Entries by Chris Malins

Accentuating the positive?

Estimating emissions associated with indirect land use change (ILUC) is a fundamental part of analysing the likely net GHG emissions impacts of biofuel mandates, and in some regulations (e.g. U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, California Low Carbon Fuel Standard and ICAO’s CORSIA) estimates of ILUC emissions associated with specific feedstocks have been integrated into regulatory lifecycle […]

Destination deforestation

The aviation industry identifies ‘sustainable aviation fuels’ as a key tool to manage the growing climate impact of aviation. There are, however, fundamental differences between the sustainability risks associated with the scaling up of the different available alternative aviation fuel technologies. At present, the only alternative aviation fuel technology that is operational at commercial scale […]

What does it mean to be a renewable electron?

Defining renewability and additionality for renewable fuels of non-biological origin In the European Union, renewable energy policy is guided by the Renewable Energy Directive, which sets targets for both overall renewable energy use and for the use of renewable energy in transport. In transport, the main route to supply renewable energy in the past decade […]

Truckin’ on

In this report for FuelsEurope we present a proposal to use a fuel decarbonisation credit added to the heavy duty efficiency vehicle efficiency standard to accelerate deployment of advanced alternative fuels and of green hydrogen use and CCS at refineries.

The (environmental) price of FAME

Fatty acid methyl ester (FAME), or biodiesel as it is more commonly known, is a diesel substitute produced by reacting methanol with vegetable oil, and is the second most widely used bio-additive in America fuels (behind ethanol added to gasoline). As shown in Figure 1, U.S. biodiesel consumption has increased more than a hundredfold since […]

Comparing GTAP ILUC results to observations of ethanol related land use change

For over ten years, indirect land use change modeling has been an important part of assessing the environmental impact of U.S. biofuel policy. While several models have been developed to undertake these assessments, notably the FAPRI-FASOM model used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in determining the lifecycle emissions of fuels supported by the Renewable […]

Accentuating the positive – has optimism bias driven reductions in ILUC estimates?

Indirect land use change, often abbreviated to ILUC, refers to the expected expansion of agricultural area (and subsequent release of carbon from biomass and soils) when biofuel policies increase demand for agricultural commodities. In 2008, research led by Tim Searchinger using the FAPRI economic model[1] suggested that accounting for these ILUC emissions might eliminate the […]

Risk management

The recast Renewable Energy Directive, agreed last year, created a new category of high ILUC-risk biofuels, along with defining a role for certifying low ILUC-risk biofuels. This report, undertaken for Transport and Environment, reviews the links between biofuel feedstocks and conversion of high carbon stock land, and looks at the challenges in certifying feedstocks for […]

Washington’s Clean Fuel Future

With Clean Fuel Programs (CFPs, also referred to as Low Carbon Fuel Standards) active in California, Oregon and British Columbia, and set to be introduced at the federal level in Canada, it is unsurprising that a Clean Fuel Program for Washington State is back on the political agenda. In a new report prepared for the […]