Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

EBTP-SABS Report Summary

Project ID: 609607
Funded under: FP7-ENERGY
Country: Germany

Final Report Summary - EBTP-SABS (European Biofuels Technology Platform – Support for Advanced Biofuels Stakeholders)

Executive Summary:
The European Biofuels Technology Platform (EBTP) aims to contribute to the development of cost-competitive world-class biofuels value chains and the creation of a healthy biofuels industry, and to accelerate the sustainable deployment of biofuels in the European Union, through a process of guidance, prioritisation and promotion of research, technology development and demonstration.

The project EBTP-SABS supported EBTP with the following activities:

• Update of the EBTP Strategic Research Agenda to inform priorities for research and demonstration under Horizon 2020 and the European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative (EIBI) as part of the SET-Plan.
• Support EBTP in all its contributions to the EIBI and the SET-Plan Integrated Roadmap.
• Develop strategic solutions to overcome the main barriers to deployment of advanced biofuels in Europe (e.g. funding, training, feedstock issues, technology bottlenecks, need for robust operational case studies, reduction in capex and opex, innovative support mechanisms).
• Establish and expand information about demonstration and flagship facilities, and supporting research on advanced biofuels across all Member States and other countries of interest, as well as provide updated information on events, reports, feedstock availability, funding and deployment issues.
• Increase dissemination and knowledge sharing through the EBTP website, online newsletters and databases.
• Promote greater involvement in EBTP activities of a wider range of stakeholders from all advanced biofuels sectors and all Member States
• Hold two Stakeholder Plenary Meetings.

The EBTP-SABS project is coordinated by the Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR), Germany, with online communications and IT support provided by CPL Press, UK – both organisations having worked with the platform since its launch in 2006. The EBTP-SABS team is strengthened by the addition of Bioenergy 2020+, Austria, and Central European Initiative (CEI), Italy.

Project Context and Objectives:
The European Union is in great need to find an alternative and sustainably energy source for the future, facing rising oil prices and global warming issues. The transport sector accounts for approximately one-fifth of global primary energy use with increasing demand. Therefore solutions to fuel use problems have to be found. Advanced biofuels or second generation biofuels will help to fulfil the goal from the European Commission to increase the market share of renewable energies in transport to 10 % by 2020 (EU 28). Second generation biofuels are considered to be more sustainable due to their production which offers greater levels of GHG reduction and which is produced from non-food feedstock such as waste, agriculture and forestry residues or energy crops. In general, second generation biofuels are produced from cellulosic materials (lignocellulosic feedstocks). Advanced biofuels include e.g.: Biomass to Liquid (BtL), Cellulosic ethanol or Algal biofuels.

European Technology Platforms play a key role for the development of the European energy strategy by developing joint visions, setting Strategic Research and Innovation Agendas and contributing to the definition of the research priorities including those under the Research Framework Programmes.

Established in 2006, the EBTP brings together the knowledge and expertise of stakeholders from industry, biomass production, research & technology development, engine and vehicle manufacture, fuel distribution, government and NGOs in a public private partnership.

It is managed by a Steering Committee and supported by a Secretariat, the European Commission being an active observer. Since September 2013, the EBTP has also been supported by the FP7 EBTP-SABS project, which aims to increase the involvement of stakeholders from all Member States. Stakeholders can register and share access to key contacts, internal and external reports, events, opinions and expertise on biofuels RD&D. The main activities are carried out through four principle Working Groups covering biomass resources, conversion, end use, policy & sustainability, and an ad hoc working group covering the EIBI.

The objective of the EBTP-SABS project was to provide support to all activities of EBTP which are of interest to the biofuels community as a whole and the general public. This included information about technological, market, political, regulatory and financial developments and deployment activities such as the set-up, commissioning and operation of pilot and demonstration facilities and surrounding research. A main focus was to support the European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative (EIBI) and facilitate the implementation and update of the EBTP Strategic Research Agenda.

EBTP-SABS motivated discussion and interaction between various groups of stakeholders and the working groups of EBTP on 'hot topics' relating to the accelerated deployment of the most promising value chains for advanced biofuels.

Informing the biofuels debate with scientifically correct, unbiased information served all biofuel stakeholders. The information was provided at several levels of detail: general information to support those entering the biofuels community as well as the general public; more detailed information to support research or deployment activities; and links to research projects, demonstration facilities, external reports, stakeholders and training courses to support those who actively seek to implement biofuels technologies. Key instruments to achieve this aim were the EBTP website, fact sheets, reports, newsletters and networking events at different scales.

EBTP-SABS helped connecting the EBTP with a wide range of stakeholders in research, industry, government, NGOs and related professions, providing expertise in 4 key areas to:

• Improve feedstock sustainability and availability by addressing logistics, land use issues and production of a diversity of feedstocks (wastes, aquatic and microbial biomass, cellulosic energy crops, etc);
• Demonstrate conversion of feedstocks to advanced biofuels via innovative technologies at industrial scale (biochemical, thermochemical, etc), to establish best-performing value chains, overcome technical bottlenecks, and lower capex and opex;
• Develop end use of advanced biofuels in road, air, marine and rail transport and other uses, through innovations in fuel use, engines and infrastructure;
• Accelerate market deployment of the most promising advanced biofuels to contribute to the EU strategy on climate change mitigation and sustainable transport across all Member States, improve European energy security and technology leadership, and help create 1000s of new jobs in the bioeconomy.

Specific EBTP-SABS tasks included:

• Update of the EBTP Strategic Research Agenda to inform priorities for research and demonstration under Horizon 2020 and the European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative (EIBI) as part of the SET-Plan.
• Support EBTP in all its contributions to the EIBI and the SET-Plan Integrated Roadmap.
• Develop strategic solutions to overcome the main barriers to deployment of advanced biofuels in Europe (e.g. funding, training, feedstock issues, technology bottlenecks, need for robust operational case studies, reduction in capex and opex, innovative support mechanisms).
• Establish and expand information about demonstration and flagship facilities, and supporting research on advanced biofuels across all Member States and other countries of interest, as well as provide updated information on events, reports, feedstock availability, funding and deployment issues.
• Increase dissemination and knowledge sharing through the EBTP website, online newsletters and databases.
• Promote greater involvement in EBTP activities of a wider range of stakeholders from all advanced biofuels sectors and all Member States
• Hold two Stakeholder Plenary Meetings.

The EBTP is managed by a Steering Committee and supported by a Secretariat. The Steering Committee has currently 24 members from along the whole biofuels value-chain.

The Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR) is coordinating the EBTP-SABS project team with the partners from CPL (UK), BIOENERGY 2020+ (Austria) and INCE (Italy). This FP7 Coordination and Support Action is funded by the European Union (Grant Agreement n° 609607) and has a duration of three years from September 2013 till August 2016.

Project Results:
EBTP-SABS motivated the discussion and interaction between various groups of stakeholders and the working groups of EBTP on 'hot topics' relating to the accelerated deployment of the most promising value chains for advanced biofuels. As the consortium did not do research itself, the main science and technology results are the report on the deployment of biofuels, the update of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda and an array of factsheets which have been published to inform about the biofuels developments.

The update of the SRIA showed that the fundamentals for biofuels have not changed within the last 5 years. The winning options will be the pathways (combination of feedstock, conversion and end products) best addressing combined strategic and sustainability targets: environmental performances (greenhouse gas reduction, biodiversity, water, local emissions), security and diversification of energy supply, economic competitiveness and public awareness.

Currently commercially deployed feedstocks and conversion technologies should provide a significant contribution to the EU 2020 targets but will probably not be sufficient. It is necessary to enlarge the feedstock basis and enhance conversion efficiency. Key recommendations are:

• Establish a clear, stable and policy framework for the long term (post-2020) starting with simple, meaningful, quantifiable objectives and measures
• Develop a policy framework towards 2030 that stimulates sustainable biomass strategies e.g. encouraging integrated biomass applications, taking into account the overall goals defined at the political level.
• Relevant, transparent and science based data and tools for practical implementation of sustainability requirements in the legislation and market place should be further developed
• Support resource efficient supply following a system approach (including legal and financial mechanisms and measures)
• The key priorities for commercial biofuel technologies are to improve environmental (GHG, energy balance, water, inputs...) and economic performance and bring flexibility as integrated biorefinery
• Conversion technologies targeting fuels for heavy duty road, air, and marine transport deserve priority attention because of lack of alternatives and their increasing demand
• Work to ensure a fair appreciation of CO2 emissions of vehicles running on biofuels (well-to-wheel approach, electric vehicles and vehicles running on renewable fuel should be treated using equal criteria)

Potential Impact:
The focus of the EBTP-SABS team lied in the support of the activities of the EBTP and to provide (advanced) biofuels information to the public. The EBTP is a contact point regarding information about research, technological, market, political, regulatory and financial developments and deployment activities such as the set-up, commissioning and operation of pilot and demonstration facilities.

Hereby, the EBTP website is the main communication channel for the platform and continues to rank highly on search engine queries related to biofuels. It provides up-to-date and accurate information on advanced biofuels in general and on related EBTP activities. The website exists since 2006 and within the project period a lot of effort was put into streamlining this information and updating and enlarging the databases. The website contains a demonstration projects database, a report and research database, an event and training courses database, a biofuels debate database (via Twitter) and a stakeholder database.

In addition to the website, the EBTP-SABS team has contacted national agencies and has strived to gain insights into national biofuels deployment strategies. Within the project period there was a lot of discussion regarding the EU framework on biofuels which has created uncertainty among the biofuels stakeholders and regarding the investment into biofuels projects. It was difficult to gather national feedback and to motivate the stakeholder to actively contribute to the work of the Platform during this time as everyone was awaiting the EU decision. With INCE as a project partner the platform has gained more visibility and contacts in the Central and East European Countries.

The EBTP-SABS actively supported the EBTP through increased networking activities. These aimed at identifying and creating synergies with other ongoing biofuels related R&D activities and involves TPs, ERA-Nets and national as well as EU policy makers. The 6th and 7th EBTP Stakeholder Plenary Meetings took place in October 2014/June 2016 and were successfully organised by the project consortium. The second project period involved various Working Group members and EBTP Stakeholders to give their feedback and input updating the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda. Results of the SRIA have been presented during the 7th Stakeholder Plenary Meeting which took place on 21st June 2016 in Brussels and which gave an opportunity for exchange between European biofuels expert and directly brought together the expertise and experience of advanced biofuels producers, research facilities, policy makers, feedstock and conversion technology providers, road, marine and aviation end-users, engineering contractors, investors and sustainability organisations. In particular, the SPMs encouraged productive dialogue between different stakeholders. This reinforced existing links between research and industry, or led to the synthesis of new project ideas or partnerships. The debating of different views, for example on sustainability and competing technologies, was encouraged and viewed as a positive step towards reaching a broad consensus on key issues, and helped identify areas where further research is required.

Policy makers were supported via fact-based information regarding the debate around biofuels, technological developments, market development and deployment activities such as the set-up, commissioning and operation of pilot and demonstration facilities, and surrounding research. The biofuel community was supported regarding innovation, deployment and market uptake of advanced biofuels. The general public was informed about how advanced biofuels deployment will contribute to „greener“ transport, thus creating a better understanding and higher acceptance of these fuels – a key instrument to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector. Each month, thousands of stakeholders visited the EBTP website, showing that there is huge interest in this type of information. The information was provided at several levels of detail: general information to support those entering the biofuels community as well as the general public, more details to support the development of research or deployment activities, and links to research projects, demonstration facilities, reports, stakeholders and training courses to support those who actively seek to implement biofuels technologies. Factsheets have been produced covering various topics (country, biofuels plants and value chains) and a twitter account has been established to make changes and updates on the website more visible. The fact sheets provided stakeholders, policy makers and the wider public with up-to-date, accurate facts and summaries on different aspects of advanced biofuels production and development activities in various countries. This helped policy makers to more easily compare the advanced biofuels technologies that may have potential for implementation in their region, and to see a snapshot of what is happening in other areas.

Particular attention was paid to strengthen the visibility and the impact of EBTP in Accessing and Neighbouring Countries that, so far, have benefited to a smaller extent from its activities. Notwithstanding the widely recognised importance of Central, East and South-East Europe for the development of the bioeconomy and of an advanced biofuels sector in Europe, a country specific but coherent approach that would lead to integrating stakeholders from these areas into the broader, pan-European biofuels context on equal grounds (and with equal opportunities) still has to be put in place. More collaborative forms of cooperation, actors across the biofuels value chain were mobilised and encouraged to enhance collaboration in research and business.

The overall impact of EBTP Support Activities accelerated the implementation of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda and the European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative by:

• bringing together a diversity of stakeholders from EU Member States and other countries;
• supporting this broad platform of stakeholders in contributing actively to a scientific, technical and
• commercial consensus on prioritisation and promotion of:
• the most promising advanced biofuels value chains for deployment (EIBI) and
• a roadmap of medium- and long-term research milestones (SRA)
• promoting the formation of partnerships across EIBI value chains to facilitate rapid deployment at
• European, national and regional levels.
• Enhancing the role of the EBTP in the Central, East and South-East European scenario, and fostering
• the integration of stakeholders from those areas into the European biofuel community.

At the centre of the EBTP online communications strategy was the website. This increased knowledge of sustainable advanced biofuels among stakeholders and the wider public, with particular reference to the key value chains of the EIBI and key objectives of the SRA, including multiple pages on advanced technologies, feedstocks, the bioeconomy and research infrastructures, funding and support mechanisms, global biofuels, news, reports, events, training, projects, and consultations.

List of Websites:
More information about the project can be found on the website (www.biofuelstp.eu)

Project Consortium:

(1) FNR Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e.V. (coordinator) - Agency for Renewable
Resources – Germany, Britta Müller, Birger Kerckow, b.kerckow@fnr.de

(2) BIOENERGY 2020+ GmbH; Dina Bacovsky <dina.bacovsky@bioenergy2020.eu>

(3) CPL Scientific Publishing Services Ltd; Roger Coombs, Katy Hall katy@cpl.com

(4) INCE Iniziativa Centro Europea; Peter Canciani <canciani@cei.int>

Contact

Birger Kerckow, (Head of EU and International Affairs)
Tel.: +49 3843 6930 125
E-mail
Record Number: 193318 / Last updated on: 2017-01-10