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Nov 2017

CNMC Wants DC By 2019 Only

The CNMC released a document in September that answers the stakeholders’ comments about the project of Royal Decree that will transpose the ILUC directive into the Spanish law.

The 52-pages document constitutes the CNMC’s answer to the stakeholders’ comments received about the draft that circulated in May (see BMR n°200). The CNMC proposed minor changes to the initial version of the draft, mainly focused on the wording. The only major change is the date of introduction for the definitive sustainability system and the double counting of waste based biofuels: it would be delayed by one year, from 2018 initially to 2019. The cap for crop-based biofuels has been added to the draft, in line with expectations (7% e.c by 2020). The sub-target for advanced biofuels is maintained at 0.1% e.c by 2020. Some operators suggested it would have to be mandatory and higher (i.e 0.5% e.c, like advised by the ILUC directive) in order to produce concrete results. However, the CNMC confirmed it would remained indicative. Authorities believe the availability of compliant biofuels will be too small to avoid big compliance costs.

The proposal to introduce the changes one year later, in 2019, is the consequence of the current impossibility of the CNMC to handle a system of certification for compliance to a double counting scheme. The risk of fraud is also mentioned as a factor explaining why the institution would need more time to prepare its staff to new challenges. The structure of the biofuels production in Spain, partially based on co-processed HVO, is also another factor explaining the lack of political will to support waste based biofuels.