EU member states increase biofuel blending quotas

By Bryan Sims | August 24, 2011

Several member states in the European Union have increased their national biofuel blending obligations this year compared with 2010 on the basis of energy content. Those states include Finland, from 4 percent to 6 percent; Poland, from 5.75 percent to 6.2 percent; Italy, from 3.5 percent to 4 percent; Spain from 5.83 percent to 7 percent; Bulgaria, from 3.5 percent to 5 percent (by volume) and Denmark adopted its first-ever obligatory quota of 3.5 percent.

As a result of these higher quotas, German oilseed council UFOP said in a statement that it expects an increase in the consumption of biodiesel and biofuel within the EU this year.

Biofuel sales increased 13.6 percent to 13.9 million metric tons in 2010, but UFOP said that the new increases aren’t expected to utilize more than 65 percent of EU biodiesel capacity.

However, the UFOP believes that even if this sales trend continues, it would not be sufficient to utilize the 22.3 million metric tons of biodiesel capacity within the EU, which currently has a biodiesel blend allowance of up to B7 by volume. With about 206 million metric tons of diesel fuel consumed within the EU in 2010, biodiesel sales aren’t expected to exceed 14 million tons, according to the UFOP. Currently, Germany is the EU’s top biodiesel producer with approximately 4.8 million metric tons of combined installed production capacity, according to the UFOP.

“On the background of a further increase in the consumption of diesel in the EU and the fact that alternative renewable fuels of the second generation will not be available in appreciably quantities within the foreseeable future, the UFOP reiterates its demand for a revival of the sale of pure biodiesel and vegetable oil as fuel by allowing tax benefits,” the UFOP stated.

Additionally, the UFOP also is also advocating that a biodiesel blend of B30 should be implemented for use in commercial truck fleets. “This is the only way of achieving the EU’s goal of providing at least 10 percent of the energy need for the transport sector from renewable sources by 2020,” the organization stated.


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