ePURE criticizes EU energy security plan for neglecting ethanol

By Erin Voegele | June 05, 2014

The European renewable ethanol industry association, ePURE, recently spoke out to criticize a new European Energy Security Strategy that fails to recognize the importance of domestically produced ethanol in meeting the European Union’s energy security needs.

The energy security strategy was announced by the European Commission on May 28. It calls for the diversification of external energy suppliers, infrastructure upgrades, completing Europe’s internal energy market and measures to save energy. While the plan does call for further deployment of renewables, is does not address ethanol. 

“The omission of such a crucial element of a secure energy supply for Europe in the future is shocking. Since 2003, EU ethanol producers have generated 34.3 billion liters of green transport fuel – produced here in the EU - replacing the need for 113 million barrels of imported oil and saving the EU oil bill EUR 7 billion in the process,” said Rob Vierhout, secretary general of ePURE.

Vierhout noted there is considerable untapped potential for European ethanol production. By 2020, he said an additional 151 million barrels of oil could be replaced by European-produced ethanol if that potential is realized.

“The use of domestically produced renewable ethanol is a key weapon in tackling the EU’s chronic dependence on imported energy. It is utter madness to try to construct a holistic energy security policy while leaving completely aside a proven, ecologically advantageous, 100 percent European option, which only requires regulatory certainty against which to invest,” Vierhout continued. “We call on the European Council and newly elected European Parliament to steer the process of developing a more credible and effective EU energy security strategy; one which recognizes renewable ethanol as a vital component of the EU’s renewable energy mix.”