New goals set for alternative energy use

New goals set for alternative energy use

If the European Parliament’s Industry Committee has its way, more than 4% of fuel used in transportation in Europe will be from second-generation biofuels, electricity or hydrogen by 2020

If the European Parliament’s Industry Committee has its way, more than 4% of fuel used in transportation in Europe will be from second-generation biofuels, electricity or hydrogen by 2020.

That is the recommendation of the committee, which backed a European Parliament Commission plan to reach a 10% renewable fuel target by 2020. The committee, in putting forth a directive to the European Parliament, also set a goal of 5% by 2015 and will review the 10% target by 2014. The review will “focus on consequences for food security, biodiversity and the availability of electricity or hydrogen from renewable sources, biogas or transport fuels from lingo-cellulosic biomass and algae,” the text as amended by the committee said.

By 2015, at least 1% of the fuel used in transportation must be from alternative fuel sources that do not compete with crops used in food production, the committee said. These include electricity, hydrogen and second-generation biofuels made from waste, lingo-cellulosic biomass or algae.

The process is part of the European Union’s plan to require 20% of all energy consumed created from renewable sources by 2020. That goal includes the electric and heating and cooling sectors of the economy.

Also, the committee wants energy efficiency in transportation to improve 20% by 2020 as compared to 2005 standards. The Commission had proposed cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 35% compared to fossil fuels, but the committee went a step further, proposing a 45% cut by 2015 and improving that to at least 60% after 2015.

The plan would require EU member states to set national renewable energy plans to achieve their portion of the goals, but it also includes flexibility allowing states the ability to achieve their goals jointly with other states. In addition, the plan includes provisions to allow the Commission to impose direct penalties on states falling short of mandatory interim and 2020 targets.

The directive was approved 50 to 2. It is scheduled for a plenary vote on Oct. 1.

View more Fleet Owner news relating to alternative fuels, hybrid technologies, fuel conservation and diesel fuel prices.

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