Newsletter 4.2021

Dear reader,

Welcome to the fourth EUROFUEL newsletter of the year. In this edition we look at the latest news related to the upcoming Fit for 55 Package. The latter – expected on 14 July – will have strong implications for all sectors, including heating.

In view of such a comprehensive package, our industry is committed to convince policymakers on why innovative low carbon liquid fuels are essential for a clean and just energy transition. These efforts are well reflected in the stories included in this newsletter, which shows the remarkable initiatives promoted by our association and its members over the last few months.

Only a united industry working together will succeed in securing a prosperous and cleaner future for liquid fuels in heating and beyond. That’s exactly what we are committed to do in the coming months!


Dr Ernst-Moritz Bellingen


Fit for 55 updates

Ahead of its publication on 14 July, the debate on the so called “Fit for 55 Package” is heating up. The topic was also discussed during the European Council held on 24-25 May. While rather high-level, the exchange revealed the different positions capitals have on climate policy. Critical voices came especially from Central and Eastern European Member States, including Poland. The latter criticised the Commission’s approach on climate policy arguing that it risks to make the “poor, poorer”. These concerns were partly reflected in the Council conclusions, asking the Commission “to swiftly put forward its legislative package together with an in-depth examination of the environmental, economic and social impact at Member State level”. Heads of State therefore did not express a common position in the conclusions, simply stating that they “will revert to the matter at an appropriate time after the Commission’s proposals have been submitted”.

The conclusions once again reveal the complexity and the controversy of the Fit for 55 package. Despite the growing criticism, the Commission remains convinced of the importance to present ambitious legislative proposals, which will consist – among others – in the revision of the energy efficiency and renewable energy directives, the strengthening and extension of the Emissions trading scheme, the revision of the Energy taxation directive and a carbon border adjustment mechanism. More information on the Commission’s approach on some of these initiatives was provided by Green Deal’s leader Frans Timmermans in a series of public statements:

According to the Dutch Commissioner, the revision of EU Emissions Trading Scheme will be the “cornerstone” of upcoming package of EU energy and climate proposals: “We need to look at potential new areas to apply it to - perhaps expanding it to the built environment and transport. /…/ If we enlarge the ETS to areas like transport and buildings which directly affect citizens, we have to keep an eye on the social consequences. /…/ let me be very clear about this: in the huge transition that we’re in, there will be effects whatever we do”.

On taxation, Timmermans underlined that the revision will be driven by the need to correct the fact that taxation of oil and gas is lower than for electricity: “It’s not by chance that we will propose amending the energy taxation regulation. We need to get out of oil, gas, and coal. We need to have a fair taxation system that incentivises this.” Unanimity from all Member States will still be required for this though.


The rules for renewable energy (REDII) will also be revised: “we will promote renewables in the heating and cooling sector, industry and transport. Knowing buildings are responsible for 36% of emissions, we are looking at how to decarbonise them.” It will also strengthen the sustainability framework for bioenergy. The revision will also have a strong impact on heating. According to a recent leak of the Commission’s proposal, the following measures are expected:

  • Benchmark for the use of renewable energy in buildings to guide and incentivise Member States’ efforts to exploit the renewable energy potential of buildings.
  • Support to increase the share of renewables in heating and cooling, including the promotion of district heating.
  • Promotion of high-quality training programmes and certification possibilities ensuring proper installation and reliable operation of a wide range of innovative renewable heating and cooling systems

While leaked documents must be considered with some distance (as they are provisional), it is clear that the upcoming revision of renewable energy rules will put a strong emphasis on the need to decarbonise heating through the promotion of renewable sources. In this context, it will be crucial for Eurofuel to advocate for the role of liquid fuels in heating.



Eurofuel-NORA’s conference: highlights from the II edition

The need for innovative liquid fuels to decarbonise heating was at the core of the second edition of Eurofuel/NORA annual conference titled Low-Carbon Liquid Heating Fuels: Putting the Pieces Together, held on 20 and 27 May. The event proved to be a success: over two days, 30 speakers discussed the perspectives of liquid heating fuels for an audience of about 100 participants.


The conference covered the latest relevant policy developments in the US and Europe as well as the ongoing technological advancements needed to accommodate low carbon fuels. In this regard, it was impressive to once again acknowledge the greatest efforts of our industry on both sides of the ocean to develop innovative solutions facilitating the market penetration of new fuels.

You may watch the recording and see the presentations:


The case for innovative fuels

HVO handbookAs you know, our members are at the frontline of the transition towards low carbon fuels by developing insightful and interesting materials. One of them is the recent “HVO handbook” published by OFTEC together with UKIFDA, a detailed guidance document  providing points of consideration and instructions that are required to convert homes from using the fossil fuels in use today to a low carbon renewable liquid fuel alternative such as HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil). Similar guidelines will be developed by Eurofuel, focusing on the EU context.

This initiative however only represents one of the many efforts of our association. In the coming weeks we indeed plan to publish different contributions showing the key role of low carbon fuels in the energy transition. These include a brochure showing a series of field tests undertaken by our members across Europe proving the feasibility of using low carbon fuels (e.g. HVO) in existing heating appliances and a roadmap explaining how our industry’s vision to contribute to the EU’s climate neutrality objective.

Luckily, our belief that a clean energy transition is possible only with innovative fuels is shared by a growing number of stakeholders. That’s what emerges for instance from the launch of the Renewable & Low-Carbon Liquid Fuels Platform, an alliance advocating for the role of fuels to decarbonise mobility. While focusing on a different sector, the initiative shows the importance of joining forces with partners and like-minded stakeholders to secure a prosperous and clean future for the wider fuels industry. Such a cooperative approach is what we will strive for during the legislative process of the upcoming Fit for 55 package.