Have a look at this SDF case study to find out more about how the SDF funding really works in practice with local organisations committed to bringing sustainability to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. This page may also help you to decide whether you would like to apply for SDF funding yourself!
Pembrokeshire Plant Oil for Transport (PPOT) Phase II - Case Study
Evidence of climate change caused by increasing carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere is now widely accepted. The Climate Change Act 2008 commits the UK Government to reduce net UK greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 and CO2 emissions by at least 26% by 2020 against a 1990 baseline. The European Biofuels Directive requires member states to supply 5.75% of road transport fuel from bioenergy sources by 2010.
This particular SDF project demonstrates Pembrokeshire’s commitment to playing its part in this global challenge. Road transport is responsible for 35% of the UK’s CO2 emissions or approximately 3 tonnes of CO2 per year for each car on the road.
Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO) is a carbon neutral fuel, therefore, a driver can save practically all their vehicle CO2 emissions by switching to SVO. To make a diesel vehicle run successfully on SVO it is necessary to fit a conversion kit to the vehicle, which in simple terms heats the SVO and thins it down to the same thickness/viscosity as diesel.
What was SDF funding for?
Veg Oil Motoring, based in North Pembrokeshire secured SDF money to fund 50% of the costs for converting vehicle diesel engines to run on straight vegetable oil (SVO). Over the three year project three people have been employed. Each converted vehicle has a bilingual sign to indicate they have been converted to run on SVO in order to promote awareness of the renewable, carbon neutral fuel.
What were the project successes?
PPOT Phase II has been a huge success in taking forward SVO as a renewable, low carbon fuel – not only in Pembrokeshire but throughout the UK. Whilst delivering the project, Veg Oil Motoring has also achieved additional successes, way beyond the original project remit:
48 vehicles and one generator converted - the vehicles were mainly cars, 4x4’s and vans but also included the conversion of one truck and one tractor.
42 awareness raising/training events - these events have highlighted the importance of renewable biofuels and included residential courses, informational stands, speaking engagements and active involvement with local events. Also an informative website was developed and the redesign and printing of the SVO leaflet and stickers undertaken.
Media coverage - there has been considerable media coverage in local and national press, television and radio.
Lobbying Government - lobbying of the UK government was undertaken, which resulted in the lifting of duty on those producing or using less than 2500 litres of SVO fuel per annum.
Production of 25,864 litres of fuel from used cooking oil - this is associated with saving 77.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
SVO fuel distribution system
The successful establishment of a Welsh cost-effective and convenient cold pressed rapeseed oil distribution system in Pembrokeshire for converted vehicle users. In addition, the development of systems for converted vehicle owners to conveniently refuel their vehicles, including the installation of a refuelling system for a partially disabled applicant.
Provision of advice and assistance
The project was able to impart help and expertise to Verdant fuels, the biggest UK player in SVO transport fuel distribution. Through this company, with the initial assistance of Veg Oil Motoring, engine conversions have been undertaken on articulated truck units.
Other factors impacting upon the project
Uncertainties and Government changes to the duty paid on biodiesel, wildly fluctuating rapeseed oil and SVO prices and concerns about biofuels competing with food crops were probably responsible for deterring a number of potential customers. Continued uncertainty in the long term prices of crude oil and rapeseed meant that people were reluctant to convert their vehicles. In order to try to expand business the project successfully converted a generator and a tractor.
Throughout the project Veg Oil Motoring has processed considerable amounts of refined used cooking oil. Also, the company explored new ways to source and dispense SVO supplies at competitive prices, not only for customers who have undertaken conversions but also to attract new customers. This involved setting up links with a new farmers’ rapeseed crushing group in North Wales to supply cold pressed SVO. When the project was set up it was envisaged that cold pressed rapeseed oil would be produced in Pembrokeshire.