Syndicat National des Producteurs d'Alcool Agricole

Bioethanol, fuelling the bioeconomy

On 4 October 2017, the Collective du Bioéthanol held the Sixièmes Rencontres du Bioéthanol. Main industry players took this opportunity to analyse the reasons for bioethanol’s burgeoning success and take stock of its place in the bioeconomy, today and, more importantly, tomorrow.


The bioethanol industry is at a strategic point in its development as Brussels wraps up the final version of the European Directive on renewable energy for transport over the next decade. Mainly geared around two round tables, the Sixièmes Rencontres du Bioethanol pinpointed bioethanol’s growing stake in transport and embraced the near future.


Biofuels have now been identified as an innovative sector within the bioeconomy, heralding progress and driving green growth. The first round table underlined their unique position within the bioeconomy, typified by its “waste not” attitude, in which energy production does not compete against food for either humans or animals, and all plant parts are used, as befits a circular economy. The place occupied by first and second generation biofuels needs to be confirmed via regulations and consistent taxation, in France and in Europe. Indeed, it is the same stakeholders who are and will be making the significant investments needed for their ongoing deployment.


Embracing a world with less carbon dioxide thanks to bioethanol


The transport sector ranks first in France in terms of GHG emissions. Against this backdrop, the second round table reiterated the environmental impact of bioethanol in France with a 1-million tonne reduction in CO2 production, equivalent to retiring 500,000 cars from the roads. All the indicators point to green: in 2017 SP95-E10 became the top fuel in terms of consumption in France with 97% of vehicles compatible. As for Superethanol E85, it is now available in nearly 1,000 service stations, at an average price of €0.69/l. The eagerly awaited approval of conversion kits, now slated for end 2017, will ensure further progress by enabling increasing numbers of drivers to use cheaper, greener fuel.


The bioethanol industry thus remains on the front line, exercising vigilance with regard to the European directive currently being wrapped up. Leading to “more jobs to boost rural areas, greater energy independence and a very real transition to reduce CO2 production worldwide thanks to the increasing use of bioethanol in transport”.