On 8 August 2016 an Internet consultation about an amendment to the Dutch Environmental Management Act (Wet milieubeheer) was published.
The reason for the legislative amendment is the implementation of the EC Directive on Indirect Land Use Change (‘ILUC’). Among other things, that directive endorses limiting the share of conventional biofuels. Conventional biofuels are produced from crops such as maize and sugar cane and therefore exert pressure on scarce agricultural land. Increasing the use of advanced biofuels, for example based on waste, should counteract the competition with food and animal feed production.
At present, EU Member States must already ensure that 10% of transport fuels consist of renewable sources. To that end, the Netherlands developed the Renewable Fuel Units (‘RFU’) system [Hernieuwbare Brandstof Eenheden] in May 2015. Fuel suppliers who supply fuel to the Dutch road and rail transport industries must use this system to account for having supplied sufficient renewable energy. For each gigajoule of renewable energy that suppliers supply, a tradable RFU is credited to their ‘account’. The number of RFUs is checked on an annual basis.
As the ILUC Directive sets a sub-target for advanced biofuels, the legislative proposal introduces a system of differentiated RFUs: conventional, advanced and a residual category of RFUs. In the autumn of 2016 the Dutch House of Representatives is expected to establish how many and what types of RFUs companies must have in order to satisfy their annual obligation.
In addition, a one-off emissions reduction obligation will apply to fuel suppliers in 2020. For the purposes of calculating that reduction, a reduction value will be allocated to the RFUs. That allocation will not be differentiated per type of RFU, as a consequence of which this system might insufficiently reward the individual performances of companies in some cases.
The Internet consultation about the amendment to the Dutch Environmental Management Act can be found below. You can comment on the consultation until 5 September 2016.
Items that have yet to be fleshed out in more detail in order to implement the ILUC Directive. (Dutch only)
Amendment to the Dutch Environmental Management Act in connection with the ILUC Directive and the reduction obligation under the Fuel Quality Directive (Dutch only)