A new report from Cerulogy regarding ILUC and biofuel regulation
Renewable energy policy is an important part of the European Union’s climate package, and since the first Renewable Energy Directive (RED) was adopted in 2009 support for biofuels has been an important part of EU renewable energy policy.
Because support for biofuel supply is intended to help Europe deliver its climate goals, considerable attention has been paid to developing the lifecycle analysis (LCA) of the GHG emissions associated with biofuels production. Lifecyle analysis is an analytical tool that can be used to assess the overall GHG emissions from the GHG sources and sinks that we consider to be associated with the use of a given biofuel.
While the premise of LCA may seem simple enough, complexity is immediately introduced when we stop to ask what it means for a given emissions to be ‘associated’ with a given biofuel pathway. We find that the emissions recorded for a given fuel can vary significantly depending on how the scope for a LCA is set. In particular, there are two different families of LCA question that we could ask about biofuels, and it turns out that asking different questions can lead to quite different answers.