Biofuels on Display at Green Week in Germany

Chuck Zimmerman

Bio Ethanol - E-85Hello from International Green Week in Berlin, Germany. I’m here to attend the board meeting of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ). I know I haven’t been posting much lately but that’s because of the excellent job Cindy is doing and now John Davis. I hope you’ll agree. I will be posting quite a bit though in coming weeks from events like the National Biodiesel Conference and the National Ethanol Conference.

Here at Green Week I had heard that they had a whole pavilion devoted to bio energy this year. When I got there I found that it had more booths dedicated to things like wood pellet burning stoves for heat and a number of solar panel energy companies than what we think of such as ethanol and biodiesel.

However, as you can see ethanol is on display and it was one of the biggest displays. It looks like a variety of companies went in on the display, including Ford. The language barrier here can be a problem I found out as I couldn’t find anyone to interview who spoke good english. I did have a conversation of sorts with a gentleman in one booth with a company called Verbio. From what I could understand it looks like Germany has just instituted a tax law that makes it only possible to sell E-85 blend gasoline and that’s causing them to change over the approximately 108 fueling stations around the country that have ethanol blended gas. Although they have some ethanol production facilities started it sounds like they have to bring it in from elsewhere at present.

I was surprised that there didn’t seem to be any biodiesel on display. At least I couldn’t find any (yet). Since so many cars run on diesel in Europe I thought it would be more prominent.