Good climate policy
In 2010 when my family and partners decided to develop renewable ethanol energy in Europe it was the right thing to do for the climate, for European jobs and investment and for us as entrepreneurs.
It still is and we believe that passionately.
Since 2010 we have invested over €250M, created secure incomes for three thousand farm and non-farm families and built a bio-economy innovation and investment platform in Hungary. And we assure that every year over 3 million barrels of fossil oil stay in the ground where they belong.
But month after month we have watched in dismay and amazement as legislators in Brussels have developed increasingly cruder and unscientific climate policies incapable of distinguishing between effective and virtuous solutions such as domestic ethanol and frankly disastrous measures such as palm oil diesel or imported 'used cooking oil'.
In November 2016 the European Commission proposed new renewable energy legislation for the period 2020-2030, intended to facilitate Europe's achievement of the Paris climate goals. But this legislation includes a 3.8% cap on the use of all forms of what they misleadingly label 'food-based' biofuels. The cap takes no account of whether such biofuels are effective or not in combating climate change or whether or not they bring adverse side effects.
Effective and safe forms such as ethanol made from European starch and sugar crops will be capped while ineffective and damaging forms such as palm oil biodiesel will continue to be permitted. The cap will serve only to stimulate competition between conventional and advanced forms of biofuel instead of competition with the real enemy which is fossil oil.
Conventional European ethanol is the number one means for safely reducing petrol sector carbon emissions by 2030 and the European Commission should be aiming for 20% displacement of fossil petrol with ethanol by then.
The cap has no basis in science or empirical evidence. It is a blunt instrument that will do much harm and little good.
I hope you will join me in the effort to assure safe and effective European climate ethanol achieves its rightful place in this next critical phase of European climate and energy legislation.
Mark Turley, Founder Pannonia Ethanol
Pannonia Ethanol Hungary
Pannonia Ethanol produces fuel ethanol and animal feed. The company is part of Ethanol Europe Renewables Limited and is located in Dunaföldvár, Tolna County, Hungary. The facility currently purchases 1,000,000 tons of corn annually to produce 450 million litres of renewable ethanol, 325,000 tons of high protein animal feed and 10,000 tons of corn oil.
Pannonia Ethanol produces as much animal feed as renewable ethanol. Pannonia is the leading renewable ethanol producer in Central and Eastern Europe. The firm adds nearly €500 million to Hungary’s GDP, supports 2000 jobs in rural areas and provides secure demand to 1000 farm families.
Pannonia and another 50 operations like it in Europe are at risk of closure by 2030 as a result of the European Commission's poorly designed policy proposal.
Europe risks losing a very effective and safe climate solution.