Greener Fuel Could be Introduced at Forecourts

           Carbon and Climate

The government has launched a consultation on whether, and how, it should introduce a greener fuel to the UK market. The transport fuel E10 contains more bioethanol than current unleaded petrol and would help to reduce carbon emissions from petrol vehicles.

The transport sector is the largest contributor to the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions and, therefore, is an important emissions reduction target. A range of measures are being implemented, which include promoting public transport and supporting innovation and a move to lower carbon vehicles.

The introduction of E10 fuel at petrol stations would allow emissions reductions from existing vehicles, which complements policy measures to increase the uptake of electric vehicles. However, challenges remain around ensuring that E5 petrol is still available for older cars that are not compatible with the proposed new fuel and a method to communicate information about the fuel and its compatibility to customers. Transport Minister Jesse Norman said: “We have launched this consultation in order to understand the impact of E10 on the UK market better and to ensure that drivers are protected if any changes come into effect”.

A new Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation came into force in April , which requires fuel companies to more than double the amount of renewable fuel they provide by 2020, which will encourage the supply of E10, a blend of petrol with up to 10% bioethanol. The total volume of fuel supplied in 2018 by an Obligated Fuel Supplier must now include no less than 7.25% of renewable and sustainable fuel. This percentage will increase year on year until 2032 where the percentage will be set at 12.4% for that year and subsequent years. Interestingly, an obligated supplier may only meet a certain amount of its obligation through crop-derived biofuels, the use of which has been heavily criticised for a number of reasons which include the loss of habitats and biodiversity.

While the UK is already on track to outperform its carbon budgets out to 2022, the progress made so far has in large part been due to emission reductions in the power sector and, therefore, action is now required in the areas of both heat and transport. The consultation on the introduction of E10 and labelling closes on 16th September 2018.

Nikki Wilson

Nikki joined Alfa Energy in September 2015 as a Carbon Management Consultant where she advises clients on legislation, compliance, and the implementation of carbon management schemes. She is a Practitioner member of IEMA, has a postgraduate diploma in Environmental Decision Making, and has over 15 years’ experience in energy consultancy.