Energy / Climate Change

June 14, 2010


METI Releases Report on Sustainability Standards for Biofuels

Keywords: Government Renewable Energy 

Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and the Ministry of the Environment jointly organized the "Study Group on Sustainability Standards for the Introduction of Biofuels," and released the report on March 5, 2010. Difficulties in the use of biofuels are starting to emerge worldwide, such as the actual contribution to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reductions identified by a life cycle assessment (LCA), competition with food supplies, disruption of ecosystems, and supply stability. Therefore, Japan is must now consider sustainability standards.

The report has three highlights:
1. Contribution to CO2 emission reductions identified by LCA. As compared with CO2 emissions from gasoline, only sugar cane produced at existing sites in Brazil and domestic produce such as sugar beet, as well as construction waste, meet reduction standards on an LCA basis of more than 50 percent. A future direction for Japan is to set reduction standards on an LCA basis of 50 percent.

2. Supply stability as a source of energy. Existing fields in Brazil have a limit to expand exports, while domestically produced biofuels are estimated to increase by 400,000 kiloliters (crude oil equivalent) by 2020. From the viewpoint of energy security, Japan needs to aim for higher self-sufficiency.

3. Competition with food supply. The related ministries and agencies should cooperate in monitoring the impacts of biofuel introduction, analyzing the causes of competition, and examining countermeasures. It is also important to develop and disseminate technologies to produce biofuels from cellulose derived from grasses and wood.

Japan Planning Expansion of Domestic Biomass Fuel Production (Related JFS article)
Japanese Research Institute Simulates Biofuel Policy Impact on Crop Prices (Related JFS article)

METI: Report of the Study Group on Sustainability Standards for the Introduction of Biofuel

Posted: 2010/06/14 06:00:15 AM