The growth of biofuel consumption for use in transport in the European Union (EU-28) has dwindled in the past few years and finally dropped by about 1 million tonne oil equivalent (toe, 6.8%) between 2012 and 2013 according to EurObserv’ER, to a consumption level of 13.6 million toe. Nevertheless, sustainable biofuel consumption, certified and thus eligible for inclusion in European targets increased slightly by 0.8% to 11.8 Mtoe.
Looking at the historical trend, this is the first time that consumption of biofuels decreases since the European Union’s industrial expansion of biofuels, as indicated in the graph on the right.
After an analysis of the individual country consumption trends our conclusion is that the European Union no longer has an overall trend; the decline in biofuel consumption in 2013 is essentially related to Spain (where incorporation targets were cut) and Germany, where biofuel consumption declined after abolishing the last tax exemptions enjoyed by the biodiesel sector from 2013 onwards. In contrast, a number of countries – the United Kingdom, Sweden and Denmark – significantly increased their incorporation rates, while others such as France, Austria and Belgium, kept steady incorporation rates in 2013.
According to EurObserv’ER certified biofuel consumption increased from 11.7 Mtoe in 2012 to 11.8 Mtoe in 2013. Bearing in mind the overall sharp drop in consumption, its share of total biofuel consumption is therefore surging and now accounts for 86.5% in 2013 up from 79.8% in 2012. Just a handful of EU countries, including Spain, Finland, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus and Malta were in the throes of setting up an effective system for certifying their biofuel consumption in 2013.
- Biodiesel taxed at 100% in Germany;
- Spain cuts its biofuel consumption;
- Sweden has an incorporation rate of 11%;
- Biofuel consumption increases by 13% in the United Kingdom;
- France sets its sights on a 7.7% biodiesel incorporation rate.
Besides the 2013 realisations per EU Member State and the abovementioned renewable energy policy developments in selected Member States other subjects that are discussed in the new barometer are:
- Industry overview
- Comparison with National Renewable Energy Action Plans
The full Biofuels Barometer can be downloaded from eurobserv-er.org.