DBFZ: Revision needed regarding the GHG standard values for biodiesel from animal fats and vegetable waste oils

Berlin, 4th February 2014 – The German Biomass Research Center (DBFZ) has studied the effect of different transport expenditures involved in the collection of animal fats and vegetable waste oils on the greenhouse gas balance of biofuels produced from these. The DBFZ comes to the conclusion that the standard values specified in Renewable Energies Directive (2009/28/EC) have to be revised.

The regulations of the Renewable Energies Directive envisage an option for the double crediting of biofuels from waste and residual materials to the fulfilment of biofuel quotas. The market development acknowledges the UFOP in its misgivings that double crediting, especially regarding biodiesel from waste food oils and fats, leads to considerable crowding-out effects in the market. Consequently, this comes at the expense of previous raw material sources for biodiesel. As a result, the competitive pressure surrounding raw materials has increased enormously, not least on the way the biofuel industry itself is operated. This not only continually extends the list of wastes coming into consideration for certification, but also the geographical catchment area. The impression gained at present is that investment is only being made in biodiesel plants for waste recycling.

In view of this situation, the DBFZ has authored a short report on behalf of the UFOP examining the question of appropriately evaluating the greenhouse gas balance from vegetable waste oils and waste fats. The study comes to the conclusion that the GHG standard values specified in the EU directive have to be revised in respect to the actual collection expenditure and transportation distances (in particular ocean transport) as well as the available potential against the background of existing sales markets for this waste. The study “Biodiesel based on animal and vegetable waste oils and fats – Formulation of a proposal for revision of the GHG standard value” is available for download here.