German biodiesel, HVO consumption projected to rise 13% in 2020

By Ron Kotrba | July 30, 2020

Germany’s Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (UFOP) estimates German consumption of biodiesel and renewable diesel, or hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), will be approximately 780.5 million gallons for 2020, an increase of approximately 90 million gallons over 2019.

The basis for the estimate is data provided by the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) for January through May. According to UFOP, the higher consumption in 2020 compared to 2019 is because the GHG reduction obligation increased from 4.5 percent to 6 percent on Jan. 1.

A coronavirus-induced reduction in consumption cannot be determined, UFOP concluded, due to the increased quota obligation as of Jan. 1.

“On the contrary,” the organization stated, “in May, an historic high of 9.1 percent was reached with regard to the bio-share in the diesel market. This shows the development potential to make a noticeable contribution to climate protection in transport already today.”

This volume of 780 million gallons can only be achieved, according to UFOP, if sustainably certified hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) can be credited toward the nation’s greenhouse gas (GHG) quota.

“This openness to technology must be continued after 2020,” UFOP stated. “This is because the maximum proportion of biodiesel in diesel fuel is limited to 7 percent by volume by the European standard for diesel fuel, EN 590. Hydrogenation processes enable oil refineries to enter into a green hydrogen strategy. The openness of the technology is a prerequisite for a gradual increase in the greenhouse gas reduction obligation. This sector coupling starts on the farmland and enables the timely start of a defossilization of the fuel in existing fleets.”   

UFOP is pushing for an EU-wide introduction of a GHG quota system, which the organization stated “must be increased step by step from 2021 onwards, so that the consumption trend achieved in 2020 does not remain a one-off effect.”


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