The EU is targeting future funding at biofuels from raw materials, which are expected to have fewer negative effects on land use than conventional biofuels e.g. from rape, cereals or palm oil. The main focus of the project is to analyse and evaluate the effects of these "progressive" biofuel pathways on the interests of nature conservation and to develop criteria to take these interests into account.
There are limits to the increased use of biomass for energy and material use. Besides biophysical limits there are also competition for use and conflicting aims, e.g. in the context of an environmentally compatible land use that reduces biomass potential. What are referred to as progressive biofuels are those that come from biomass raw materials associated with lower negative effects on land use change processes than "conventional" biofuels (e.g. made from rape, cereals or palm oil), in other words obtained from e.g. wastes or residues (see Part A of Annex IX of the Renewable Energy Directive – RED). The aim of the study is to fully clarify the future relevance of progressive biofuels, potential effects on the interests of nature conservation and criteria to reduce the negative effects. This needs to take account of various political aims and the technical and economic development trends.
The project first undertakes an analysis and evaluation of the effects of the progressive biofuel pathways on nature conservation interests, concentrating primarily on the effect on biodiversity. An analysis of the different modes of action of the new biofuel pathways on nature conservation will also be carried out. This analysis will form the basis for developing criteria for taking proper account of nature conservation interests.
Institute for Applied Ecology (Öko-Institut)
Energy and Climate Protection
Schicklerstr. 5-7, 10179 Berlin
Dr. Hannes Böttcher
Tel.: +49 30 405085-389
ifeu - Institut für Energie- und Umweltforschung Heidelberg gGmbH
Tel.: +49 6221 47 670
Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)
FG II 4.3 Nature conservation and renewable energies
Alte Messe 6, 04103 Leipzig
Tel.: +49 341 30977 172
Klaus Josef Hennenberg, Hannes Böttcher, Corey J. A. Bradshaw, "Revised European Union renewable-energy policies erode nature protection", Nature Ecology & Evolution | VOL 2 | OCTOBER 2018 | 1519–1520 (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0659-3)