Italy will become the first country in Europe to legally require “advanced biofuels” in cars and trucks, the BBC has learned. Made from waste, the new fuels are said to reduce the amount of land taken out of food production.

The world’s first commercial scale plant making fuel from straw opened in Italy last year. From 2018, all fuel suppliers in the country will have to include 0.6% advanced biofuel in petrol and diesel.

The use of fuels made from crops has been a controversial issue across the EU in recent years. A Renewable Energy Directive, adopted in 2009, required that 10% of energy used within the transport sector came from renewable sources. Amid concerns that land was being converted from food production to grow crops for biofuels, the EU ultimately reduced this to 5.75%. At the same time, the European Parliament voted to require a 2.5% target for advanced biofuels by 2020.

However European Council of energy ministers diluted this to a non-binding goal of 0.5% much to the dismay of the biofuels industry. Now the Italian government have given the enterprise a shot in the arm. A ministerial decree, seen by the BBC, requires 0.6% of all petrol and diesel contain advanced biofuels from 2018. This rises to 1% by 2022.

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29618889

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