Enable the import of biomethane in Europe

By PitPoint CEO, Erik Kemink

13-02-2018
NEW European Policy for Biofuels

The European Parliament recently approved a new policy on biofuels. One of the decisions is that the EU target for renewable energy will be set at 35% in the future, with transport accounting for 12%. So that should provide plenty of opportunities for us to expand our European network of clean fuels stations. After all, biomethane and hydrogen fall into the category of ‘advanced’ fuels. It’s also positive that palm oil can no longer be used in diesel production.

With this new policy, Europe is taking the necessary steps to implement the Paris Agreement and lead the way in the transition to sustainable energy. But there’s still one major question hanging in the air: are we actually on the right track?

Import of used cooking oil on the rise in Europe

For example, take a look at this interesting report on the rise of used cooking oil (UCO) imports in Europe over the past year. We’re shipping tankers full of used oil from India and China to Europe to make our diesel ‘cleaner’. Along with it comes the increasing risk of fraud and other unintended consequences. Why not allow only import of used cooking oil from within European borders for the time being?

Enable biomethane imports…

Used cooking oil will never be able to completely cover our transport needs. It would be better think in the context of open borders – a core value of the European Union – to enable the import of biomethane. At the moment, this is arranged between individual companies, but it isn’t facilitated by the government. The question is simple: do we want to remain Europe’s grease trap, or do we want to be the innovative leader in creating clean fuel from waste, verge grass, and sludge? I know which I prefer.

…and focus on technology-neutral policies

What Europe really needs is a greater sense of urgency when it comes to biofuels. It’s time to take the next step towards clean transport. Time to leave dirty diesel behind. At PitPoint, we wholeheartedly support the appeal from Sigrid de Vries, Secretary-General of CLEPA (the European Association of Automotive Suppliers) for a technology-neutral approach to EU legislation on CO2 reduction. It’s one way to ensure that change in the European automotive and transport industry can truly be enforced.

Erik Kemink