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Renewable Fuels Agency says biofuels are not as green as they should be

According to the Renewable Fuels Agency, most biofuels that are traded on forecourts in the U.K. are not meeting environmental standards. The agency has said that they were falling short on conforming to green standards that have been made voluntary, despite having enough volume targets that are legally binding. Still, there have been fewer emissions as the biofuels that are being sold have been mixed in with forecourt fuel.

The data on which these figures are based on is from both 2009 and 2010 and will be finalized and published next year. The RFA is currently the independent biofuels regulator for the United Kingdom.

The agency played a large part in creating the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation, which makes it necessary for biofuels to make up some of the fuel that is sold on forecourts. The plan targeted for 2.5% in its first year and will increase gradually until about 2014 when 5% of fuel sales will have to be from a source that is renewable.

The obligation’s second year had shown that sales of biofuels were at about 1.6 billion tonnes. Over 3.3 percent of total fuel sales were made up of biofuels, exceeding the government target by 0.05%. Still, a spokesman for the RFA has said that the fact that more fuel was not produced while meeting environmental standards is quite disappointing.

According to RFA figures, only 33% of biofuels were meeting an environmental standard this year. However, the RFA spokesman did mention that the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation was reaching its main objective to lower carbon emissions.

Still, with an increase in demand for these biofuels, many have criticized these groups for promoting biofuels, claiming that they increase food insecurity and cause global habitat loss.


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