§ Mr. Flynn
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the relative polluting effects on the environment of biofuels compared with those of petrol or diesel; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what plans he has to encourage the wider availability of and increased use of bioethanol and rape methyl ester as a substitute for petrol or diesel;150W
(3) what plans he has to encourage the wider availability of and increased use of blended biodiesel and bioethanol blends as substitutes for petrol or diesel.
§ Mr. Kenneth Carlisle
[holding answer 15 March 1993]: The Department is sponsoring research assessing the environmental, operational and cost implications of a range of alternative road transport fuels including biofuels. This includes a study exploring the feasibility of conducting limited in-service field trials of alternative fuels. The series of linked reports should be complete by mid 1993. In addition the Department is carrying out emission tests on a separate biodiesel trial being conducIed by Reading Buses.
While, in principle, biofuels offer the possibility of reduced carbon dioxide emissions, the case in terms of other emissions is not clear cut; and the cost of biofuels is very high. I am waiting for the outcome of the work currently under way. I have no plans, therefore, to encourage wider availability and use of biofuels at this stage.