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Energy: Biofuels

Volume 691: debated on Tuesday 17 April 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What proportion of biofuels in the United Kingdom is sourced from British crops, and what proportion from imported commodities.[HL3053]

Current biofuel sales in the UK are from both domestic and imported sources. We do not hold statistics on the relative share of each.

To further develop the supply of biofuels, a renewable transport fuel obligation (RTFO) will be introduced in April 2008 which will require 5 per cent of fuel sold in the UK to come from a renewable source by 2010. To ensure that biofuels are sourced sustainably, the Government are proposing to develop a carbon and sustainability scheme as part of the obligation. Obligated companies would be required to report on the level of carbon savings achieved and on the sustainability of their supplies. This will help us to identify the source of the biofuel.

We anticipate that the RTFO will be met from both imported and domestic sources. A number of companies are building, or planning to build, biofuel processing plants in the UK which will use UK-grown crops (such as oilseed rape, wheat and sugar beet) as feedstocks. The current production capacity is 614,000 tonnes per year (not including minor-scale plants). The majority of this has only come on stream in recent months.