Political framework conditions in the EU and in Germany
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is only one advantage of using renewable ethanol. In addition, security of supply is increased by using domestic energy sources and the development of a new industry sector. This is why the EU already set the course for the establishment of an efficient domestic ethanol industry in 2003. This also benefits CropEnergies.
Promoting through EU directives
In 2003, the EU initially created the political framework for the establishment of an industry for sustainably produced ethanol. At the moment, the use of biofuels in the EU is regulated by the following directives:
Renewable fuels must fulfil strict sustainability requirements. This also includes that biofuels reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 wt.-% compared to fossil fuels. The origin of the biomass has to be completely documented, too. Thus, raw materials for biofuel production must not be grown on areas with high levels of carbon, for example, forests and areas with high biodiversity. Regular inspections and certifications systems guarantee the sustainable production of biofuels.
The proportion of fuels from wastes and residues is to rise from 0.2% in 2022 to at least 3.5% in 2030. The multiple counting of these fuels and of renewable electricity should be evaluated critically. This virtual increase in the share of renewable energy will lower neither the consumption of fossil fuels nor their emissions.
The EU member states have until mid-2021 to implement the European requirements in such a way that the consumption of fossil fuels is actually reduced and the climate balance improved.
Paris Climate Agreement
In 2015, the EU and its Member States committed themselves on taking the necessary actions to restrict global warming to less than 2 °C. The reduction of burning fossil carbon sources and decreasing the greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere are important pillars in this regard. Therefore, renewable fuels based on renewable plants, which bind the atmosphere's CO2 by photosynthesis, make an indispensable contribution.
Since 2015, biofuel quotas have no longer been calculated on the basis of calorific value but on the basis of greenhouse gas reduction instead. Since 2017, a greenhouse gas reduction target for fuels of 4 wt.-% has applied. This was raised to 6 wt.-% on 1 January 2020. In 2017, the fuel ethanol used in Germany reduced greenhouse gases by 85% compared to fossil oil - across the entire value chain, from well to wheel.
According to the Biofuel Sustainability Regulation (Biokraft-NachV), fuels made of biomass are only promoted if they comply with certain sustainability criteria. Since 1 January 2011, all companies producing biofuels have to prove in a certification process that their production is sustainable.
|© CropEnergies AG|