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Queensland releases discussion paper on proposed fuel ethanol mandate

A long-awaited discussion paper on mandating fuel ethanol blends in Queensland has been released by Australia’s state government. Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey said the economic and environmental benefits of ethanol are recognised worldwide. “We want Queensland to be part of this sustainable energy solution,” he told the state parliament.

“We will work closely with industry on the amount of the mandate so that it grows in line with production capacity,” he said, adding that the government wants to ensure that local industries supply the ethanol.

He also reassured drivers that under an ethanol mandate, regular unleaded petrol would still be available at petrol stations. “If drivers don’t want to use ethanol fuels, they won’t have to,” he said.

The RACQ, the state’s peak motoring body, said they would support the proposal. “We think it’s now time for further discussion on an ethanol mandate, and the 2% mandate proposed in the discussion paper is a good benchmark, which will roughly double current sales of ethanol,” said RACQ Public Policy Executive Manager Michael Roth.

“Motorists have become more comfortable in recent years with using ethanol-blended fuels, with E10 widely available in south-east Queensland,” Roth said. He added however that Queensland motorists should be given the choice whether they want a 2% ethanol blend or not in their cars.