Higher blending quotas for biofuels in the EU

Full utilization of the available biodiesel production capacity is not in sight

According to the “Kingsman” industry information service, some member states have increased their national blending quotas in 2011 in comparison with 2010 on the basis of energy content:

Finland: from 4 % to 6 %,
Poland: from 5.75 % to 6.2 %,
Italy: from 3.5 to 4 %,
Spain: from 5.83 % to 6.2 %,
Bulgaria: from 3.5 % to 5 % (by vol.),

Denmark adopts a first-ever obligatory quota of 3.5 %.

As a result of these higher quotas, the Union zur Förderung von Oel- und Proteinpflanzen (UFOP) expects another increase in the consumption of biodiesel and biofuel within the European Union in 2011. As reported by EurObserv’ER of July 2011, biofuel sales went up by 1.7 million in comparison with 2009; this was an increase of 13.6 per cent to 13.9 million tonnes (biodiesel: 10.7 million tonnes, vegetable oil: 0.2 million tonnes, bioethanol: 3 million tonnes). However, the Association believes that even if this sales trend continued it would not be sufficient to utilize the production capacity of 22.3million tonnes biodiesel within the European Union. The UFOP recalls that the European norm for biodiesel - EN 590 – limits the blending of biodiesel to 7 per cent by volume. With about 206 million tonnes of diesel fuel consumed within the European Union in 2010, biodiesel sales would not exceed about 14 million tonnes.

On the background of a further increase in the consumption of diesel with 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 benefit. Besides, the blending quota in case of diesel fuel should be increased by permitting B30 for use in commercial trucks in the transportation industry. This is the only way of achieving the European Union’s goal of providing at least 10 per cent of the energy need of the transport sector from renewable sources by 2020.

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