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The low-ILUC loophole could allow business-as-usual palm oil imports for biodiesel in Europe

The European Commission’s recast Renewable Energy Directive to 2030 (RED II) includes a provision to phase out the contribution of biofuels produced from feedstocks that are high-ILUC risk by 2030....The EC will will soon decide on criteria for classifying high- and low-risk indirect land use change (ILUC) biofuels under the RED II. If the Commission gets it right, this provision could make a...
Published 2018.12.03: Blog Post

Failure to Launch: Why Advanced Biorefineries Are So Slow to Ramp Up Production

A common refrain is that advanced biofuels are just a few years away from commercialization—a claim that has been made for much longer than just the past few years. The U.S. EPA’s Renewable Fuel...Despite claims that advanced biofuels are just a few years away from commercialization, existing projects struggle to reach their nominal capacity.
Published 2018.11.13: Blog Post

Short-term barriers to energy cropping

All stages of advanced biofuel production face challenges, and an essential step to reliably scaling them across the transportation sector and beyond is ensuring the availability of feedstocks....An essential step to reliably scaling advanced biofuel across the transportation sector and beyond is ensuring the availability of feedstocks.
Published 2018.11.08: Blog Post

Renewable gas is a distraction for Europe

There’s no room for natural gas in a fully decarbonized future. But the European gas industry argues we should continue using natural gas infrastructure and vehicles because the European Union’s (EU...The European gas industry argues we should continue using natural gas infrastructure and vehicles because the European Union’s gas supply can be transformed to a fully renewable resource by 2050. Is...
Published 2018.11.01: Blog Post

Kinks in the pipeline: A survey of downstream alternative jet fuels challenges

We often hear about how biofuels and other alternative fuels will be needed to decarbonize the aviation sector in the long-run. How easy or difficult will this be to achieve? There are already some...Although touted by some as necessary to decarbonize the aviation sector, logistics are still an issue for alternative jet fuels.
Published 2018.10.31: Blog Post

Can alternative jet fuels crowd out demand from the road sector?

In the aviation industry’s vision of the future, neatly laid out by the International Civil Aviation Organization, airlines can meet all of their obligations under the Paris Agreement through simple...Proponents of alternative jet fuels often ignore the reality that many other sectors have laid claims to limited bio-resources as part of their own decarbonization strategies
Published 2018.10.24: Blog Post

Is the Renewable Fuel Standard enough to spur progress in advanced biofuels? Probably not.

Production of cellulosic biofuel is expected to fall nearly 7 billion gallons short of meeting the statutory Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume for this type of advanced biofuel in 2018, which has...Government grant and loan guarantees, not the Renewable Fuel Standard, have been essential in spurring progress in the cellulosic biofuel industry.
Published 2018.10.18: Blog Post

Bioenergy can solve some of our climate problems, but not all of them at once

Bioenergy has become a popular decarbonization strategy—so popular that policy makers and researchers in several sectors are claiming biofuels, bio-electricity, and bio-heat can deliver a large...Bioenergy has become a popular decarbonization strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, even if bioenergy production is maximized, competition across industry sectors is high.
Published 2018.10.15: Blog Post

The hardest part of cellulosic biofuels in India might be collecting the rice straw

India recently announced its National Policy on Biofuels, which includes ambitious targets for ethanol and biodiesel produced primarily from non-food and non-feed sources. The policy aspires to...A new policy in India aims promote cellulosic biofuel production from sustainable feedstocks, something no other country has managed to do. Can the country succeed?
Published 2018.10.11: Blog Post

Will slow and steady win the race for alternative jet fuels?

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) relies heavily on the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from...Despite ICAO's reliance on alternative jet fuels to decarbonize the avaiation industry, production does not appear to be keeping up.
Published 2018.10.09: Blog Post

EPA sets a first in accurately accounting for GHG emissions from waste biofuel feedstocks

In a rule released last month, EPA became the first regulatory body to accurately account for greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from displacing waste, residue, and byproduct biofuel feedstocks from pre-...In a rule released last month, EPA became the first regulatory body to accurately account for greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from displacing waste, residue, and byproduct biofuel feedstocks from pre-...
Published 2018.09.17: Blog Post

ICAO’s CORSIA scheme provides a weak nudge for in-sector carbon reductions

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has not yet figured out how to decarbonize jet fuels. Under the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA),...ICAO's Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation will probably not provide a meaningful framework to transition to alternative jet fuels.
Published 2018.08.06: Blog Post

B10: Os debates sobre o combustível de referência não devem atrasar a adoção de limites de emissão rigorosos para veículos pesados no Brasil

Com a publicação da regra final das normas de emissão China VI em 28 de junho de 2018, o Brasil assume a vergonhosa posição de ser o último grande mercado automotivo sem limites de emissão...O Brasil é o último dos grandes mercados automotivos sem padrões para emissões de veículos pesados equivalentes ao Euro VI para proteção à saúde pública. A implementação rápida do P-8 resolveria tal...
Published 2018.08.03: Blog Post

To B10 or not to B10: Reference fuel debates should not delay adoption of world-class heavy-duty vehicle emission standards in Brazil

With the publication of the final rule for China VI emission standards on June 28, 2018, Brazil has the ignominious honor of being the last major automotive market without Euro VI-equivalent emission...Brazil is the last major auto market without Euro VI-equivalent emission standards for HDVs in place to protect public health. Implementing P-8 standards quickly would remedy that situation, and...
Published 2018.08.01: Blog Post

Palm oil is the elephant in the greenhouse

Palm oil isn’t as bad for climate as you think. It’s worse. The oil palm industry is expanding quickly into tropical rainforest, and increasingly into peat swamp forest. The total land area planted...Palm oil isn’t as bad for climate as you think. It’s worse.
Published 2018.06.06: Blog Post

ILUC factors and palm oil yields: Resolving an apparent contradiction

Farmers and other biofuel stakeholders sometimes express disbelief in the magnitude of indirect land use change (ILUC) emissions that researchers say is associated with palm oil biodiesel. For...Palm plantations have a much higher yield of vegetable oil per hectare compared to rapeseed and other oil crops. How can the ILUC emissions for palm oil biodiesel be so much higher than for those...
Published 2018.05.31: Blog Post

Canada lags the United States in climate accounting of biofuels

The Clean Fuel Standard (CFS), a major pillar of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, aims to reduce GHG emissions by 30 million tonnes of CO2e annually by 2030 by reducing...Canada's Clean Fuel Standard aims to reduce GHG emissions by 30 million tonnes of CO2e annually by 2030. However, by ignoring emissions from indirect land-use change, the CFS could hit its target on...
Published 2018.04.04: Blog Post

Don't throw out California's ILUC factors yet

Soy biodiesel is generally understood to have high indirect land use change (ILUC) emissions.  For example, California assigns an ILUC factor of 29 gCO2e/MJ to biodiesel in its Low Carbon Fuel...Newer is not always better. California’s ILUC analysis relies on stronger evidence on palm oil expansion than a new study from Argonne National Laboratory.
Published 2018.03.09: Blog Post

The hidden cost of Indonesia’s biodiesel mandate to consumers

Indonesian drivers probably don’t realize they are paying more at the pump because of their country’s biodiesel mandate, which sets ambitious targets for the blending of biodiesel in diesel fuel....Indonesian drivers probably don’t realize they are paying more at the pump because of their country’s biodiesel mandate, which sets ambitious targets for the blending of biodiesel in diesel fuel....
Published 2017.11.15: Blog Post

Greenwashing food-based biofuels in Europe

The term “Highly sustainable crop based biofuels” (HSCBBs) sounds environmentally friendly. It sounds like the kind of low-carbon biofuel that avoids the food vs. fuel debate. But unfortunately, the...The food-based biofuel cap is in the Commission’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) proposal for a reason, and effectively removing it through the exception for HSCCBs can hardly be called “...
Published 2017.10.30: Blog Post

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