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Volume 457: debated on Thursday 8 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment he has made of performance against the Government’s targets for increasing the use of biofuels. (125911)

Details of monthly and annual biofuel sales are available via index.cfm?task=bullhydro. Biofuel sales have increased steadily in the UK since the introduction of the 20p per litre fuel duty incentive for biodiesel and bioethanol, and in January 2007 accounted for some 0.8 per cent. of total transport fuel sales. During the calendar year 2005, biofuel sales made up some 0.25 per cent. of total transport fuel sales against the target of 0.3 per cent. which the UK set under the European Union’s Biofuels Directive (2003/30/EC).

The Government have announced that they will introduce a renewable transport fuel obligation (RTFO) in April 2008, which will require transport fuel suppliers to ensure that a certain percentage of their total transport fuel sale comes from biofuels. The level of the RTFO will be 2.5 per cent. in the financial year 2008-09, rising to 3.75 per cent. in 2009-10 and 5 per cent. in 2010-11. The Government are currently consulting on both the detailed design of the RTFO and how it might evolve over time.