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Spanish regulator rejects government's proposed combined biofuel quota

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Spanish regulator rejects government's proposed combined biofuel quota


The Spanish regulator has rejected a government proposal to unify the quotas of biofuels used in gasoline and diesel as it targets increased usage of both through to 2020.

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The CNMC said in a report published Monday that it would not advise combining the minimum quota for the two fuels into a single quota as this could harm the industrial set-up that has been put in place in the country and its future development.

In particular, the regulator said it feared there would be an overbalancing in favor of biodiesel to the detriment of gasoline, which could harm the future of the gasoline industry.

To this end, the CNMC said it supports retaining the current minimums of 3.9% for gasoline and 4.1% for diesel through to 2020, while also expressing support for an overall progressive increase of biofuels use, as proposed by the government in June this year.

In Monday's report, CNMC gave its support the proposal to raise the overall ratio of biofuels in auto fuel from a 5% target in 2016 to 8.5% by 2020.

By retaining the existing minimums for the two fuel-types, CNMC said it would afford companies flexibility in their operations.

Spain currently has an overall minimum target of 4.1% of biofuels in its auto sector, which compares with a 5.8% average for other EU states.

The new proposed target would be a minimum of 5.0% in 2017, which would then be raised to 6.0% for 2018 and 7.0% for 2019, according to the government proposal.

Neither the government nor the regulator said when the law might be approved.

Latest figures from the country's Strategic Reserve Corporation (Cores) showed that proportion of biofuel in Spain's gasoline pool was 5.9% in June down from 6.0% in May, while the proportion of biofuel in the diesel blend was 4.3% in June from 4.4% in May.

Besides the new quotas, CNMC also said that it supported a further proposal to impose a cap of 7% on biofuels produced from food crops by 2020.

The proposed law also includes legislation forcing biofuel companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 10% with respect to a 2010 benchmark by 2020.

--Gianluca Baratti,
--Edited by Jonathan Dart,