Agricultural waste to biofuel and biogas: law and policy

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The use of arable land for the production of biofuels and biogas has given rise to vigorous political and societal debate on land use. In particular, advocating energy crops over food crops and its associated impact on the environment and food production, also known as indirect land-use-change (ILUC), appears increasingly contested. Within the European Union (EU), the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) has recently regulated this phenomenon, focusing on crop residues and animal manure as the primary alternatives for biofuel and biogas production, and thereby responding to the increasing demand for low-carbon bioenergy in the renewable energy sector. The legal framework that connects the EU’s circular energy system with the agriculture sector includes the RED II and the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). In examining how these two legal sources engage biofuel and biogas production, this chapter concludes that both RED II and the CAP convey political intent in promoting the use of bioenergy by legally differentiating between biofuels derived from food and feed crops and from agricultural waste. At the same time, however, the EU lacks a specific set of (binding) rules to support this transition towards using agriculture waste in both the upcoming RED Reform (RED III) as well as the National Strategic Plans under the CAP.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLaw in the EU's Circular Energy System
Subtitle of host publicationBiofuel, Biowaste and Biogas
EditorsL. de Almeida, J. van Zeben
PublisherEdward Elgar
ISBN (Electronic)9781802205879
ISBN (Print)9781802205862
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Publication series

NameNew Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law
PublisherEdward Elgar


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