of biofuels policies.
Partners: CONCAWE, EUCAR, Biofuels and other trade associations,
IES-Transport and Air Quality Unit (Tank to Wheel part of JEC Well to
Wheel study), DG-TREN, IPTS, Imperial College (on GHG certification) and others.
2. Imported biofuels and feedstocks
The Action will contribute to a realistic assessment of the production
potential and growth rate of major producer countries. This will include
ethanol from sugar cane in Brazil and other major sugar producers, and
oilseeds for biodiesel production in tropical countries such as
Malaysia. In the longer term, assessments of lignocellulose biomass
imports will be addressed. The assessment will take into account effects on use in the home market.
Regarding the environmental impact in developing countries, this
component will analyse the environmental impact of biofuels/bioenergy
production in developing countries based on the practical experience
from countries such as Brazil and Malaysia. Specific attention will be
paid to the methods of quantification of agro-environmental impact and
to the consequences of possible land use conversion for carbon stocks, soil, water and biodiversity.
Partners: Iinternational Energy Agency IEA, Malaysian Palm Oil Council
MPOC, Centre for Biomass of Brazil CENBIO, Wageningen University, Utrecht University, Oeko Institute, Heidleberg Institute for
Environmental Research, World Wildlife Fund (WWF)#
3. Biofuels and bioenergy certification
The Action will monitor the development of biofuels/bioenergy
certification systems, either at national or international, identify the
main pending research issues and propose ad hoc solutions in view of
practical implementation with a sound scientific basis. In particular,
the Action will cooperate with ongoing initiatives at EU level, in
European Member States (UK, Germany, Netherlands#) as well as at
international level (Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil RTSPO, Better
Sugar initiative BSI, Round Table on Sustainable Soy, Lausanne Round Table on Sustainable Biofuels RSB).
The Action will contribute to consensus building for the definition of
bioenergy sustainability standards, and will discuss implementation
mechanisms and verification procedures. Specific attention will be given
to the analysis of data quality and accuracy. The possible links between
existing certification standards and proposed schemes for bioenergy at
national, European and international levels will be explored, as well as
the links in Europe with Biomass Action Plans in preparation at national level.
Partners: DG-TREN, DG-ENV, RSB, RTSPO, BSI, RTS, European certification schemes.
4. Scientific-Technical networking in the field of bioenergy
The Action will develop its participation in scientific/technical
networks on bioenergy either at JRC internal level (JRC Biofuels Task
Force) or at international level with partners such as the International
Energy Agency (IEA), OECD, European Environment Agency, UNEP and
national institutions. In particular, the Action will develop technical
links with International Energy Agency Bioenergy Tasks, specifically:
Task 30 Short Rotation Crops for Bioenergy Systems,
Task 29 Socio-Economic Drivers in Implementing Bioenergy Projects,
Task 38 Greenhouse Gas Balances of Biomass and Bioenergy Systems,
Task 40 - Sustainable International Bioenergy Trade: Securing Supply and Demand.
The Action will develop networking in the field of biofuels and
bioenergy with European (AEBIOM, EREC, EBB#) and national partners (ENEA, CENER, CIEMAT, CEBIO#).
Partners: IEA, OECD, UNEP, EEA, EPFL, MPOC, CENBIO...