Newsletter 04.2018

Dear readers,

Welcome back to the Eurofuel Newsletter!

The second edition of this year after a long and enduring winter will focus on a number of policy developments related to the EU Clean Energy Package impacting our sector, as well as our main activities over the past two months.

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Clean Energy Package: Agreement on key issues by the summer?

Informal talks between institutions have kicked off on key elements of the Clean Energy Package, including the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and the Renewable Energy Directive (REDII), while the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is awaiting formal approval in the spring and publication probably before the summer. On the first two files, the approaches of European Parliament and Council differ substantially in many respects; however, the European Commission hopes for an agreement on both acts by the summer of 2018. Like many stakeholders in town, Eurofuel also hopes for a quick agreement providing clear directions and legal certainty to our industry on the way to newer liquid fuels and heating technologies.

Renewable Energy Directive (REDII): Likely opposition on targets

Trilogue negotiations have started on the REDII. Although the first meeting enabled ‘good progress’ according to official statements, the 2030 target is likely to crystallise opposition between the Council, which supports the proposed 27%, and the Parliament, which has called for 35%. A "non-paper" finalised by the Commission in March points out that the falling prices of renewable energy could make a 30% target more affordable than initially expected.

Another target will be closely looked at: the proposed increase in the share of renewable energy in heating and cooling. Parliament and Council are divided on the level and the nature of this annual increase target. Introducing more renewables in the field of residential heating is indeed an important challenge. Thanks to hybrid heating systems and future fuels, Eurofuel believes that liquid fuel solutions can contribute to this objective, provided there is an open approach to the sourcing of materials and the technologies used to produce fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

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Energy Efficiency Directive (EED): You said targets?

In the first two trilogue meetings, the inclusion of transport in a mandatory yearly savings scheme and energy poverty have been divisive. The - publicly admitted - lack of progress has urged the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council to engage in intense efforts to find common ground among the negotiating parties. Here as well as on the REDII, the overall 2030 target is a contentious matter, both in terms of levels and the type of targets. It will be kept for the late stages of negotiations.

The Governance Regulation, which is the overarching act of the Clean Energy Package, is also facing a number of difficulties. A second trilogue meeting has been postponed to late April.

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Renewable liquid fuels: Eurofuel in dialogue with European Commission

On 19 March 2018, the Eurofuel Board of Directors invited Hans van Steen, a policy advisor in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy, to a dialogue on the Clean Energy Package and perspectives for liquid fuels in heating.

Mr van Steen gave a good overview of the EU Clean Energy Package, its current state of play and relevance for the residential heating sector. Eurofuel’s President, Moritz Bellingen, briefed the audience about the relevance of liquid fuels in today’s and tomorrow’s heating mix.

An important element in the debate was the role of future liquid fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, such as advanced biofuels and “e-fuels” made from renewable electricity and carbon dioxide, in tomorrow’s low-carbon society. Participants reflected about possible ways to stimulate new technologies such as hybrid heating systems combining oil with renewable energy, as well as investment in advanced biofuels and e-fuels for residential heating.

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Eurofuel speaking: Liquid fuels in debates across Europe

The importance of liquid fuels to meet Europe’s climate objectives and enable a safe supply of energy should not be underestimated. To pave the way for a sustainable and affordable future with liquid fuels, Eurofuel is taking part in various conferences across Europe. Over the past two months we participated in the 8th Annual Middle Distillates conference in Antwerp, the Lignofuels 2018 conference in Amsterdam and the European Energy Colloquium on the Clean Energy Package (in German).

In the coming months, you can meet us at the International Downstream Week 2018 in Prague and you are welcome to join our Eurofuel Technical Workshop on future liquid fuels in Brussels on 6 June 2018. We are always happy to meet!

Meanwhile we wish you all a happy Easter (hopefully without gloves) and a nice start of spring!

Tristan Suffys

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(Photos: Adobe Stock; Panagiotis-Minos Chaslaridis)