Agentschap NL

GAVE is a government programme that supports the development and introduction of climate-neutral fuels in the Dutch transport sector. The programme's most important task is to support the implementation of the European Renewable Energy Directive into Dutch national legislation with respect to biofuels. This EU Directive states that, by the year 2020, 10% of the energy used in the transport sector must be derived from renewable energy.

GAVE Newsletters


GAVe-mail 2007 nr. 17

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  1. Finland: Neste Oil opens first plant
  2. European Commission wants voluntary sustainability certification for biofuels
  3. EU project aims to make biomass derived products competitive with fossil fuels
  4. Round Table for Sustainable Biofuels
  5. Orders for triple-fuel car
  6. USA: Landfill gas converted to transport fuel
  7. Chevron and Texas A&M combine research
  8. New York: taxis change to biodiesel
  9. Sports cars now running on ethanol?
  10. Formula 1 cars to race on biodiesel in 2011?
  11. Agenda

1.  Finland: Neste Oil opens first plant
The Finnish oil refinery Neste Oil will start to supply the new type of biofuel (NExBTL) over the next few months. According to the company this new fuel will combine the advantages of biodiesel with Fisher-Tropsch diesel from biomass. During the opening of the plant in Porvoo, the Minister for Trade and Industry, Mauri Pekkarinen, called for the percentage of biofuels in Finland to be increased, from the current 10%, to 30% in 2020.

2.  European Commission wants voluntary sustainability certification for biofuels
The European Commission does not expect a positive effect from setting criteria for compulsory sustainability certification for imported biofuels. The Commission fears that such additional criteria would lead to frictions with EU trading partners and is thus also not planning to include compulsory certification in its proposal later this year for EU legislation concerning renewable energy. The EC clearly supports a system of voluntary certification that complies with WTO definitions.

This can lead to a situation where non-sustainable imports of biofuels are not actually forbidden but, for example, do not count towards meeting the criteria for minimum percentages of biofuels and are not eligible for subsidies.

3.  EU project aims to make biomass derived products competitive with fossil fuels
Developing and designing innovative biorefinery concepts to make biomass-derived products cost-competitive with fossil fuels is the goal of the newly launched BIOSYNERGY project.
The four year 13 million EU-funded BIOSYNERGY project will work towards establishing a large scale biorefinery that can produce a number of high value chemicals, as well as large volumes of liquid transport fuels, and use the leftover energy to heat and power the plant.
In this way the project partners hope that the chemicals will boost profitability, whilst the transport fuels will replace some of the fossil fuels currently on the market. The reuse of excess heat and power will also cut carbon emissions.

'BIOSYNERGY aims to achieve sound techno-economic process development of integrated production of chemicals, transportation fuels and energy, from lab-scale to pilot plant,' said Hans Reith, coordinator of the BIOSYNERGY project from the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN).


4.  Round Table for Sustainable Biofuels
The Swiss Energy Centre has taken the initiative in setting up a Round Table for Sustainable Biofuels. The objective is to develop international standards for the sustainable production and processing of biofuels. It is hoped that these standards will be ready during the course of 2008. The management of this Round Table is headed by chairman Claude Martin, former director of WWF International. The Dutch Ministry of VROM (Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment) also takes part in the Steering Board.

5.  Orders for triple-fuel car
The Brazilian Obvio!, which runs on gas, petrol or ethanol, will be sold in Europe, the USA and Japan. Investment company CantorCO2e has placed a number of orders for 2008.

6.  USA: Landfill gas converted to transport fuel
The International Association for Natural Gas Vehicles (IANGV) reports about the world's first project where landfill gas is converted into liquefied natural gas (LNG) on a commercial basis, to be used for transport purposes.

7.  Chevron and Texas A&M combine research
Chevron Corporation and Texas A&M BioEnergy Alliance have signed a strategic biofuel research agreement to collectively make cellulose-based crops for biofuels ready for large-scale production.

8.  New York: taxis change to biodiesel
People Planet Profit has published the news that, in 2012, all 13,000 yellow cabs in New york will run on biodiesel. The fuel will be produced at two, yet to be built, biodiesel plants in the city.

9.  Sports cars now running on ethanol?
American businessman Karl Jacob plans to use his Dodge Viper E85 to prove that bioethanol and fast sports cars are not incompatible. Mr Jacob plans to use his Dodge Viper to try and set a world speed record for energy-efficient cars.
The businessman has converted the Viper himself, according to his weblog. He made his first attempt at the speed record on 17 May in California's Mojave desert, but technical problems hindered the attempt. He could not reach the required speed due to a defect in the engine management system.

Since then Mr Jacob has managed to reach speeds of over 300 km with the Viper. He says this is not enough, as he needs to drive at well over 350 km/hour to achieve the record.


10.  Formula 1 cars to race on biodiesel in 2011?
FIA chairman Max Mosley has sent a challenge to the conservative Formula 1 racing world. He suggests, in F1 Racing magazine, that from 2011 onwards only new environment-friendly Formula 1 racing cars should be driven. The Englishman wants to use 2.2 litre V6-turbo engines, running on biodiesel, by that time. Whether or not the team captains will approve of this suggestion, it's too early to say.

A number of events relevant to climate-neutral fuels are listed below. If you know of other meetings or events that may be relevant, please let us know by sending an e-mail to

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GAVE on the Internet!
Information about the GAVE programme can be found on our website: Please inform your contacts about this facility. The website contains details of the programme and the results so far.
If you've got specific questions about biofuels, you can consult our FAQ.

Please tell us about the various biofuels initiatives taken by you, or by other parties in your country. This information may be useful for Dutch organisations working in the same field. GAVE aims to connect these groups, so that we can all learn from each other's experience.

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Kind regards from the GAVE team,
Agentschap NL