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I S S U E S E V E N

H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L

www.horizon2020projects.com

196

S O C I E TA L C H A L L E N G E S : E N E R G Y

Commission does not include any specific target for the transport sector,

and thus no incentives for biofuels. The transport sector, as a whole, is

one of the areas that will be tackled within the European Energy Union

framework. It shall ensure secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy

in the future.

It will take time for the different EU member states to react and develop

national strategies for the deployment of advanced biofuels. Investment

in biofuel projects, including serving debt over 10-12 years and equity

over 20 years, is not possible without guarantees of regulatory stability

of similar tenor. To achieve an investor-friendly environment, a long

term stable policy at EU and national level is needed which will lead to

a situation where renewables will eventually compete with fossil fuels.

The ongoing debate on sustainability needs to be settled by finding a

recognised standard which applies to all biomass sectors (biofuels,

other bioenergy, bioproducts, food and feed).

The main challenges to advancing biofuels today are a positive and

reliable policy and market framework until 2020 and beyond, the

access to finances for the commercialisation of new conversion

technologies that have successfully passed earlier development stages,

and the provision of secure, sustainable and long term biomass

feedstock supply. Regarding finances, the InnovFin Energy Demo

Projects facility could be a major step forward to bring innovative

technologies to the market and make them bankable.

Regarding the development of biomass, advanced biofuels based on

cellulosic feedstocks, various waste streams and algae have a large

potential in the future. The biomass feedstock situation across the

EU is very diverse, and different policies exist on promotion of

biofuels. This creates differentiated economic values for the same

products across EU member states and because of this, and the fact

that corresponding regulations are not yet stable, it is not possible

to point directly at priority technologies whose development would

ensure that the 10% target can be met.

Energy crops produced under sustainable practices can provide an

important contribution. More specifically, perennial lignocellulosic species

can be grown on average on lower quality land and could actually help

to ‘remove’ the seasonality burden of residual feedstocks in a region.

Additionally, energy crops can add value to local economies by

How is the EBTP influencing the

direction of Horizon 2020?

The ongoing structured dialogue between the

EBTP and the Commission, in particular DG

Research and Innovation and DG Energy, allows

a unique exchange of information on biofuels

policy and technological development.

Recommendations by EBTP, direct or via

discussions in the EIBI, have been incorporated

in the Horizon 2020 work programme priorities

on a reasonable scale.

What are the EBTP’s thoughts on

the Bio-Based Industries Joint

Undertaking (BBI JU)?

The BBI JU is a key group for the EU’s

bioeconomy, biorefineries and the promotion

of research, development and demonstration

in the forthcoming years; it contributes to a

good interaction between the Commission

and the EU member states. Partnerships

within the bioeconomy sector are essential

for EU leadership in globally competitive

technology sectors.

The EBTP welcomes the initiative, which

includes industry and their technology

development; other European Technology

Platforms are involved as associate members

within the BBI. As some members of the EBTP

Steering Committee are also involved in the BBI

JU consortium, an associated membership on

behalf of the EBTP wasn’t deemed necessary.

So far, the Horizon 2020 budget for the BBI JU

stems from the bioeconomy proportion, rather

than energy, and the results of the first call for

proposals have only been partly published.

Announced so far is UPM’s ‘Value added

chemical building blocks and lignin from wood’,

or ValChem, project, which combines the

competences of the forest, chemical and

biotechnology industries to realise a sustainable

and innovative integrated process from wood

to end products; this venture has received

€13.1m in funding. EBTP sees a number of

significant synergies of advanced biofuels and

the scope of the BBI JU.

What are the challenges in

increasing the uptake of these

biofuel breakthroughs?

EU policy has a significant influence on

national policies, and consequently on the

funding and development of advanced

biofuels; any uncertainty is seen as an

obstacle. The discussion about iLUC has finally

been settled, but the 2030 Climate and Energy

Framework proposal from the European

The EBTP has worked

closely with the

European Commission

and EU member states

to help shape the

European Industrial

Bioenergy Initiative

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