Friday, 11 July 2008

Sustainable biofuels from animal fat

The debate on the issue of bio-energy continued following the adoption this week by the European Parliament of a resolution supporting the European Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan proposed by the Commission at the end of last year. The EP report calls for biofuels research to be intensified under the programme so the overall environmental impact of the production of those fuels can be determined, and for energy efficiency to feature more prominently as "it is the area with the most potential for cost effective emission reductions in the medium term".

This report followed closely on the UK "Gallagher" review of the indirect effects of bio-fuels production published on 7 July which calls for a strengthening of mandatory sustainability criteria within the EU Renewable Energy Directive and a slowing down of EU targets for bio-fuel to ensure that more consideration is given to sustainable feed stock for bio-fuels. One company in Scotland that has an interest in all this is Argent Energy (which is a bio-diesel processing plant based in Motherwell) since they make bio-diesel from a very sustainable source i.e. used cooking oil and tallow (animal fat). They have been to see us in Brussels recently in relation to a Commission proposal for revised legislation for Animal By-Products which came out on 10 June. With Alyn the rapporteur for the Agriculture Committee's opinion (for the Environment Committee as the lead Committee) on the Commission's proposal, this is an issue which we will be working on over the coming weeks and months.

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