Spain approved a mandate for biofuels in its transportation sector with a target of blending at least 8.5 percent of the cleaner fuel in with gasoline and diesel by 2020.

The mandatory minimum target will begin at 4.3 percent for biofuels next year, scaling up to the target by the end of the decade, the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism said in an e-mailed statement.

Spain has a goal to get 20 percent of its energy from renewables by 2020. It has said that 10 percent of its transport energy should be from clean sources. The government has slashed subsidy for clean energy technologies in previous years, bringing investment to a near halt. It still expects to have about 19 percent renewables by 2020, the ministry said on Friday.

Almost all biofuels in the world are from edible crops such as corn and sugar cane. Spain has set a limit of 7 percent on the use of such fuels because of concerns they compete with demand for food. The government plans to establish a target for inedible crop-derived biofuels, also known as second-generation biofuels, by 2017.

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