Is low carbon transport policy set to speed past renewable heat?

Following the general election on 8 June, Chris Grayling MP was reappointed as Secretary of State for Transport and John Hayes MP reappointed as Minister of State at DfT. This continuity is important ahead of government word on the RTFO reforms that were consulted on at the start of the year. Jesse Norman MP joined DfT from BEIS and has now assumed responsibilities for transport and the environment, and road freight.

Unlike the RHI reforms which were laid before Parliament in spring and then subsequently withdrawn - now seeking approval from new Climate Change Minister Claire Perry - the RTFO reforms could have a smoother run. ADBA members can read my blog from last week for the latest on the RHI legislation.


How to get the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) working for you

DfT is currently reviewing responses to the RTFO consultation. The RTFO places an obligation on fuel suppliers that supply more than 450,000 litres per year to ensure that a set percentage of this is from a renewable transport fuel supply (either through their own supply or through purchase of Renewable Transport Fuel Certificates or RTFCs). They currently have to deliver 4.75% of their supply from renewable fuels.

The consultation contained several progressive suggestions that we thought would help stimulate the biofuels market including, especially, biomethane. The proposals included:

  • Establishing long term targets to 2030 to provide industry certainty and increasing the obligation to 9.75%;
  • Creating a sub target for the contribution of advanced 'development fuels'; and,
  • Setting a sustainable contribution from crop derived fuels to encourage further fuels from waste.

Next week at UK AD & Biogas and World Biogas Expo 2017, 5 and 6 July 2017 I’m fortunate to be chairing the session on How to get the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) working for you on 6th July 11.00-11.55 in the Green Seminar room. As well as hearing expert views on the consultation proposals I’m looking forward to our panellists’ thoughts on how the RTFO compares to the RHI, and how use of biomethane as a vehicle fuel has been made to work in other countries. These panellists are the people who turn policy into pounds.

Although there were positives in the consultation it remains to be seen how the Government responds and whether the proposals will be enough to grow the biomethane for transport market.

  • Will the proposals bring sufficient stability (and revenue) and how soon will this become apparent?
  • Does the scheme’s (proposed) continuance to 2030 provide sufficient investor confidence of UK committement to low carbon transport?


UK Biomethane and Gas Vehicle Conference, 28 September 2017

With growing interest in the use of biomethane as a vehicle fuel, legislative reform expected, and new gas powered technology coming through development, ADBA is bringing together experts from the transport industry, fuel infrastructure, freight and logistics professionals and local authorities. Click here for the event details. You can book your tickets here.

This special, transport focused conference will be a great opportunity to share the benefits of biomethane and to discuss what is required to stimulate and grow the market. There will be more details about this event at UK AD & Biogas and World Biogas Expo 2017 – I hope to see you there.


Note: This article was edited on 29 June following change in ministerial responsibilities at DfT.

Posted in: News for Members, Policy updates

Tags: anaerobic digestion, biomethane, food waste operators, crop operators, renewable financial incentives, consultation, DfT, RTFO, Biomethane and Gas Vehicle Conference, biomethane as a transport fuel, biomethane vehicles