This week, key players in the Energy from Waste industry have called for the EU to establish a clear definition of Sustainable Alternative Fuels. The coalition, which includes The Methanol Institute,CEWEP, eFuel Alliance, Eurogas, ESWET, Fertilizers Europe and FuelsEurope, hope this will ease worries that Europe would have to rely on imports of waste from overseas. In a press release, the coalition said:
In a world where the demand for Sustainable Alternative Fuels is projected to rise significantly, it is crucial that the European Union takes proactive measures to secure its energy independence and support the development of resilient supply chains.
Earlier this year, the European Commission introduced its Net Zero Industry Act, which proposed measures to strengthen Europe’s net-zero technology ecosystem. The overall goal of the act is for Europe to domestically manufacture at least 40% of its clean energy technology needs by 2030.
The coalition wishes to ensure recognition that all sustainable fuel technologies help the transition to renewable and low-carbon fuels, calling for them to be 'explicitly' recognised as 'strategic net-zero technologies' under the Net Zero Industry Act. A consistent definition serves two purposes: to ensure consistency with existing EU transport and fuels policy, and to recognise the part of Sustainable Alternative Fuel technologies in promoting the decarbonisation of transport within the industrial sector. The coalition said:
This collective effort represents a critical milestone in advancing sustainability goals and environmental responsibility within the European industry. By driving these changes, we aim to create a more sustainable and resilient future for Europe.
Demand for fuels derived from waste is increasing. According to data provided by Tolvik Consulting’s eighth annual report, in 2021 the amount of residual waste processed in UK EfW facilities increased by 5.5% from 2020 and a similar trend has been seen across Europe. A clear and consistent definition could help prevent the EU from relying on foreign imports of waste to meet the rapid rises in demand. The group said:
It is crucial to prevent supply shortages by actively supporting their large-scale deployment and resilient supply chain development. Without domestic production capacity, the EU may become reliant on foreign production, jeopardising energy security and independence.
Recently, EfW hosted a panel discussion on Sustainable Aviation Fuels. The panel discussed the SAF market, developmental hurdles and project support requirements. You can find the discussion here.