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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his Department's consultation on Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation, published in September 2017, what comparative assessment he has made of the competitiveness of 2 per cent crop cap in the UK with a 7 per cent crop cap in EU countries.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation, what processes are in place to allow for the amending of the crop cap after its planned promulgation.
The Government consulted on a range of options for limiting the contribution from crop based biofuels towards the renewable fuel target for transport, from zero to the maximum seven per cent allowed under EU Directive 2015/1513. The consultation and the Government response are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/renewable-transport-fuel-obligations-order-government-response and include analysis of the costs and benefits of the proposals, including the impacts on the competitiveness of UK industry through an estimate of the gross value added to the UK economy by the biofuels industry under the proposed amendments.
We intend to cap the contribution from crop-based biofuels at four per cent in 2018, reducing to three per cent in 2026 and two per cent in 2032. Reducing the contribution from crop-based biofuels in this way will signal that we want to see future investment focus on the most sustainable fuels made from wastes and residues, while ensuring a continuing market for the UK’s existing bioethanol producers. According to research published by the European Commission in 2015, titled “The land use change impact of biofuels consumed in the EU, Quantification of area and greenhouse gas impacts”, crop biofuel usage at 7% of transport energy could result in a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
Subject to Parliamentary approval, the legislation providing for these changes to the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) will provide for a review to ensure the policy aims are being met. If required after the review further amendments could then be proposed.