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20180920 Indonesia halts new palm oil plantation development
Indonesia's President Joko Widodo has signed a moratorium on all new oil palm plantation development in a move hailed by environmentalists. The moratorium halts any new land being made available for plantations in the world's top producer of the edible vegetable oil, a key ingredient in many everyday goods, from biscuits to shampoo and make-up. The decision comes as Indonesia and Malaysia battle a move by the European Parliament to ban the use of palm oil in biofuels.


20181011 A new bioeconomy strategy for a sustainable Europe
On October 11th, the Commission has put forward an action plan to develop a sustainable and circular bioeconomy that serves Europe's society, environment and economy. The EU already funds research, demonstration and deployment of sustainable, inclusive and circular bio-based solutions, including with €3.85 billion allocated under the current EU funding programme Horizon 2020. For 2021-2027, the Commission has proposed to allocate €10 billion under Horizon Europe for food and natural resources, including the bioeconomy.


20181024 CropEnergies says UK biofuel output pause dependent on market
Biofuel producer CropEnergies has stated that the length of time it will suspend bioethanol production at its Ensus plant in northern England will depend on market conditions. “During the production pause, the plant in Wilton will produce no ethanol and no animal feed,” a CropEnergies spokeswoman told Reuters. “But the plant will remain ready for production, so that we can react to market conditions.”


20181121 EPA plans biofuel 'reset' as program misses Congress' targets
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will propose new targets for the final three years of the nation’s renewable fuel program in January, thereby replacing the decade-old goals set by Congress with volumes closer to the industry’s current output. An EPA official confirmed the agency is working with stakeholders on a reset proposal, and aimed to finalize its plan by November 2019. Without strong targets, the EPA is less likely to encourage companies to keep investing in new plants and technology.


20181121 Poll says Europeans against palm oil but don’t know it’s in their tanks
In a poll by Ipsos, conducted in nine countries including of 4,500 Europeans, 82% of citizens surveyed were not aware of the fact that diesel fuel has palm oil added to it. When asked whether they would support measures to end policy support and subsidies for palm oil in biodiesel in Europe, 69% of respondents said they would welcome the change, with only 14% against it and 16% with no opinion on the matter. An international coalition of environmental NGOs launched a campaign to urge the Commission to execute the phase-out of palm oil in diesel in a delegated act by February 1, 2019.


20181122 Breakthroughs in renewable biofuels production
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden) have identified two main challenges for renewable biofuel production from cheap sources. First: lowering the cost of developing microbial cell factories. Second: establishing more efficient methods for hydrolysis of biomass to sugars for fermentation. Also, researchers at Columbia University estimated that lakes in the US could generate 325 gigawatts of power.


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