3E Intelligence

At a dinner debate organised by Friends of Europe and General Motors Europe on 16 October, EU Commission official Paul Hodson reacted to the Doornbosch-Steenblik report published for the Round Table on Sustainable Development of the OECD (the report is NOT an officially endorsed OECD document BTW).

In their study “Biofuels, is the cure worse than the disease”, the two OECD consultants concluded that using biofuels to reduce greenhouse gases comes at a very high cost and therefore recommend to phase our biofuels subsidies. “The cost of obtaining a unit of CO2-equivalent reduction through subsidies to biofuels is extremely high, well over $500 per tonne of CO2-equivalent avoided for corn-based ethanol in the United States“, says the report. According to a table in the report (page 7), the CO2 reduction costs for European biodiesel would be between 340 and 1300 dollars.

Commission biofuels expert Hodson took issue with these conclusions of the Doornbosch report saying it included a lot of double counting. The Commission’s own services, said Paul Hodson, have calculated much lower cost figures: 20 euros for biodiesel and 50 euros for palmoil-based biofuels at an oil price of 60 dollars.

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