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USGC visits Scandinavia to explore ethanol's impact on greenhouse gases

The USGC visit explored ways in which American producers can achieve their carbon reduction targets through ethanol blending.

The US Grains Council and various European professionals discussing greenhouse gas reduction targets in Stockholm, Sweden.
The US Grains Council and various European professionals discussing greenhouse gas reduction targets in Stockholm, Sweden.
US Grains Council

The European Union (EU) has committed to ambitious carbon-reduction goals centered around E10 blending across its member states, and the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) recently sent a delegation to the region to build relationships with industry stakeholders and policymakers to further support the EU’s climate initiatives.

USGC Vice President Cary Sifferath was joined by Doug Berven, vice president of corporate affairs at POET, Hagan Rose, director of sales and international marketing at Eco-Energy and Alberto Carmona, USGC regional ethanol consultant in Europe.

“The EU is already one of the largest export markets for U.S. ethanol and there is still so much opportunity for growth as its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction policies continue to develop,” Sifferath said. “Ethanol uses like sustainable aviation fuel SAF) will make a massive impact on reducing the transportation sector’s carbon footprint and these countries deserve recognition for their forward-thinking mindset on creating a cleaner, safer environment for us all.”

The team arrived in Oslo, Norway and met with advisors from the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment on May 13. The day’s docket also featured a meeting with ZERO, a non-profit leader in carbon emission reduction strategies in Europe.

Norway implemented an E10 gasoline blend to consumers in 2023 and in 2020 became the first country to mandate sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) blending. The government plans to blend SAF at 30% by 2030.

Sifferath and company traveled to Stockholm, Sweden on May 14 to participate in a roundtable with representatives from Bioenergi Magazine; Colabit; Lantmännen; the International Energy Agency; the Swedish Bioenergy Association, the World Bioenergy Association and ePure, an association that represents 85% of the EU’s ethanol production.

Sweden raised its SAF blending mandate to 1.7% in 2022 and in 2023, its Trollhättan-Vänersborg airport became the first in the world to exclusively offer blended SAF for all aircraft refueling. Sweden also has a high demand for biofuel-blended diesel fuel, presenting several major opportunities for ethanol growth in the country.

The busy agenda continued in Helsinki, Finland with meetings with the Bioenergy Association of Finland and the renewable energy policy unit at the Finnish Ministry of Economy and Employment.

Finland is aiming to have the majority of its energy come from renewable sources and reduce GHG emissions from the aviation sector by 30% by 2030. The government also provides financial incentives for consumers to purchase E85-compatible vehicles.

“Our meetings in Finland, Norway and Sweden were a great opportunity to better understand the sustainability objectives of the countries and to explain how U.S. producers are well positioned to assist them on their journey to GHG reduction,” Berven said.

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