Fourth stakeholder workshop on RESfuels in the transport sector held
The ADVANCEFUEL project held its fourth stakeholder workshop on 21 November 2019, to explore the role of renewable fuels in decarbonising the transport sector to 2030 and beyond. The workshop was held back-to-back with the European Technology and Innovation Platform (ETIP) on Bioenergy Stakeholder Plenary Meeting.
ADVANCEFUEL aims to support the market roll-out of advanced renewable fuels by identifying and assessing the current socio-economic and market barriers, and developing possible approaches to overcome them. The workshop gave members of the project consortium the chance to present their work, and collect input and comments from the fifty stakeholders present.
The workshop started with a presentation by Kristin Sternberg from FNR, the project co-ordinator, who introduced the project and the focus and aim of the workshop. Altogether, ADVANCEFUEL is conducting five dedicated stakeholder workshops during the course of the project addressing different topics, of which this was the fourth. In her presentation, ‘RESfuels in transport sector decarbonisation’, Kristin emphasised the importance of stakeholder feedback to evaluate and further develop the presented results.
Currently, around 70% of biomass comes from forestry sources, and is almost entirely used for heat and power, whilst liquid biofuels are still mainly produced from food-based crops and food residues. To meet renewable energy targets, lignocellulosic biomass use for heat, power and advanced biofuels is expected to increase substantially, requiring new supplies from forestry and agricultural residues and lignocellulosic crops. This will take significant effort, though, including development of new infrastructure, training and knowledge exchange for farmers, and support policies.
To support development of a sustainable biomass market, ADVANCEFUEL is developing a ‘Roadmap to a sustainable market supply of feedstock for RESfuels up to 2030 and beyond’, as presented by Katharina Sailer (Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy - ATB). The workshop gave the opportunity to collected feedback from participants. A number of technical, economic and social barriers were presented in relation to feedstock supply, concluding that short rotation coppice (particularly poplar), is likely to be a key resource in future, requiring further research to develop more resistant poplar varieties, with higher biomass density, as well as new harvesting machineries.
Ayla Uslu (TNO Energy Transition, formerly ECN), presented the project’s approach to ‘Analysing the role of RESfuels in decarbonising the transport sector until 2030 and beyond’, asking what options are open within 2030 and 2050 timeframes, and aiming to determine which technological innovations are needed to reduce production costs.
The EU will need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport by 90% by 2050 (1990 base level), and aviation and maritime sectors appear to be the most challenging. ADVANCEFUEL is developing 2050 scenarios, considering all relevant steps in the value chain from feedstock costs, logistics, technology performance and market demand, whilst also considering sustainability of the RESfuels. The project concluded that the 2030 RES targets are a good way forward but are insufficient for the CO2 reductions needed. To reach deep CO2 reductions, all renewable options are needed (not either renewable electricity or renewable fuels), as are improvements in energy efficiency of transport technologies and systems.
In order to understand how renewable fuels can contribute to future scenarios, ADVANCEFUEL is considering the overall sustainability of RESfuels from feedstock production to end-use. Ric Hoefnagels (Utrecht University) presented, ‘Sustainable biomass supply in the context of new bio-based markets beyond 2030’, considering current and future biomass demand and the role of dedicated energy crops.
Interviews with key stakeholders have also identified the need for long-term incentive programmes to support initial investments and that knowledge support is needed for energy crop producers (possibly through the provision of consulting vouchers, and through promotion of best practice business models).
It is not only the provision of biomass supplies that will prove a challenge, but also their conversion into fuels. Stavros Papadokonstantakis (Chalmers University of Technology) presented ‘A timeline assessment of the RESfuels conversion technology portfolio’, looking into the challenges of conversion technologies. Commercial scale production of advanced fuels is some way off, but some approaches are more mature than others (e.g., second generation ethanol technologies). The successful roll-out of conversion technologies will need to be implemented at large, industrial scale to bring down costs to reasonable levels.
Finally, ‘Policy good practices and lessons learnt’, were presented by Calliope Panoutsou (Imperial College London). ADVANCEFUEL has sought to improve the evidence base for both policy-makers and industry. As a starting point, twelve good policy practices were found from Europe, Brazil, Canada and the USA, demonstrating policy mixes which are well integrated into national policy, individual targets for advanced biofuels in transport market segments, and active stakeholder engagement activities.
Since advanced biofuels are only part of the broader bio-energy sector and bio-based economy, policy frameworks need to take account of all applications. Individual sector targets which do not take account of cross-sector implications have sometimes been successful, but have also frequently resulted in conflicts and market imbalances. Future policy formation will require co-ordinated action at all governance levels, integrating the full value chain (feedstock, conversion, end-use). The case studies demonstrate policy mixes comprising of regulations, financing mechanisms, and information provision.
The results of the workshop will be used to hone the project’s work and will inform the project’s final recommendations for market players and policy makers.
ADVANCEFUEL will hold its next stakeholder workshop at the European Biomass Convention and Exhibition (EUBCE) in Marseille, at the end of April 2020. Sign up to the ADVANCEFUEL Stakeholder Platform to stay informed!