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Green cars, the EU opens up to the Germans and slaps Italy

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The EU gives Italy a slap in the face

Opening to the Germans and stop to Italian requests. This is the situation that is emerging at the European council on the green car. That the Commission was looking for a compromise only with Berlin, after the rejection of the regulation which provided for the forced transition to the electric car only from 2035 (thanks to the no of Italy, Germany, Poland and Bulgaria) it had already partially emerged in recent days. But the latest statements by Brussels officials leave no room for doubt.

“We are talking within the framework of the agreement, we are not enlarging the picture. The agreement provides for a passage on the e-fuels, all we are doing is being more explicit about what this passage means. Anything else would open up the whole dealthat’s not what we are doing – he said the vice president of the EU Commission, Frans Timmermans reaching the top. – There is already a majority in Parliament and in the EU Council on the agreement”.

“We need legislative predictability. THEThe provision on cars had completed its process. We cannot go back on the agreements because trust between the co-legislators and the credibility of the legislative process would be damaged”: echoed the president of the Eurochamber Roberta Metsola.

The use of e-fuels

To close the circle the words of German Chancellor Olaf Sholz. “There is already consensus in the EU on the fact of enable the use of cars with internal combustion engines after 2035 using e-fuels – said Sholz arriving at the summit. – Now it’s really just a matter of finding the right way in a pragmatic way to implement this promise that the Commission made a long time ago.’ “The idea – said the German chancellor – is that there should be a regulation proposed by the European Commission to ensure that after 2035 vehicles that can be used exclusively with e-fuel can continue to be registered”. In short, the opening would seem only on e-fuel and not on biofuels as requested by Rome.

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Games done, then? Not exactly. The Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, is in fact willing to invest the question directly President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. And she will do it right away on the sidelines of the current EU summit. Italy has reiterated that without a derogation for biofuels it will maintain its vote against.

E-fuel and biofuels, a substantial difference

But why is it so important to specify the green light for biofuels and not just e-fuels in the new text? Meanwhile let’s see the differences which distinguish them from synthetic fuels and how they both aim to eliminate or reduce carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.

The e-fuel are produced chemically combining hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Hydrogen is obtained by electrolysis from water and to do so you need a lot of electricity and a lot of water. For synthetic fuels to be truly carbon neutral, this electricity must come from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydro or tidal energy.
I biofuelsas bioethanol and biodiesel come instead produced from biomass, i.e. from the waste of organic matter generated by plants and animals. For the production of biomass, waste from the agri-food industry, urban organic waste, green branches from agricultural and forestry activities, firewood residues and more are used.

Biofuels are “virtually” carbon neutral because, used to fuel heat engines, they develop the carbon dioxide already present in the starting biomass, which in turn is captured from the atmosphere and fixed in the organic matter by plants through photosynthesis.

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Biofuels and Italy

In Italy it isEni to lead research on the production of advanced or second generation biofuels, in particular with the project Waste to Fuel which obtains biofuels from food waste through a technology that obtains bio-oil from the organic fraction of domestic waste.

Approximately 30 million tons are harvested in Italy every year of waste. Of these, 18 million tons are correctly differentiated and, within these, about 7 million tons are of FORSU (organic fraction of municipal solid waste). By promoting a greater and more correct differentiation of kitchen waste, 10 million tons of Forsu could be reached every year. This is currently used above all to produce compost for agriculture and biogas.

By combining a good differentiated collection with a diffusion of Waste to Fuel plants, throughout the national territory, we could ideally obtain about one billion liters of bio-oil, equivalent to about 6 million barrels of crude oil per year. It would be like discovering a small deposit without having to drill wells and, above all, without emitting further CO2 into the environment.

With a single action we could make a major contribution to the country’s energy security and at the same time reduce the amount of waste and greenhouse gas emissions. But another Eni patented technology is also the system Ecofining which transforms raw materials of biological origin into high quality biofuels.

In short, Italy would already be ready to reach zero emissions without having to resort only to the transition to electricity, a technology which among other things poses problems of super pollution at source (raw materials for batteries) and disposal. Not only that: on the electric car it is the Chinese who have a strong competitive advantage, so much so that European car manufacturers and trade unions have started the alarm on almost a million jobs at risk.

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