International Conference on Renewable Mobility: Experts call for immediately effective and technology-open climate protection measures in the transport sector

The recast European Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) will be the focus of discussion at the international conference on renewable mobility. The directive stipulates that the minimum share of renewables in the transport sector energy mix should increase from ten per cent in 2020 to 14 per cent in 2030. Biofuels from cultivated biomass may account for up to seven per cent of this figure. The conference organisers consider that the German Federal Government now needs to adopt measures promptly to tap into the climate protection potential of certified sustainable biofuels produced in Europe by significantly increasing their share in the fuel mix. In 2017, 7.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents were saved in Germany by deploying these biofuels. The organisers therefore call for a rapid increase in the greenhouse gas reduction quota introduced to cut CO2 emissions from fuels in Germany, which should rise to 16 percent by 2030

RED II not sufficient for more climate protection in transport
Increasing the share of renewable energies in total energy consumption to 32 per cent and in the transport sector to 14 per cent by 2030 is the key goal at the core of RED II. The Commission is to review these targets in 2023. By then, national commitments will be indicated  in each of the Member States' energy and climate plans, which must be submitted to the  Commission at the latest by the end of 2019. The energy reference forecast highlights that RED II's provisions probably do not go far enough to enable the transport sector to meet the target set in Germany's climate protection plan by 2030: Even with 6 million registered electric vehicles and considerable efficiency gains, a 20 percent share of renewable energy in the fuel sector will be needed in 2030 to attain the stipulated reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The conference organisers therefore propose that the targets for greater use of renewable energies in the transport sector be raised as follows: The share of renewable energies should go up from 10 per cent in 2020 to 12 per cent in 2022, 14 per cent in 2024, 16 per cent in 2026, 18 per cent in 2028 and 20 per cent in 2030.

Greenhouse gas reduction quota: an efficient, cost-effective climate protection instrument
Biofuels currently make the largest contribution to CO2 savings in the transport sector, particularly due to their constantly improved greenhouse gas balance. In 2017, average greenhouse gas emissions' savings from biofuels marketed in Germany were c. 81 per cent (previous year: 77 per cent) compared with fossil fuels. 7.7 million tonnes CO2 equivalent were avoided by using these certified sustainable biofuels. However, improved efficiency means lower biofuel volumes in diesel and petrol, as the current greenhouse gas reduction obligation is too lax and must be made more stringent promptly. An appropriate quota increase will enable scope to tap into existing sustainable biomass potential and broad-based promotion of new innovative alternatives. The conference organisers therefore call for an increased GHG reduction rate of 7 per cent from 2021, gradually increasing to 16 per cent by 2030.

Market-established, affordable biofuels from cultivated biomass, residues and waste are the most important building blocks for further reducing CO2 emissions in the transport sector, along with improved engine efficiency, alternative drive technologies and optimized transport infrastructure.

When the conference kicks off on 21st January 2019 in the CityCube Berlin, speakers from the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, the international petroleum industry, the German automotive industry and the scientific community will present their concepts, strategies and research results for renewable mobility in the future.

Steffen Bilger, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, will present the Federal Government's updated mobility and fuel strategy.

Bernhard Mattes, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry, discusses the future role and requirements for alternative drives and fuels in connection with forthcoming EU fleet limits.

Wolfgang Langhoff, CEO of BP Europe SE, addresses renewable energies and alternative fuels as important options for reducing greenhouse gases in the transport sector from the oil industry's perspective.

Prof. Dr. Manfred Aigner, German Aerospace Center, presents options for action for an energy turnaround in the transport sector and the results of scientific support for the research initiative "Energy Turnaround in Transport" (BEniVer).

On the afternoon of the first conference day, a panel discussion will look in depth at prospects for renewable mobility up to 2030. With moderation by Sonja van Renssen, editor of trade magazine "Energy Post", representatives from the Federal Government, along with Tobias Wolny (BP SE Europe), Dr. Klaus Bonhoff (NOW GmbH), Jenny Walther-Thoss (WWF) and Stefan Schreiber (President, VDB) will discuss the right legislative framework for promotion of low-CO2 fuels and alternative drive systems in order to achieve climate protection goals.

More than 550 participants from over 30 nations have accepted the invitation from five German biofuel industry associations to find out more about market developments, technological innovations and the future of renewable mobility at the international conference "Fuels of the Future" on 21st/22nd January 2019 in Berlin.