New biofuel targets coming into force on Sunday 15 April will double the use of renewable fuels in the UK transport sector within 15 years, cutting the sector’s reliance on imported diesel, according to a transport minister.
Changes to the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) will compel owners of transport fuel who supply at least 450,000 litres a year or more, to make sure the mix is at least 12.4% biofuel by 2032. The current target is 4.75% biofuel.
The government is also challenging the sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6% by 2020.
Transport minister Jesse Norman said: “We are committed to reducing carbon emissions from transport to tackle climate change, and to making the sector as sustainable as possible. Increasing our use of renewable fuels is a key part of this.
“The changes we are introducing will double our carbon emissions savings from the RTFO scheme by doubling the use of renewable fuels and reducing reliance on imported fossil diesel.
“This will deliver emissions savings equal to taking hundreds of thousands of cars off the road.”
The key changes to the scheme are:
• increasing the biofuels volume target from the current 4.75% to 9.75% in 2020, and 12.4% in 2032;
• setting an additional target for advanced waste-based renewable fuels, starting at 0.1% in 2019 and rising to 2.8% in 2032;
• setting a sustainable level for crop biofuels, an initial maximum cap of 4% of fuel in 2018, reducing annually from 2021 to reach 3% in 2026 and 2% in 2032; and
• bringing renewable aviation fuels and renewable fuels of non-biological origin into the scheme.
Nina Skorupska, chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association, said: “We welcome the increased targets for renewable transport fuels and are excited by the new regulations which will encourage the production of novel fuels for hard-to-decarbonise sectors.
“The UK’s renewable fuels have excellent environmental credentials and their manufacture supports almost 1,000 direct jobs, many of which are in the north-east. As transport is now the UK’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions and air quality concerns are growing, this makes the transition to a cleaner system an imperative.”