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EBA calls for full recognition of renewable fuels in HDVs

EBA calls for full recognition of renewable fuels in HDVs
BioCNG fuelled light- and medium-sized commercial vehicles from Volkswagen, IVECO, and Scania.

In a statement, the European Biogas Association (EBA) says that it welcomes the adoption on April 10, 2024, of the European Parliament Report on the CountEmissions EU proposal but regrets the decision not to include a mechanism to account for renewable fuels in the scope of the CO2 Emission Performance Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles (HDVs) Regulation.

EBA says that it supports the European Parliament’s work on the CountEmissions EU proposal, which aims to provide a uniform approach for measuring greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from both passenger and goods transportation in the EU, utilizing a well-to-wheel (WtW) methodology.

WtW integrates the whole process of fuel production and consumption.

The biogas industry equally acclaims the additional request of the European Parliament to task the European Commission with the development of a more comprehensive procedure for calculating all transport modes’ GHG emissions based on a life-cycle approach.

A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology includes emissions from the manufacturing, use, maintenance, and disposal of vehicles, and such a science-based methodology would account for all emissions across the entire transport value chain, providing a level playing field for all decarbonization solutions.

Missed opportunity

Despite this positive step, the adoption of the CO2 Emission Performance Standards for new heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs), approved the same day, represents a missed opportunity to recognize biomethane’s contribution to transport decarbonization.

Anna Venturini, Policy Manager at the European Biogas Association, here seen at a panel discussion at the 2023 Irish Bioenergy Association’s National Bioenergy Conference.

The tailpipe methodology included in the proposal does not take into account the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions savings achieved thanks to the use of renewable fuels, such as biomethane, contrary to the methodology considered in the CountEmissions EU proposal.

Biomethane, aka renewable natural gas (RNG) is a “solid and readily available solution to swiftly curb transport emissions, with the potential to even achieve negative emissions depending on the feedstock used in the production process.”

According to the EBA Statistical Report, 8.6 TWh of biomethane was used in transport in 2022, the equivalent of over 25,000 LNG trucks or 38,000 CNG trucks fuelled with biomethane annually.

Regardless of this setback, EBA acknowledges the disposition from some MEPs to assess more carefully the negative effects of the de facto ban on the registration of new Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) vehicles as of 2040 enshrined in the HDV’s adopted text. EBA is ready to cooperate with the European Parliament and European Commission in the preparation of the upcoming 2027 revision of the text so that the new proposal can have a technology-neutral approach allowing for all green solutions to speed up transport decarbonization, said Anna Venturini, Policy Manager at EBA.

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