PRIMES: a new perspective on the contribution of biofuels to the Green Deal ambition.

Posted on

The E3 modelling firm has updated the PRIMES model, regularly used by the European Commission for its impact assessments, taking into account the current conditions of biofuel production, which are very different from those of 10 or 20 years ago. This update assessment shows clearly that the 1G of today have nothing to do with the 1G of yesterday ! Investments and new measures have been made to make it effective and sustainable. 

At the heart of the Impact Assessments for the Renewable Energy Directive and Europe’s other key energy and climate legislation, the PRIMES model simulates EU energy systems and markets on a country-by-country basis, and for the Union as a whole. It covers energy demand, CO2 emissions, investment, and energy technology penetration, prices and costs.


The growing demand for proteins to achieve food sovereignty in the EU, which is currently dependent on soybeans imported from Latin America – a source of deforestation – makes 1G produced in Europe a major lever for the production of “Made in Europe” proteins. In addition this highlight that in the context of circular economy, the concept of food-based biofuels is unfounded since biofuels when operated the right way can be part of a supply chain strengthening food security – proteins, oils or fibers, valued on the market – and a source of stability and investment for farmers. 


In view of the challenges of the Green Deal, biofuels sourced in Europe are not only a locomotive for the production of non GM proteins, free of deforestation on which for example the non GM milk market rely. They also represent an affordable, credible and available lever to achieve the EU’s climate ambitions. The PRIMES model updated by E3 shows that  renewables from EU biomass are the most attractive solution for decarbonising the transport sector, even by 2030, from a price perspective. A tone of carbon not emitted through the use of biofuels will remain 2-3 times cheaper, compared to the tone of carbon not emitted through the use of electric vehicles. It’s a major asset in order to achieve a Green Deal that work for all, and not only for an elite. 

=> EU biofuels are key to achieving the Green Deal ambition, complementary to other decarbonisation option. The scale of the challenge calls for mobilising all options in a sustainable way, and now at EU level, the framework is well established to mobilise biomass in an efficient and sustainable way. 

See the full report here.