BIOFUELS CONTRIBUTE TO CUTTING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND THE ENERGY DEPENDENCE OF THE TRANSPORT SECTOR, AND ALSO BOOST LOCAL AND GLOBAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. SPAIN IS EUROPEAN LEADER IN THIS SECTOR, THANKS TO ITS LARGE PRODUCTION CAPACITY AND INVESTMENTS IN R&D.
For some time, Spain has been following a policy for developing biofuels that is in line with the directives issued by European institutions and involves the establishment of technical specifications, tax breaks, and a commitment by the National Energy Commission to control its use. Spain has established that 5.83% of fuel used by the transport sector must be biofuels by 2010. Two types of biofuel are commercialised in Spain: biodiesel and bioethanol.
In 2008, the Spanish biodiesel market grew sharply, doubling its size and reaching a production capacity of over 1.5 million tep per annum across 32 plants. A further 20 plants are under construction, which on completion, will take total installed capacity in 2010 to around 7 million tep per annum. There are four bioethanol plants in operation, with a total installed capacity of 300,000 tep/year.
Spanish companies with the greatest presence in the biofuels market include Abengoa Bioenergía, the leading bioethanol producer in Europe and one of the most important in the world, operating in Brazil and North America. In order of production capacity, Acciona Biocombustibles, Infinita Renovables and Bio-Oils, inter alia, operate in the biodiesel market.
In the area of research and development, Spain has developed successful cooperative arrangements between public and private players in this sector, such as those covered by Project Cenit, which support initiatives to produce secondgeneration biofuels using lignocellulosic materials and algae. Technology centres and bodies such as Ciemat and Cener have been key in this work. MILESTONES
• FFEBRUARY 2000: First commercial biofuel plant commissioned: the bioethanol production facility of Ecocarburantes Españoles in Murcia.
• LAW 53/2002 of 30 December reforming the Special Duties Law and enabling biofuels to benefit from an exemption from the Special Hydrocarbons Tax.
• FEBRUARY 2003: the first certified biodiesel (B30) pump in Spain is opened in Tárrega (Lerida).
• LAW 12/2007 of 2 July amending the Hydrocarbons Law is enacted, establishing obligatory targets for biofuel consumption in Spain for the first time: 3.4% in 2009 and 5.83% in 2010.
• FEBRUARY 2008: first biofuel filling station in Spain opened in Navarre, which sells biodiesel and bioethanol (E85).
• MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY, TOURISM AND TRADE ORDER ITC/2877/2008 of 9 October enacted, establishing a mechanism for promoting the use of biofuels and other renewable fuels in the transport sector.
• OCTOBER 2009: biofuel certification process introduced, with the National Energy Commission acting as