Entries by Chris Malins

Power to the people?

What role is there for electrofuel technologies in European transport’s low carbon future? Liquid fuels are set to be part of the European and global transport energy supply for some time to come – and given limitations on sustainable biofuel production, the option of converting renewable electricity into petrol, diesel and jet fuel is a […]

Devilish details…

…you’ll never believe the regulatory mistakes the EU is at risk of making in the RED II* In a blog post just under a year ago I heralded the generally positive qualities of the European Commission’s proposal for a revised Renewable Energy Directive for the period 2021-2030 (RED II). Since then, both the European Parliament […]

Thought for food

Since the food price crisis of 2006-2008, there has been a lively debate about the impact of biofuel demand on food markets, prices and security, with some biofuel advocates characterising the idea of competition between food and fuel as a ‘myth’. This review for Transport and Environment and Birdlife Europe shows that there is an […]

Waste not want not

The controversy around the use of food and feed commodities for biofuel has led to an increasing focus on opportunities to produce biofuels from wastes, residues and by-products. However, where those materials have existing productive uses, redirecting them into energy recovery applications may cause displacement and indirect emissions. This study for the International Council on […]

Navigating the maize

Update – An updated critique reacting to republished results from USDA is available here: https://theicct.org/publications/critique-lifecycle-emissions-modeling-ghg-ethanol Earlier in 2017, the United States Department of Agriculture published a study undertaken by the consultants ICF International that included a reassessment of the lifecycle greenhouse gas intensity of corn ethanol. The report concluded that corn ethanol’s greenhouse gas intensity […]

For peat’s sake

This report, commissioned by the Rainforest Foundation Norway (cf. www.regnskog.no/en/news/norway-bans-palm-oil-based-biofuel-in-its-public-procurement), reviews the evidence on the implications of using palm oil to produce biofuel. The report concludes that in all likelihood when renewable fuel policies drive increased palm oil demand the outcomes are worse for the climate than simply continuing to use fossil fuels. In addition to […]

A leap forward for European advanced biofuel policy

Yesterday, the European Commission released its proposal for the renewable energy regime for Europe through to 2030. The proposal includes a framework for supporting and regulating the supply of alternative fuels, including biofuels, fuels produced from power-to-liquids technologies, and fuels produced from non-renewable waste streams, notably technologies such as Lanzatech’s carbon monoxide fermentation. As is […]

Denial of long-term issues with agriculture on tropical peatlands will have devastating consequences

Following the 16th International Peat Congress (IPC) in Kuching (Sarawak), Malaysia, widely read media reported that the congress supported the view that current agricultural practices in peatland areas, such as oil palm plantations, do not have a negative impact on the environment. However, this view is not shared by many of the participants, and does […]