By on September 13, 2008

Foodstock-based, first-gen biofuels are becoming increasingly unpopular. And so the European Union (EU) has cut– er, “modified” biofuel goals. Last year, the EU committed to increasing biofuel transport usage to ten percent by 2020. The International Herald-Tribune reports that the goal has been ratified, but a number of caveats have been added. The new plan calls for five percent of transport fuels to be derived from renewable sources by 2015, with at least a fifth of that amount from “new alternatives that do not compete with food production.” When biofuel usage hits ten percent in 2020, 40 percent of that amount will have to come from second-gen, non-foodstock fuels. That goal will be reviewed in 2014. Of course, these plans are worrying biofuel producers; they’re stepping-up a publicity campaign warning that “alternatives to biofuels like hydrogen and electricity – while they might help to reduce tailpipe pollution – still would require burning of fossil fuels to manufacture.” European biofuel producers are worried about the threat of American imports. U.S. farmers receive significant subsidies and incentives that make European exportation particularly appealing. A formal EU investigation is underway, considering punitive tariffs against American E85– unless the U.S. government removes biofuel incentives. Good luck with that.

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9 Comments on “E85 Boondoggle of the Day: EU Cuts Biofuel Goals, Blocks U.S. Corn juice...”

  • avatar

    The EU has absolutely no business complaining about American subsidies. They are some of the world’s worst offenders when it comes to agricultural subsidies.

  • avatar

    Blunt fact is that the EU’s appetite for zero carbon far exceeds their budgets. Russia has them by the short hairs on natural gas. The fools let the Greens manage energy. Simple solution: Turn out the lights.

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    crackers: absolutely right, the EU’s cardinal sin is its agricultural subsidies. But having decided (for a change), it did not want to subsidize a certain product — namely, corn-based biofuel — it would be odd to let America’s stuff in. Could you imagine it the other way around?

    Roger: do you have facts to back up your opinion? I was under the impression that the EU countries’ deficits are lower than the US’s. And if I wanted to be polemical, I’d say including the Green ideas in energy management (what’s so bad about renewable energy?) sure beats energy management by sex parties and by bribery.

  • avatar

    So what are the Europeans going to do when Russia cuts off/reduces their oil and natural gas supply to prove a point? The are going to bend over.

    The cutting of the biofuel goal to 5 percent is meaningless since they weren’t going to make the ten percent goal anyway. They have no plan and no mandates.

    As for switching to non food sources for ethanol, it’s a joke. Non food biofuel sources require land and other inputs just as “food” sources do, but do not have the infrastructure in place to support it. In any case if non “food” ethanol were to be scaled up, it would reduce food supply since there is only so much productive land available.

    Cellulosic ethanol has only a few government funded pilot plants even in existence. Good luck with that.

    Peak Oil means power down long term and is very negative for the auto industry.

  • avatar

    Drill, drill, drill

  • avatar

    Good for them. The promotion and use of ethanol has had world wide reprocussions, none of them good. I would prefer no more ehtanol at all in the USA – good luck with the corn lobby being so powerful.

    I try to buy ethanol free gasoline. There is none to be had. Sounds like Monsanto was involved. Suprised – they are.

  • avatar

    Now is a good time for the US to adjust for their governement supplied social programs (education, healt care, retirement and many others).

    This would add thousands of dollars to the price of a car from Europe. And, the then put the tariffs in to supporting SS, Medicare, Education, disability balance our budget.

  • avatar

    Innovate, innovate, innovate.

  • avatar

    The government shouldn’t subsidize any type of energy. The gov should only subsidize academic research. When they subsidize a consumer product, you can bet they’re dancing to the tune of a special interest.


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