The European Union’s revised Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) sets a clear signal for member states: by 2030, at least 14% of the final energy consumed in the transport sector in each member state must be renewable. The proposal stresses the relevance of RED II in contributing to the market development of powerfuels, but currently lacks appropriate incentives. Member states can create positive impact when implementing the directive into national law. While the directive allows for powerfuels to be credited towards national goals, cheaper fulfilment options are available for the existing targets. Therefore, targeted incentives will be necessary in the form of quotas or multipliers. Quotas will need to be ambitious enough to create market stimulus, but also initially modest to be met by fuel suppliers. While powerfuels currently do not benefit from a multiplier, its introduction would bring them much closer to commercial viability and competitiveness with other alternative fuels. The multiplier should reflect the comparable environmental and sustainability performance when compared to advanced biofuels.
After presenting the proposal to the audience of around 30 stakeholders from industry, NGOs and government, further points were raised in the Q&A session. Stakeholders from the automotive and fuels industry emphasised the need for more ambitious overall targets, and generally concurred with the presented proposals. It was concluded that powerfuels will be needed to meet sector targets, and hence constitute a complement to other alternative fuels. With the ongoing consultation process on the REDII, there is room to establish this in the current framework. Further, member states are in the process of implementing the directive until June 2021 – and have the opportunity to set the right incentives for establishing a level playing field for powerfuels.