A green tank is a happy tank!
Hampshire County Council has enthusiastically moved to using Bio-Diesel fuel as part of its strategy to protect and improve our environment. The County's vehicles are managed by Hampshire Transport Management (HTM) based in Winchester. HTM has switched from the normal USL Diesel to Bio-Diesel which emits lower levels of CO2 and other 'greenhouse' gasses.
Bio-diesel is made from either vegetable oil, which includes used cooking oil, or from animal fat. This means air quality improves and the use of fossil fuels is reduced. There are other benefits from the use of Bio-Diesel, such as the productive use of recycled materials, and reduced dependency on imported and price-variable oil.
Transferring to Bio-Diesel is cost-neutral, because the current purchase price is no greater than for fossil fuels and there are no mechanical changes necessary to the engines. The longer-term outcome should see financial benefits associated with the use of a fuel that benefits the rural economy, and as a UK produced fuel is secure from adverse exchange rates, foreign production limitations and long distribution routes.
The UK, like most other EU countries, is looking to actively promote the adoption of Bio-Fuels, which in addition to Bio-Diesel include Bio-Ethanol which is made from wheat and sugar beet or cane. Over the last few years these fuels have started to become an increasing proportion of all fuels use within the EU. From a modest 0.03% in 2003 the UK is expecting to achieve 3.5% by 2010. To put these figures in context, 1.32% was achieved in 2003 by Sweden rising to 5.75% by 2010, and 1.18% was achieved in 2003 by Germany rising to 5.75% by 2010.