Low carbon fuels are deliverable

At last month’s OFTEC conference the agenda was dominated by decarbonisation, with delegates keen to hear the results of OFTEC’s biofuels research. Closing the conference on a positive note, OFTEC CEO Paul Rose confirmed that BEIS still has all low carbon options on the table.

Laurance Coey and Paul Rose
Paul Rose, (right) OFTEC CEO with Laurance Coey of Harlequin Manufacturing, OFTEC’s new chairman

The biofuels research was undertaken by In Perpetuum Partners, with Jason Woods speaking about the seven areas that need to be addressed if these fuels are to be a viable option: feedstock, logistics, sustainability, markets, policy and regulation, technology, and economics.
The research clearly shows that low carbon biofuels are deliverable over the next two decades with several deployment pathways highlighting their potential to deliver carbon reductions over different timescales.
The research also compares the decarbonisation potential of biofuels with other low carbon heating options in oil-heated homes.
The modelling, which was focused on heat demand, shows that by making ‘reasonable’ upgrades, such as installing double glazing, cavity wall and loft insulation, would reduce heat demand by 15%. This would cost an average cost of approx. £6,350 – £9,150 per home.
‘Deep’ improvements i.e. floor and solid wall insulation would cost more, on average approx. £10,100 – £14,350 but reduced heat demand by a substantial 42.5%.
Following analysis of the cost of fabric improvements, how many homes could be upgraded, and the operating and capital cost of each low carbon heating option currently available, all solutions were then ranked by carbon saving cost (£/t) – a metric measuring both decarbonisation and cost to the end consumer.
The research findings revealed that biofuels, both a 100% pure biofuel and a 30% blend of FAME and kerosene, reduced carbon at significantly lower cost than other competing options.
The results show that a 100% biofuel offers the lowest cost and highest impact solution, costing an average £166 per tonne of carbon saved (£/t). This is followed by 30% blend of biofuel and kerosene at £204/ t.


Practical steps
OFTEC CEO, Paul Rose set out the political context, noting the recent announcement of a UK net zero target by 2050, and measures to ban/restrict the use of oil heating across Europe.
Paul, who confirmed that the In Perpetuum research will inform the future decarbonisation strategy of the industry, set out a range of practical next steps that the industry must now focus on as plans for biofuel use are developed.