Guy Pulham, UKIFDA chief executive said: “As the trade association for the liquid fuels distribution industry, we’ve always supported the principle of decarbonisation, clean growth and clear air and now with the first trials of liquid biofuels taking place in off grid homes across the UK and Ireland we felt it apt that our new Future Vision – a strategy to transition liquid biofuel distribution should be published.
“In 2019, a study by consultants In Perpetuum (commissioned by fellow trade association OFTEC) clearly showed that the most cost-effective solution for reducing carbon emissions in off grid homes was liquid biofuel. A B100 fuel (containing zero fossil fuel) would result in a cost of £122 per tonne of carbon saved which compared very favourably with other possible solutions including those seemingly favoured by the government and that cost will be borne by the homeowner.”
UKIFDA’s strategy and vision for a liquid fuel future highlights the key role liquid biofuels can and should play in heating 1.5m homes across the UK and 686,000 in the Republic of Ireland together with industry including farming, transport, construction and marine and sets five key challenges to government to:
1. Introduce energy efficiency support measures for all homes (on or off grid) irrelevant of current technology and protect the fuel poor.
2. Maintain a technology neutral approach rather than try and pick winners as decarbonisation requires a multi technology solution.
3. Understand that liquid biofuels are the best solution for many, many homes in the UK and Ireland and government should support the positive, in-progress trials.
4. Pass legislation to effect fuel specification changes in agreed timelines that allows consumers to plan and for suppliers to innovate and invest to ramp up supplies of liquid biofuels.
5. Use tax rates to incentivise take up of liquid biofuels in domestic, agricultural, and commercial premises rather than using carbon tax to ramp up prices to try and force change.
Mr Pulham adds: “Low carbon liquid biofuels are available, and government can accelerate production investment and innovation just by including them in the future technology mix and by including low carbon liquid biofuels used for home heating in the RTFO scheme for suppliers.
“Moreover, if government encourages local authorities, universities, and businesses to work together to pilot innovative technologies like liquid biofuels to provide the answer for hard to heat markets like off-grid homes, this could then ensure a skilled workforce and post COVID-19 job opportunities in new technology.
“It is important that consumers have choice and we will continue to work with government in the UK and Ireland to include liquid biofuels in policy for off the gas grid homes and businesses.
“To succeed, government policy must encourage innovation and investment and our industry is waiting to start meeting the needs of the UK’s Net Zero challenge - so why delay us further?
“When this time next year we will potentially be on the brink of another historic climate change agreement at COP26 we want to see low carbon liquid fuels playing a key role in our decarbonised future.”