Spain was committed to the European Union (EU) in 2011 to get 7% of the energy content of petrol and diesel for transport to come from renewable fuels, with several intermediate goals, 3.4% in 2009 and 5.83% in 2010.
The 2009 target was met, but with the current legislation on fuel specifications may not cover the 2010 target.
The paradox emerges from the current legislation, which only allows the incorporation of diesel by 5 percent biodiesel by volume, representing just over 4 percent in energy, while achieving the objective requires 5.83 percent in energy.
This failure will cost in fines, more than 130 million on oil, according to business sources estimate. This production drop also costs money on Spanish Producers. The loss of turnover of the industry between January and July 2010 (for the backlog of Royal Decree) amounts to 270 million euro. 75% of Spanish biodiesel plants are virtually stopped, with an operating ratio 10%.
To meet the objective of renewable fuels would require changing the rules of specifications, but even so, consumers would be protected against possible failures in their vehicles, according to alerts from car manufacturers who add that these bugs will not have warranty coverage in any case.
Industry officials claim, that bio-fuels are designed only for certain «specific» engines.
However, the Action Plan for Renewable Energy 2010-2020, the Spanish Government sent to the EU, provided that 6 percent of the energy for transport was renewable (ie electricity, hydrogen or biofuel), a percentage that would reach 13.6 percent in 2020. This would mean doubling the production of bioethanol in Spain.
Various institutions such as the AOP, APPA and the CNE have recommended to revising biofuel targets to the actual market situation and the amount of biodiesel and bioethanol which can be incorporated safely on fossil fuels.
On the other hand, we must not forget that nowadays Brazilian ethanol is the only biofuel in the world which proves to be cost competitive with gasoline.
The most significant cost to produce ethanol is the raw material, which varies by country, for example, in Brazil is sugar cane while it is corn in the United States. So, Brazil’s energy costs for processing biofuels are practically nil, since the very sugar cane waste is used as fuel in the process..
However, in the United States as in the case of other countries is spent on external energy sources and by-products (carbon dioxide and dried distilled grains) are sold to generate income.
Regarding income, the differences are also very important. While in the United States obtained 3,000 liters of ethanol per hectare, in Brazil can approach the 7,000 l. This makes the U.S. administration has provided subsidies for bio-ethanol production to promote their competitiveness.
This calls for a paradox here, in terms of regulation, performance, competitiveness, productivity and technical suitability of incorporating bioethanol fuel.
This is an important issue that requires collaboration and mutual agreement regarding the objectives to fulfill from the various parties involved, namely producers, energy companies, automakers and governments, not only at nationally but globally scope. Certainly few markets are so global such as automotive.