"Fuels of the Future": Kick-off for the 21st conference

On January 22 and 23, more than 70 speakers will discuss measures to achieve climate protection targets in the transport sector at the 21st conference on renewable mobility "Fuels of the Future". The presentations and discussions will focus on the innovative use and technical development of renewable fuels in the mobility sector. 

The Chairman of the Board of the German Bioenergy Association (BBE), Artur Auernhammer, opened the two-day "Fuels of the Future" conference. In the first of a total of fifteen sessions, the climate protection targets in the transport sector were discussed and the potential of sustainable fuels and drive technologies was highlighted. Artur Auernhammer explained the future challenges for renewable fuels in an increasingly complex regulatory and market environment: 

“Certified sustainable biofuels have contributed reliably for years to greenhouse gas reductions and helped safeguard fuel supplies, yet the German Ministry for the Environment (BMUV) nonetheless regularly attempts to undermine the number one tool for climate action in the mobility sector, purely for ideological reasons and without any technical justification. Although last year the coalition partners thwarted the BMUV’s plans to reduce the upper limit for biofuels from cultivated biomass, the initial drafts for the National Biomass Strategy (NABIS) recently made public show that the ministry is once again pushing this initiative, along with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs, seeking to put the issue back on the political agenda. We therefore urge German Environment Minister Steffi Lemke to acknowledge that sustainable biofuels are indispensable for climate change mitigation in the transport sector and at the same time reduce our dependency on oil imports from high-risk areas.“ 

Hartmut Höppner, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport Affairs (BMDV), prominently placed the diversity of sustainable drive options in his presentation: "In order to achieve the climate targets in transport, we have to start in many places. The use of renewable fuels has proven to be very effective. In the past, their use alone has saved almost 12 million tons of CO2 per year. Compared to fossil fuels, they cause 87% less greenhouse gas emissions. We want to further utilize and expand this potential. Climate-friendly fuels are a central component of the climate-friendly mobility of the future." 

Jane Amilhat, Head of Unit (RTD.C.3) Clean Transport Transitions (Automotive, Aviation, Rail, Maritime) at the European Commission, presented the EU initiative for sustainable mobility and the importance of alternative fuels in this regard: "Alternative fuels will make a significant contribution to reducing emissions and achieving the goals of the European Green Deal. In order to produce these fuels sustainably, we need to set high standards in production, promote innovation and develop cross-modal solutions. This will initiate an economic sector which creates jobs, generates innovation and contributes to Europe's energy security." 

In his presentation, Dr. Marcus Bollig, Managing Director of "Product & Value Creation" at the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), outlined how the climate protection targets in the transport sector can be achieved: “The importance of renewable fuels for defossilizing the existing fleet must be incorporated more strongly into climate protection in the transport sector. For the market ramp-up, we need ambitious targets at national level - the VDA is in favor of a GHG reduction of 30% from the fuel sector by 2030. In addition, the next steps must be taken to develop the announced "e-fuels strategy". At European level, we need, among other things, an energy tax reform that favors renewable fuels over fossil fuels." 

Niels Anspach, Vice President Value Chain Biofuels at BP Europa SE, presented a global strategy for defossilizing the fuel mix: "Biofuels are absolutely mission critical in the aviation and marine sectors, where we really don’t see much in the way of a viable alternative in the medium to long term. So, certainly today, there’s only one way to decarbonize and that’s biofuels. We have very big complex customers, and they have complex needs. They desperately want to transition and decarbonize, but they can't move from fossil over to EV or hydrogen overnight." 

The five organizing associations of the German biofuels industry welcomed more than 650 national and international participants from a total of 30 nations and 4 continents on the first day of the conference. Further information on the program and opportunities for spontaneous registration can be found at https://www.fuels-of-the-future.com/en