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A responsible choice in fuel

di Redazione FGB [1], 28 Gennaio 2008

The 2007 Innovation award at the Cylch Wales Recycling Awards [2] went to Sundance Renewables [3], a not-for-profit social enterprise, that in 2004 set up the first community based biodiesel production plant in the UK. Their idea is simple and very effective: to collect used vegetable oil from local businesses and turn it into biodiesel that they then sell at regular diesel prices to their local customers. The claim is that this method resolves the problem of waste disposal, retains money within the community as well as creating jobs. On their website, Sundance Renewables explain that matching the fossil fuel price was not only an economic matter, but that they wanted to market the fuel as a responsible customer choice and not a cheaper option. Sundance are committed to increasing renewable energy systems [4]in Wales and to help community regeneration through a sustainable approach and intend for any surplus profits to be used to support other community renewable energy projects. They supply other products such as solar panels, wind turbines and biomass fuel systems [5]and they also offer training courses to help accelerate the development of similar ventures. Their website explains how different types of cooperatives work, offers a list of agencies that helped them to procure funding [6], links to various training courses and community and trade organizations [7]and explains how they created their organisation and the mistakes they made. They also have an educational section for the kids offering teaching materials. During my telephone interview, Director and founder Jan Cliff said however that the project was not an easy one to maintain and that the taxation policy implemented by the British government did not help their cause. She sees biofuels as the only real alternative to fossil fuels currently available, but believes that the taxation system does not give any incentives for a switch to biofuels. When the government recently raised tax on fossil diesel by 2 pence a liter they raised the duty on biodiesel by the same amount, and this adds to the already relatively high production cost putting the project on the limit of commercial viability.The EU biofuels directive review [8] public consultation response gives further details of the organisation's argument.

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Link citati nell'articolo:

  1. 1] /schedabiografica/Redazione FGB
  2. 2] http://www.cylch.org/cylch-conference-awards.html
  3. 3] http://www.sundancerenewables.org.uk
  4. 4] http://www.sundancerenewables.org.uk/what.html
  5. 5] http://www.sundancerenewables.org.uk/products/index.html
  6. 6] http://www.sundancerenewables.org.uk/projects/index.htm
  7. 7] http://www.sundancerenewables.org.uk/links/index.html
  8. 8] http://ec.europa.eu/energy/res/legislation/doc/biofuels/contributions/industry/sundance.pdf
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