Vivergo Fuels response to Royal Academy of Engineering Report
Vivergo Fuels has welcomed a number of findings in the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Sustainability of Liquid Biofuels report, including the statement that UK arable crops including wheat represent low-risk feedstock for first generation biofuels in terms of carbon emissions and should be promoted.
Not only does UK wheat bioethanol exceed the 50% GHG savings target versus petrol, it remains a lower carbon intensity fuel when potential land use change risks are included. A specific EU Commission study referred to in the report demonstrated this in 2016.
Vivergo Fuels also welcomes the Academy’s recommendation that increasing the level of biofuels required under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) should be implemented in order to achieve 2020 renewable energy targets. This builds on a report from the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee last autumn recommending that introducing E10 fuel, a 10% blend of bioethanol in petrol that would be the carbon reduction equivalent of taking 700,000 cars off UK roads, would help the UK reach its transport target for carbon reduction.
Mark Chesworth, Managing Director of Vivergo Fuels, said: “Meeting decarbonisation targets will require a combination of solutions and in the short term, increasing the level of bioethanol in petrol through the mandated introduction of E10 is the fastest, easiest and most cost effective way of doing so.
“We are calling on the government to promote UK-produced bioethanol. As well as providing environmentally friendly transport fuel, wheat bioethanol provides a sustainable domestic market for UK arable farming and co-produces a high-protein animal feed, displacing imported soya which is highlighted in the report as being ‘the worst option’ in terms of unsustainable crops.
“Support for first generation biofuels such as wheat bioethanol is crucial to secure investor confidence for the wider development of advanced biofuels, as cogeneration with first generation biofuels is likely to be the most efficient option for the UK going forward.”
Vivergo Fuels notes the Academy’s recommendation for a ‘crop cap’, which is already required by the EU, but would urge the Government to provide a high cap to enable growth and flexibility for the industry and for farmers.
Vivergo Fuels also notes that to reach its conclusions the Sustainability of Liquid Biofuels report has based many of its insights globally rather than from within the UK only, but is pleased that UK crops such as the feed wheat used by Vivergo have been vindicated as low-risk that should be promoted.