Germany - for the first time, more waste oil biodiesel than rapeseed oil biodiesel is consumed

Berlin, 1st November 2017. In the quota year 2016, the total consumption of biodiesel made from waste oils (0.87 Mio. tons) exceeded the consumption of biodiesel made from rapeseed oil by around 0.87 million tonnes for the first time. Compared to 2015, this fell from just under 1.30 million tonnes to 0.86 million tonnes. The Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (UFOP) views this as a worrying finding, which comes from the current Evaluation and Progress Report for the year 2016 published by the German Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung: BLE).


According to BLE’s report, while the use of biodiesel made from rapeseed oil has been stagnating at around 1.2 million tonnes in recent years and the proportion of palm oil in particular has been declining, the proportion of biodiesel made from used cooking oils (Used Cooking Oil Methyl Ester - UCOME) has been steadily increasing. UFOP considers the primary cause of this to be the obligation to reduce greenhouse gases, which was legally introduced in 2015, together with the race for GHG reduction efficiency this creates. The report of the BLE confirms savings of 77 percent green-house-gas emission savings through biofuels.

UFOP had fundamentally welcomed this changeover as a unique selling point in the bioeconomy for using renewable resources and as a means of paving the way to decarbonise the economy as a whole.

Due to the recent development, German oil millers are increasingly having to rely on the export of rapeseed oil. This is why Germany’s rapeseed oil exports reached a record high in the financial year 2016/17 (see With around 1.2 million tonnes, just under 13% more were sold abroad than in 2015/16. Almost 92% of the exports went to other EU member states.

Given the current evaluation, the Union recalls the demand that this foreseeable and desired development must be compensated by an increase in the GHG reduction commitment. This is because the raw materials efficiency documented by the BLE report already enables a greater level of climate protection in the transport sector today. This potential must be reached. UFOP notes that even waste oils are finite resources and therefore high demands would have to be laid upon the quality of the certification, so that waste oils and fats are not withdrawn from use anywhere else and, in turn, fossil fuels would have to be used.

You can download the graphic here