Mobility amidst the conflicting priorities of climate protection, profitability and user acceptance

Berlin, 4th December 2018.The transport sector must make a considerable and much more vigorous contribution to decarbonisation in order to achieve the Federal Government’s climate protection goals for 2030. Alongside established and novel biofuels, electromobility and other alternative fuels also play a major role. As the 16th International Conference on Renewable Mobility “Fuels of the Future” kicks off in Berlin from 21st to 22nd January 2019, the key topic is how to increase use of renewable energies in the transport sector.

The European policy framework for transport’s contribution to climate protection up to 2030 was adopted by the European Parliament in November 2018: the recast of the Renewable Energies Directive (RED II). Member States of the European Union must transpose these requirements into national law by 2021. At the start of the conference we shall be discussing how the German government will address this. Currently and in the near future, biofuels are the decisive factor, making up around 90 percent of renewable energies deployed in road traffic.

Through RED II, the European Union aims to promote the development of novel biofuels and electromobility by enabling multiple counting of their contribution to achieving the overall target. In the case of novel powertrains and electromobility, figures for new registrations indicate that consumers remain very cautious, despite considerable government support for purchases and infrastructure. When it comes to novel biofuels made from waste and residual materials or renewable electricity (e-fuels), the principal factor hampering capacity development is not the pace of technical progress but instead sluggish investment. This dilemma makes it more difficult to attain the climate protection targets in the transport sector. As stipulated in RED II, Member States enjoy considerable scope to determine how to implement European provisions for the period up to 2030. At the opening session, the conference will provide impetus on utilising this policy leeway and on prospects for the future.

Programme for the Opening Plenary Session:

Arthur Auernhammer, Member of the Bundestag and Chairman, German Bioenergy Association (BBE), examines specific demands from the biofuels industry concerning implementation of the new European Directive with a view to ensuring this sector can increasingly contribute to climate protection in future too.

Steffen Bilger, Member of the Bundestag, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, introduces the Federal Government’s updated mobility and fuel strategy. He highlights the role that the Federal Government believes sustainable biofuels from cultivated biomass, waste and residues should play in future within the framework of this strategy.

Prof. Dr. Manfred Aigner, Director, Institute of Combustion Technology at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and President of Science and Research, aireg e.V., presents DLR's scientific research flanking the “Energy Turnaround in Transport” project and important findings from this initiative.

Wolfgang Langhoff, Chairman of the Board, BP Europe SE, outlines an international oil company’s views on the future of mobility. BP seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector with alternative fuels from renewable energies Bernhard Mattes, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), explains manufacturers’ strategy for the future to ensure that road traffic can contribute to climate protection. In his lecture, he will highlight the importance of electromobility and alternative fuels for the automotive industry. This will be followed by a discussion, moderated by Sonja van Renssen, Energy Post, on the climate-friendly future of mobility and the associated technology, with the following participants:

Pekka Pesonen, Secretary General, Copa-Cogeca 

Dr. Ruprecht Brandis, Director External Affairs in BP’s Berlin office

Dr. Klaus Bonhoff, Managing Director, NOW GmbH (National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology) 

Jenny Walther-Toss, Political adviser, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Germany

Stefan Schreiber, President, German Biofuels Industry Association (VDB)

More information on the Conference: