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Ecofys releases methodology to demonstrate ILUC risk in biofuels production

Ecofys has developed a methodology that allows biofuel companies to demonstrate that biofuels are produced without indirect land use change (ILUC) effects.

Conventional biofuels that use feed-grade grains like maize also produce co-products used in the food and feed industries.

Conventional biofuels that use feed-grade grains like maize also produce co-products used in the food and feed industries.

Netherlands-based energy and environmental services consultancy Ecofys has developed a methodology that allows biofuel companies to demonstrate that biofuels are produced without indirect land use change (ILUC) effects.

This will be especially relevant for conventional, land based biofuels which currently face limitations in the EU over concerns on their associated ILUC risks. The European Commission (EC) refers to the Ecofys study in its Impact Assessment for the updated Renewable Energy Directive, as part of its recently released “Winter Package“.

Several modelling studies have highlighted the risk that biofuel production on agricultural land can displace existing food and animal feed production, which can indirectly lead to the conversion of forests to new cropland elsewhere. Indirect land use change is heavily debated in the EU and led to limitations to the use of conventional biofuels.

However, according to Ecofys it is possible to avoid indirect land use change by preventing that biofuel crop production displaces crops produced for the food and feed markets. Biofuel companies can do this by ensuring that biofuel feedstock production is additional to the business as usual production for food and feed. The methodology Ecofys developed focuses on crop cultivation on abandoned or unused land and increased crop yields.

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