E10: Cost-effective way to decarbonize EU transportation sector

By ePURE | October 10, 2014

Brussels—A new report highlights that European renewable ethanol is the most cost-effective way to decarbonize the European transport sector and should be promoted further. The report was prepared for Pannonia Ethanol, a corn-to-ethanol plant in Hungary. 

In a new report, the HEFTA Research Institute found that the CO2 abatement cost of ethanol is negative (-2 euro per metric ton CO2 equivalent) when the energy efficiency gains of E10, a petrol blend containing up to 10 percent ethanol, are accounted for. As a result, the introduction of E10 in Hungary could abate 382,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year, the equivalent of 3 percent of Hungary’s total transport greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Based on conservative assumptions, the study highlights that fuel ethanol is the most cost effective way to decarbonize transport, compared to alternatives such as battery electric and fuel cell vehicles. The HEFTA Report is a national case study which provides findings of wider relevance that confirm those of other studies, which have concluded that the introduction of biofuels blends such as E10 would lead to higher GHG reductions and lower carbon abatement costs in transport.

If all petrol cars in Europe ran on E10, 8.9 billion liters of petrol, and hence 50 million barrels of crude oil, would be replaced by a more sustainable fuel option. At today's oil prices, that means annual savings of 4 billion euros ($5.05 billion) across the EU. A full roll out of E10 in Europe would also reduce Europe’s GHG emissions by 14.6 million metric tons of CO2 per year, equivalent to taking 9 million cars off Europe’s roads for 1 year. The required increase in ethanol production would create more than 55,000 new jobs in Europe.

“The review of the Renewable Energy Directive is an opportunity for policy makers to ensure the introduction of E10 across all EU Member States by setting a target for the minimum incorporation of renewables in petrol. There is absolutely no reason why this should not be done said Robert Wright, ePURE’s newly installed Secretary General.

A full introduction of E10 would not only help the EU to meet its objectives of renewables integration and decarburization objectives, it would help reduce the EU oil bill and generate thousands of jobs. It is also necessary to complete the EU internal market for fuels by ensuring that consumers have the same fuel choices across all EU member states.