Advanced biofuels will have to make up 0.6% of all types of petrol and diesel used to power cars and trucks in Italy as of 2018. With this new regulation, the country becomes the first in Europe to legally oblige fuel suppliers to incorporate this source of renewable energy into their products.
Back in 2009, the European Commission pushed through a directive that required the implementation of biofuels within the transportation sector. Unfortunately, the required 10% renewable energy to be used within this part of the economy seemed a bit too high to the parties. Numerous concerns and complains followed shortly, especially in terms of biofuel production, or more precisely, the use of agricultural land for biofuel crop production instead of edible crops.
All this led to reduction in the percentage down to 5.75%, however it did not prevent the European parliament from pushing through a legislation and targets on the use of biofuels. As it stands right now, the target is that by 2020 advanced biofuels from seaweed and waste will have to make up at least 2.5% of the energy used in transportation.
The first country in Europe to take this seriously is Italy, who just bound legally all fuel suppliers to include 0.6% of advanced biofuels into their products by 2018. This number is set to increase to 1% by 2022.
This decision of the Italian government comes only a year after the first plant for production of advanced biofuels began operation. The facility is located in Crescentino and produces approximately 75 million liters of biofuel from waste and energy crops, grown on marginal land. In the coming year, the country expects to have another three biofuel production plans, which will be located in South Italy.
The industry welcomed the governmental decision, stating that this was the long-needed boost that was required to attract investors. According to experts from the International Council of Clean Transportation, this move gives Italy a leading role in Europe and hopefully it will stimulate others to follow.
Image (c) Fabrizio Giraldi