What does it mean to be a renewable electron?

10 Dec 19
Chris Malins
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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 has been the use of liquid biofuels blended into the petrol and diesel supply, complemented by some use of renewable electricity in electric drive vehicles. Moving into the 2020s, expectations are high for the development of a third route to supply renewable energy for transport, whereby renewable electricity will be used to synthesize “renewable fuels of non-biological origin,” or “RFONBOs.” While the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) addresses the question of RFONBOs, it does not provide a final regulatory resolution on how they will be treated between now and 2030, as it calls for the European Commission to develop two Delegated Acts further specifying the treatment of RFONBOs.