Italy makes biofuel usage mandatory for transportation

Italy will be the first country in Europe that will legalize requirement of advanced biofuels in cars and trucks. Last year, Italy has opened world’s first commercial scale plant making fuel from straw, the BBC has learned.

Generated from waste, these fuels will reduce the amount of land utilized for food cultivation. From 2018 onwards, country’s all fuel suppliers will have to add 0.6 percent advanced biofuel in petrol and diesel. This rises to 1 percent by 2022.

In 2009, a Renewable Energy Directive was issued stating that 10 percent of energy used within the transport sector was contributed from renewable sources. Later EU reduced this to 5.75 percent due to the concerns that major portion of the land is consumed for growing crops for biofuel production.

The Italians recently announced plans to open three further plants in the south of the country. Last year a commercial scale advanced biofuels plant was opened in Crescentino for producing 75 million liters of bioethanol every year from straw and arundo donax.


Novozymes, one of the companies involved in the Crescentino initiative has welcomed the government’s decision. After years of dithering and stalemate on biofuels policy in Europe, it is very encouraging that a large member state is ready to lead by example, said, Sebastian Søderberg, Novozymes.

This is most needed to spark investors’ interest, and should be a source of inspiration for the Council and the new Parliament to come together in adopting an ambitious, EU-wide mandate for advanced biofuels by 2020 and beyond, added, Søderberg.

In US, the EPA has reduced the level of biofuels for use in transport due to concerns that it was increasing fuel import made from Brazilian sugarcane. Lots of new biofuels plants have been opened recently in US.

Rajani Baburajan
[email protected]