Road Fuel

Transport written question – answered on 22nd May 2006.

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Photo of Sir David Amess Sir David Amess Conservative, Southend West

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport

(1) what steps he has (a) taken and (b) plans to take (i) to make ethanol cheaper than petrol and (ii) to encourage motorists to convert their car to use ethanol; and if he will make a statement;

(2) if he will introduce an interest-free loan scheme to allow motorists to convert their car to use ethanol; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Stephen Ladyman Stephen Ladyman Minister of State, Department for Transport

The Government already support the use of bioethanol as a transport fuel by means of a 20 pence per litre fuel duty incentive. Since this was introduced in January 2005, sales of bioethanol in the UK have increased from zero to a monthly average of some 7 million litres. We have also announced that we will introduce a Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation in 2008, which will require all transport fuel suppliers to ensure that biofuels account for a certain percentage of their total fuel sales. In 2010, the level of the obligation will reach 5 per cent., which should mean that annual sales of bioethanol reach over a billion litres a year.

European Union fuel quality standards currently allow 5 per cent. ethanol to be blended into petrol, and all petrol vehicles are already capable of running on these blends. Above that level, a number of technical modifications are required to vehicles and to refuelling points. We introduced a new grant programme in 2005 to support the installation of alternative refuelling infrastructure, and through this we are supporting the installation of a small number of high-level ethanol pumps. In addition, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the March 2006 Budget that cars manufactured to run on high-level ethanol blends will qualify for the reduced rate of Vehicle Excise Duty for alternatively fuelled cars. Beyond that, the Government have no current plans for other incentives.

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colin preece
Posted on 24 May 2006 3:26 pm (Report this annotation)

Those in power, if you'll forgive the pun, fail to acknowledge the potential of hemp as a biomass crop for energy. That they fail to educate the population, as to the sustainable, human and environmental, development, attributes, of this very versatile plant, condemns future generations, perhaps, to, the worst case senario, global warming may bring! The day after tomorrow!!