On August 8th, 2016 an internet consultation was published regarding a legislative change of the Dutch Environmental Management Act.
The amendment is a transposition of the European Directive Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC). The Directive aims a limiting the share of conventional biofuels. Conventional biofuels are produced from crops such as corn and sugar cane which are grown on agricultural land. By limiting the production of conventional biofuels the Directive aims at preventing an increased competition with food and livestock feed. For this, the Directive also sets an indicative 0.5% target for the use of advanced biofuels made from non-competing sources like waste and algae.
By 2020, EU member states are already required to have 10% of their transport fuel come from renewable sources such as biofuels. The Netherlands has implemented this requirement via yearly requirements for fuel suppliers, and therefore focusses specifically on one company in the transport chain. Fuel suppliers need to account for having supplied enough renewable energy to the Dutch road transport and rail transport sectors. To monitor this, the Netherlands implemented a Renewable Fuel Unit system in May of 2015. In exchange for each delivered gigajoule of renewable energy, suppliers are credited with one Renewable Fuel Unit ("RFU") on their 'personal accounts' of which the quantities are checked annually. Similar to emission rights, these RFUs are also tradable.
Considering that the ILUC-Directive limits conventional biofuels and sets a target for advanced biofuels, the legislative proposal now implements differentiated RFUs:conventional, advanced and 'other' RFUs. The expectation is that in 2016, the Dutch House of Representatives will establish how many and which type of RFUs each company must have in order to fulfill their annual obligation.
The internet consultation for the amendment of the Renewable Fuel Units Legislation can be found here (Dutch only). You can submit comments on this consultation until September 5th, 2016.
European Commission call for advanced biofuels projects
On a related note, overseas partnerships are also enhancing possibilities to increase the use of advanced biofuels, such as the cooperation between the European Commission, the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) and the Brazilian National Council of State Funding Agencies (CONFAP). The European Commission published a coordinated call aiming at exploiting synergies between Brazil and Europe in terms of scientific expertise and resources in topics related to advanced biofuels by implementing coordinated projects. The call can be found here and proposals can be submitted until September 8th, 2016.