Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Ernst Pfister, believes that the target of ten percent biofuels that was introduced to stop emission growth can only be reached with new technologies. “In terms of the target, I envisage excellent opportunities for the bioliq® process developed by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology,” said Pfister speaking on 15th December 2008 in Stuttgart.
A recent EU agreement states that the biofuels quota for transport must be increased to 10 percent by 2020 in order to boost climate protection measures. The workshop "Second generation biofuels: what can realistically be expected?" held in the Haus der Wirtschaft in Stuttgart in December looked into how this goal can be reached in a sustainable way without negative effects on other walks of life. Pfister pointed out that there were far too many open questions when first generation biofuels were introduced, even though such fuels accounted for 7.6 percent of all fuel use in 2007. Due to the number of uncertainties, German biofuel policy has frequently been subject to numerous u-turns over the last few years. Pfister believes that all parties involved would agree that this situation is unsatisfactory and that an assessment of potential problems is now vital to be able to find solutions before second generation biofuels are introduced. This, he believes, requires a wide-ranging public discussion.
With this in mind, Pfister invited experts from different backgrounds and with a wide range of different interests to come to Stuttgart. The participants ranged from representatives of the Baden-Württemberg car industry to a representative of the BUND. The Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe (Karlsruhe Research Centre), which carries out intensive research on the production of second generation biofuels, was also well represented. All participants agreed that the new biofuels currently in development using the bioliq® method, have decisive advantages over currently used biofuels. The biggest advantage of this method is the ability to use different plants as well as residual materials, thereby considerably reducing the competition between biofuel production and food production. The several-tier bioliq® process enables the production of fully synthetic diesel or motor fuel from straw and other agricultural and forestry residues. The quality of the fuel produced is far superior to that of other biofuels and mineral oil products.
Pfister pointed out that biofuels could make an important contribution to safeguarding our energy supply and to reducing CO2 emissions. At the same time, he made it clear that any biofuels that enter the market must be produced in an economically sustainable manner. "In Germany and in Europe, this is no problem; however, we have to take extra care when importing biofuels from other countries," said the Minister of Economic Affairs calling for a well-defined and agreed certification of biofuels. The workshop participants agreed unanimously with Pfister's request and, in addition, called for the introduction of uniform technical standards.