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Information about biofuels and bioenergy in Germany.

Contents

Events

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

  • 28-30 October 2008, Berlin: Biofuels 2008 - 3rd Annual Meeting.
    • This third annual conference will bring together leaders from Europe's biodiesel, ethanol and biogas producers, oil and gas majors, agribusiness companies, governments and regulatory bodies, technology providers and automotive manufacturers amongst others to examine the key issues and challenges at the heart of the region’s biofuels industry. Organized by the World Refining Association. (Themes: biofuels, technology, legislation)

2007

  • 12-14 December 2007, Berlin: Agrofuels: Opportunity or Danger? A Global Dialogue on U.S. and EU agrofuels and agriculture policies and their impacts on rural development in North and South. December 12-14, 2007 in Berlin, Germany. Registration Form and Agenda.

2006

News

  • Is Bioenergy Expansion Harmful to Wildlife? 3 April 2012 by ScienceDaily: "Despite the predicted environmental benefits of biofuels, converting land to grow bioenergy crops may harm native wildlife. Researchers at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig have developed a way to study the effects of increased energy crop cultivation on farmland bird populations."
    • "'The Skylark is an indicator species for agricultural areas because it occupies many habitats of the wider countryside around the globe, breeds on the ground within fields and feeds mostly on insects' notes lead researcher, Jan Engel. 'Improving the habitat suitability for Skylark, accordingly, would improve conservation of natural vegetation, insects, and other ground breeding farmland bird species.'"
    • "Mr. Engel and his colleagues developed a computer model that evaluated the habitat requirements of Skylark in a variety of bioenergy cultivation scenarios. The study, published in Global Change Biology Bioenergy, found that bioenergy crop expansion will not harm Skylark populations if field sizes are low, many crop types are present, and small natural areas, known as Integrated Biodiversity Areas, are included within the landscape. [1]
  • IFPRI report criticised for inaccuracies, 20 December 2011 by Biofuels International: "The German biofuels association UFOP has dismissed claims in a new report carried out by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) into the predicted emissions to be created by indirect land use change policy."
    • "The UFOP says it opposes the adoption of ILUC factors specific for biofuels outlined in the report and says more investment protection needs to be given for existing biodiesel production plants around Europe."
    • "The report, which was published in November 2011 after the European Commission asked for more research to be conducted into ILUC, says proposed European biofuels mandates are 'likely to cause significant indirect land use change emissions'."[2]
  • German biofuels industry disagrees with EU law changes, 7 November 2011 by Argus Media: "Germany's oilseed association Ufop is opposing changes to EU legislation that are set to address indirect land use change effects (ILUC) caused by biofuels production."
    • "Ufop calls instead for investment protection for all existing biodiesel production plants. The volume for existing production plants by EU member states would total about 10mn t of biodiesel, based on sales volume between 2008-10."
    • "Only volumes in excess of that traded within the EU would have to come from so-called ILUC-free acreage, Ufop said."
    • "Biofuels producers argue that so-called ILUC mitigation factors currently under consideration by the EU could put an end to the European biodiesel industry, as it introduces excessive bad points for greenhouse gas (GHG) production starting in 2017."
    • "Ufop and other industry associations — including the EBB — have previously expressed concern that a report from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), which the EBB alleges uses flawed methodology and exhibits an anti-biodiesel bias, is unduly influencing the European Commission's thinking on a methodology for measuring the ILUC impact of biofuels cultivation."[3]
  • Not everyone cheering Lufthansa biofuel test, 15 July 2011 by The Local: "Lufthansa is testing biosynthetic fuels on Airbus A321 flights between Hamburg and Frankfurt and, if the trial is successful, hopes to expand use of the fuel across its fleet."
    • "The airline aims to reduce carbon dioxide (C02) emissions fleet-wide, although some environmentalists are skeptical."
    • "'The use of biofuel in the aviation sector to reduce CO2 emissions is an ecological sham,' said Werner Reh, of Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND)."
    • "In a statement, Reh complained that plans such as Lufthansa’s will just result in the mass expansion of crop cultivation necessary to create the biofuel mixture, leading to 'worldwide destruction of forests, loss of biodiversity and competition for food.'"
    • "The airline estimates it will save 1,500 tons of C02 during its tests which will cost €6.5 million ($9.1 million), about a third of which is being funded by the German government."[4]
  • Lufthansa to become first airline to run regular biofuel flights, 8 July 2011 by The Guardian: "Lufthansa will next Friday become the first airline to run regular commercial flights powered partially with biofuel."
    • "Airlines have flown many demonstration biofuel flights, but Lufthansa's LH013 11:15am Hamburg to Frankfurt flight will start the first passenger service to run on a blend of biofuel and conventional fuel."
    • "The company will use the novel fuel mix for six months on eight of its 28 daily 50-minute flights between the two German cities – a distance of 244 miles each way. The German airline says the 1,200 flights will save 1,500 tonnes of CO2."
    • "Biofuels could help airlines reduce carbon emissions. However critics say that biofuels take up land for growing food and raise prices. Worse, if they promote deforestation, they can actually raise emissions."
    • "One engine of the 200-seater Airbus A321 will be fed with a 50-50 mix of biofuel and conventional kerosene-based fuel, the other engine will run on kerosene alone. That will allow Lufthansa to compare the engines' performances under exactly the same conditions. It was not necessary to modify either engine."[5]
  • New CSPO deal means palm oil certs no longer needed, says NBPOL, 12 May 2011 by FoodandDrinkEurope.com: "New Britain Palm Oil Limited (NBPOL) and Wilmar International have agreed to process and jointly market palm oil in Europe."
    • "The deal is said to involve the refinement at Wilmar’s Brake refinery in Germany of up to 300,000 tonnes per annum of fully traceable certified segregated palm oil (CSPO) from NBPOL’s estates."
    • "This deal, commented Alan Chaytor, executive director of NBPOL, ensures that fully segregated, traceable and certified sustainable and affordable palm oil will be made available in enough product specifications and formats that 'food manufacturers throughout Europe will no longer need to buy palm oil offset certificates.'"
    • "Chaytor said that under the current certificate trading system, buyers have little idea where their oil actually comes from and 'the vast majority is from uncertified sources.'"
    • "Chaytor claims that due to the scale and efficiency of the arrangement with Wilmar, coupled with its Liverpool refinery, the two firms can offer a huge range of fully traceable and certified oils with commodity style economics that make it more affordable."[6]
  • The RSB Certification System is now open for business!, 23 March 2011 by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels: "The Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB) announced the launch of the RSB Certification System today at the World Biofuels Markets 2011 in Rotterdam, NL. The RSB was initiated and is hosted by the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland."
    • "Since 2007, the RSB brings together farmers, industries, NGOs and governments to get a broad consensus on the social and environmental requirements to ensure sustainable biofuel production. Based on these requirements, the RSB certification system provides the assurances operators need to guarantee the sustainability and traceability of their feedstocks and fuels. The new RSB system can put them on a path towards compliance and certification for EU market access and other regulated markets. On March 18, 2011, it received provisional recognition by the Government of Germany under its regulatory scheme for biofuels."
    • See the RSB Press Release, New RSB system allows certification and traceability for sustainably produced biofuels!
  • Evidence of indirect land-use change is clear, says report, 21 March 2011 by Transport & Environment: "A report by Germany’s Öko Institut says there is sufficient scientific knowledge for the EU to include the effects of indirect land use change (Iluc) in its sustainability criteria to determine which biofuels will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The report was commissioned by the European Parliament’s environment committee, and puts further pressure on the Commission to include ILUC in its assessment of policy options on biofuels due to be published in July."
    • "The report was presented to MEPs earlier this month, and criticises December’s decision by the Commission to delay incorporating Iluc until it has more evidence about its effects. Iluc is the syndrome by which growing crops for biofuels triggers displacement of existing food or feed production to nature areas, which in many cases leads to higher emissions from biofuels than from the production of conventional fuels."
    • "The Öko Institut says the only viable option for assessing the environmental performance of biofuels is to have feedstock-specific Iluc factors. This would directly link the production of biofuels to its effect on food production."[7]
  • Summit to tackle E10 biofuel debacle held, 8 March 2011 by The Local: "Berlin is working to implement a European Union directive that says biofuels should make up 10 percent of EU vehicle fuel consumption by 2020 to make the continent less dependent on foreign supplies."
    • "The new E10 petrol contains 10 percent biofuel made from crops and has been sold at German filling stations since last month."
    • "But many drivers have spurned E10 because they fear damage to their motors even though the VDA auto federation says it is suitable for 93 percent of petrol-driven vehicles."
    • "'Some drivers buy E10, but 'no more than 10 percent,' Tomas Gloos,a petrol-station manager, told AFP, and 'most of them do so without knowing it.'"
    • "While the oil industry has been accused of providing little information on the new fuel, environmental associations have slammed it for poor results in carbon dioxide emission tests."
    • "They note also that biofuels require farmland that could be used to raise crops for food, putting pressure on prices that are now attracting consumers' attention."[8]
  • Chaos at the Pumps - German Consumers Are Wary of New E10 Biofuel, 4 March 2011 by Der Spiegel: "Germany recently began introducing gasoline containing a higher percentage of biofuels. But consumers have so far been skittish, leading to production chaos and shortages of traditional gasoline. Some politicians have called for laws mandating that biofuels be scrapped altogether."
    • "It began as a plan to reduce the amount of CO2 being pumped into European skies. But a European Union directive requiring gas stations to sell fuel with 10 percent ethanol content has hit a snag in Germany, where consumers are avoiding the new petrol -- known as E10 -- because it is harmful to some cars."
    • "The controversy looks set to trigger yet another debate over the feasibility of using biofuels on a large scale....Not only is significant energy used in the production of the fuel, but it isn't uncommon for forestland -- a natural absorber of CO2 -- to be clear-cut for the planting of biofuels crops. Critics have also questioned the use of farmland for automobile fuel in an age of skyrocketing food prices."[9]
  • Lufthansa biofuel flights postponed by certification delay, 18 February 2011 by FlightGlobal.com: "Lufthansa has been forced to postpone its planned commercial biofuel flights by at least a month because the fuel will not be certified in time by regulators."
    • "Certifying body ASTM International was expected to certify hydrotreated renewable jet (HRJ) fuel for use in commercial aviation in the first quarter of this year, but is now unlikely to provide the necessary authorisation until at least the middle of the second quarter."
    • "Lufthansa has signed an agreement with Finnish oil refining company Neste Oil for the supply of jet fuel derived from vegetable oil using Neste's NExBTL biomass-to-liquid technology."[10]
  • Oettinger tells Europe: It's double or quits on renewables, 31 January 2011 by Euractiv.com: "Europe will have to double its spending on renewables if it wants to meet its 2020 energy commitments, EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger has said."
    • "The data showed that EU member states had largely failed to meet the electricity and transport targets they had set themselves for 2010."
    • "But the latest figures show that only seven EU countries – Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Poland and Portugal– expect to meet or exceed their 2010 renewables targets, according to their national action plans."
    • "To achieve the EU's energy goals, Oettinger called for a doubling of capital investments in renewable energies from €35 billion to €70 billion. This would require a substantial use of national support plans, he stated. But he did not set any time frame for implementation."
    • "'If member states work together and produce renewable energy where it costs less, companies, consumers and the taxpayer will benefit from this,' he added."
    • "'Unfortunately, the Commission is still dragging its feet on the issue of sustainable biofuels,' Luxembourg Green MEP Claude Turmes said."
    • "He called for an urgent introduction of rules to take into account the impact of biofuels on indirect land use change (ILUC)."[11]
  • Germany relaxes rule on biofuel sustainability, 15 December 2010 by Michael Hogan: "Germany has temporarily relaxed rules requiring raw materials for biofuels come from sustainable output, a move which industry bodies said on Wednesday will smooth imports of rapeseed and rapeseed oil for biodiesel use."
    • "The directive aims to protect tropical rain forests being cut down for biofuel crop production. But German industry associations had feared the failure of other EU states to implement the rule on time would mean Germany would not have been able to import non-certified rapeseed and rapeseed oil from other EU states in 2011."
    • "Germany imports about two million tonnes of rapeseed annually for food and biodiesel production."
    • "'The change is limited to June 2011 so we now hope that other EU states will also introduce the EU directive otherwise we will be faced with the problem again,' the UFOP spokesman said."[12]
  • Reality check for 'miracle' biofuel crop, 27 October 2010 by Miyuki Iiyama and James Onchieku: "It sounds too good to be true: a biofuel crop that grows on semi-arid lands and degraded soils, replaces fossil fuels in developing countries and brings huge injections of cash to poor smallholders."
    • "In an attempt to test the claims, Endelevu Energy, the World Agroforestry Centre and the Kenya Forestry Research Institute embarked on the Reality Check study supported by the German government, which we published last December."
    • "The main finding of the Reality Check is that jatropha is not economically viable when grown by smallholders in Kenya, either in a monoculture or intercrop plantation model. This is due to low yields and high production costs, and a lack of guidelines for applying agronomic and silvicultural best practices."[13]
  • GEM Biofuels commences crude jatropha oil shipment to Australia, East (sic) Germany, 11 January 2010 by BiofuelsDigest: "In Madagascar, GEM Biofuels will commence commercial production and shipment of crude jatropha oil later this month with 60 tons of oil shipping to Australia and East (sic) Germany."
    • "GEM has secured 50 year agreements giving exclusive rights over 452,500 hectares (in excess of 1 million acres) to establish plantations, ranging in size from 6,000 – 125,000 acres with a further 100,000 acres of natural forest containing substantial numbers of mature Jatropha trees." [15]
  • Tax hike would force German biodiesel closures, 30 July 2008 by The Guardian/Reuters: "Germany's crisis-hit biodiesel industry faces further closures if the government goes ahead with plans to further raise biofuel taxes, a biofuels industry leader said on Wednesday."
    • "Germany's government plans to increase taxes on biodiesel in January 2009 to 21 euro cents a litre, from 15 cents, in the next stage of its programme to raise taxes on green fuels to the same level as fossil fuels."
    • "'Some biodiesel producers will not survive the impact of even higher taxes and it must be expected that there will be more plant closures,'" according to Johannes Lackmann, chief executive of the German biofuels industry association VDB.
    • "Germany's five million tonnes annual capacity biodiesel industry, Europe's largest, has seen a series of plant shutdowns this year."[17]
  • German minister stops biofuel blending plans, 4 April 2008, by Reuters: "German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Friday he had stopped government plans to raise compulsory bioethanol blending levels in fossil gasoline."
    • "Politicians and industry groups had criticized the plans to raise the level to 10 percent for some gasoline grades from five percent, fearing the increase would damage older cars."
    • "German biofuels industry association VDB welcomed the decision. It had argued that the bioethanol used for blending in Germany was imported largely from third world countries where deforestation may have taken place to expand farmland."
    • "Germany had viewed biofuels blending as a way of achieving reductions in greenhouse gases without imposing restrictions suggested by the European Union which could hit its high performance car industry".[18]

Organizations

Governmental organizations

Nongovernmental organizations

Industry

Notes

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