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Align biofuel GHG emission calculations in Europe (BIOGRACE)

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The project aims to harmonise calculations of biofuel greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) that are performed in the EU under legislation implementing the Renewable Energy Directive and the Fuel Quality Directive, and aims to provide guidance to stakeholders (economic operators, auditors, advisors) that will make such GHG calculations. This guidance will be available late 2010 when the two directives must be implemented in national legislation. The two directives give a GHG calculation methodology but do not include conversion factors to be used. As a result, the current practice is that calculations as performed by different stakeholders give different results even when performed on the same biofuel. The BioGrace project will harmonise these calculations by providing a common set of conversion factors. National legislators will be requested to refer to it. Guidance to stakeholders will consist of Excel files and user-friendly GHG calculators that show how to reproduce the GHG default values as listed in the directives, and allow stakeholders to perform calculations themselves. The project results will be disseminated to European stakeholders through meetings, workshops and a website.

Results

  • An excel-based GHG calculation tool has been build which shows, for the 22 biofuel production pathways listed, how the default values in Annex V.A and V.D of the RED were calculated
  • a list of standard values, a list of additional standard values, a set of calculation rules and a user manual were made. Together they allow economic operators to make actual calculations
  • National biofuel GHG calculation tools have been harmonised; they give the same result as the Excel BioGrace GHG calculation tool. Moreover, policy makers in all 27 EU member states have been requested to make reference to one harmonised set of standard values, causing harmonisation of GHG calculations. This has been done in 7 member states, with some more to follow soon.
  • The project results have been widely disseminated through a website, a leaflet, newsletters, workshops and targeted presentations at conferences and meetings. Based on feedback from stakeholders it was concluded that the dissemination has been successful.
  • Trainers of auditors will be trained how to make and check calculations (this is part of the follow-up project BioGrace-II)
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Lessons learned

  • It is time-consuming to find out every detail of GHG calculations and align it. Alignment of calculations was needed between the BioGrace GHG calculation tool and calculations that have been performed by JRC and their partners, and between national GHG calculators and the BioGrace tool
  • It is rather difficult to reach policy makers in all 27 member states and have them commit to make reference to the BioGrace standard values from their national legislation for three main causes for this: (i) policy makers change position frequently, (ii) in many EU member states the implementation of the RED was performed later than was foreseen at the start of this project; and (iii) policy makers are reluctant to discuss their work with people outside the authority frame.
  • The final step is in the hands of the Commission and can to our view be done in two ways: either (1) publish a short list of the most important standard values as part of RED Annex V; or (2) make sure that GHG calculation tools give the same results when evaluating voluntary schemes in the process of recognition.
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Partners and coordinator

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Contact

NL Agency
Netherlands
Contact point: 
Name: 
Dr John Neeft
Tel: 
+31 88 6022 605

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In brief

Duration:
01/05/2010 to 31/03/2013
Contract number: 
IEE/09/736/SI2.558249

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