Research and Innovation Perspective of the mid- and long-term Potential for Advanced Biofuels in Europe

Client: European Commission | Sectors: Natural Resources

Ecorys led a large international consortium that researched the potential of advanced biofuels in Europe.

The resulting study for the European Commission (DG Research and Innovation) is titled “Research and Innovation Perspective of the mid- and long-term Potential for Advanced Biofuels in Europe”. 

Together with its partners, Ecorys studied the EU’s potential regarding sustainable feedstock and advanced biofuels production. Ecorys had a special focus on the role of research and innovation (R&I), the value chain, and made a deep-dive on the transport sector. 

The study finds a rationale for investments in R&I linked to the advanced biofuels sector, through measures concerning the development of feedstock supply conversion technologies and through stimulating advanced biofuels demand. Furthermore, the study concludes that R&I plays a paramount role in both: 

•     Safeguarding the amount of affordable sustainable biomass.

•    Improving the efficiency of the whole biomass to biofuel chain, needed to transition to a bioenergy system

The scope of the study was ground breaking and it provided many new insights regarding the possible role of advanced biofuels in Europe’s future fuel mix and the extent to which advanced biofuels can help achieve the EU climate and energy goals.

The study resulted in a published report for the European commission: The findings suggest that improving feedstock supply and reducing conversion costs through research and innovation results in an increase of feedstock availability by 40-50%, contributing to the development of advanced biofuels. With successful R&I and attainment of the 2050 EU targets, advanced biofuels could achieve:

•    Close to a 50% share of the overall transport sector energy mix.

•    Achieving 330 Mt of net emission savings, in case they replace fossil fuels, or 65 % of the required emission savings needed, compared to 1990 levels.

•    A market volume of 1.6 % of EU’s GDP.

•    Significantly improve energy security

This would result in a net increase of 108 000 jobs. This is a particularly noteworthy positive impact, considering that it mainly comes from the substitution of currently existing energy demands.
 

Research and Innovation Perspective of the mid- and long-term Potential for Advanced Biofuels in Europe

Key Experts

Robert Haffner Sector Leader