Greener and cheaper fuel alternative to arrive in Belgian gas stations

Greener and cheaper fuel alternative to arrive in Belgian gas stations
A new decree will make a biomass fuel more largely available in Belgium. Credit: © Belga

More gas stations in Belgium will soon be able to sell alternatives to conventional fuel — presented as a cheaper greener option — after a royal decree is finalised by energy authorities.

The decree would define the framework for Belgian gas stations to sell E85 bioethanol, a fuel made up of 85% of biomass and 15% of gasoline which could see drivers fill up the tank for roughly half the price of conventional gasoline.

Largely available in France, a major producer along with the U.S. and Brazil, per-litre prices south of the Belgian border average between €0.5 and €0.8, even if it is around 25% less efficient than traditional fuels, meaning refills would need to be done more frequently.

Touted for its green credentials —such as its mostly local, plant-based production and the fact that it releases an estimated 50% less CO2 than conventional fuel—, some environmental groups say the agricultural land needed for its production have a counterproductive effect.

Its limited availability in Belgium is due to the fact that it requires special infrastructure in stations, according to SudInfo.

According to Belgian media, the decree has been submitted by federal energy authorities to the Council of State, and should be published in the country's official Gazette by the end of 2019.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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