According to the latest report by the Renewable Fuels Agency, almost 1.6 billion litres of biofuels were used in the UK in the twelve months since April 2009, accounting for 3.33% of total road transport fuel, exceeding the British Government’s target of 3.25%. This has resulted in significant carbon savings of 51% compared to petrol and diesel, making an important contribution to reducing climate change inducing emissions in the transport sector.
The savings are roughly equivalent to taking half a million vehicles off the road, or making Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast car free. The carbon figures reflect the directly measurable savings biofuels offer but do not take into account the potential impact from indirect land use change (ILUC). The European Commission is due to report by the end of this year on how ILUC should be addressed for meeting renewable fuel targets.
Against this success story the UK’s renewable fuels regulator has spoken of its disappointment at some big oil companies failing to take significant steps towards sourcing biofuels sustainably.
“The volume target has been met which is welcome news. But this is about sustainable carbon reduction. The leading suppliers have demonstrated that it is possible to secure sustainable biofuels in volume. Others have fallen well short,” explains Nick Goodall, chief executive of the Renewable Fuels Agency.
The agency maps performance against three sustainability targets; data collection, greenhouse gas savings and performance against sustainability standards. Mandatory carbon and sustainability performance requirements will be introduced with the implementation of the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED).