European renewable ethanol can contribute to the EU’s plans to improve its energy security, while also supporting food security, industry group ePURE has stated.

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the European Commission earlier in March presented the REPowerEU plan to make Europe independent of Russian fossil fuels. ePURE called for domestic ethanol not to be overlooked in these efforts.

Domestic production of the low-carbon fuel can help reduce dependence on imported crude oil. In addition, it reduces the need to import animal feed. ePURE Director of Government Affairs Simona Vackeova said that “[f]or every tonne of renewable ethanol produced in the EU, there is also a tonne of high-protein, GMO-free animal feed with a high metabolic value.”

In 2020, ePURE members produced 4.22 million tonnes of animal feed. In 2019, the sector accounted for around 1.7% of the protein feed of EU origin. 

The association also stressed that EU-made renewable ethanol has other strategic uses in industry, food and beverages and health care. For example, it was a stable domestic source of ethyl alcohol for use in hand sanitisers and gels during the COVID-19 crisis.