• Germany's news in English

Developing a sensible biofuels strategy for Germany

The Local · 11 Apr 2008, 17:24

Published: 11 Apr 2008 17:24 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Many crocodile tears have been shed over the past week by those who would like to consider the government’s biofuel strategy a failure. But what actually happened?

A technical requirement for regular petrol to contain ten percent ethanol cannot be implemented as planned. The reason? The automobile industry isn’t able to stick to promises made to the government because it wasn’t informed about an agreement for older foreign cars in Germany. That’s regrettable. But is it a catastrophe? No. Ethanol has up till now played a minor role in Germany. The biofuel market runs on diesel. And a biodiesel mix is available in greater quantities than before.

Moreover, the technical aspects of such mixtures have nothing to do with the level of the biofuels quota, which can be fulfilled either through fuel additives or via the straight sale of biofuels. The choice is largely up to petroleum industry. Of course, the big oil companies don’t like to sell pure biofuels. They don’t have the infrastructure to do so. But they could – and legislation specifically allows this – make use of the services of independent midsized petrol stations. The oil firms only need to make up the price difference between “normal” gasoline and diesel. Until greater quantities of biofuels can be added to the mix this method is certainly reasonable demand to place on the petroleum industry.

Naturally, we are also keeping an eye on the global market for biofuels and the raw materials they require. We are aware of the limits to its growth if our biofuel strategy is to remain both sustainable and oriented on meeting climate change goals. But we also see a lot of room to expand the use of biofuels in both Germany and Europe. And that’s exactly what we aim to do.

Parts of the petroleum and automobile industries, and of course Germany’s car lobby ADAC, have publicly made a fool of both the Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel and the government in the worst possible way – especially since they were the ones directly responsible for the information chaos. But it won’t be much use to them. Germany will continue to pursue a sensible biofuels strategy.

Story continues below…

Reinhard Schultz is a member of the Bundestag for the SPD.

Translation by The Local.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd