Immediate climate protection programme highlights the dilemma of renewable energies

Sustainable biofuels are immediately effective climate protection

Berlin, 14.07.2022. The Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (UFOP) welcomes the immediate measures presented yesterday by the Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV) to permanently reduce greenhouse gases. The immediate measures are necessary because the emissions report of the Federal Environment Agency (Umwelt Bundesamt, UBA) has shown an excess of 3 million tonnes of CO2-eq for the transport sector. The UFOP particularly welcomes the gradual increase in the existing GHG reduction quota by finally +1% in 2030 and the use of biofuels that this requires. In detail, however, the UFOP has some concrete implementation proposals with which the BMDV programme can be implemented efficiently and in the short term.

For example, the UFOP proposes that diesel with higher biogenic proportions B30 or R331) be offered as "truck diesel" at public filling stations in order to specifically include heavy goods traffic in the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction strategy. This is urgently needed because freight transport by road will continue to increase as a result of the congested rail network. Moreover, it is an immediately and, above all, physically effective measure in terms of climate protection, says the UFOP. Biofuels, unlike electricity for e-mobility, are not counted three times towards quota fulfilment. For biofuels, their real physical contribution to climate protection is assessed and not an artificially inflated value.
UFOP shares the assessment of the BMDV's scientific advice, which comes to the conclusion that all fulfilment options that can be used today under the given legal requirements must make a corresponding contribution. In the association's view, this also applies in particular to sustainably certified biofuels, which have recently been critically assessed by parts of the green government.

With the increase in the GHG quota, it is expected that the ramp-up in the production of synthetic fuels from renewable electricity (PtL) will begin from 2025. However, a future primarily electricity-based orientation of climate protection also highlights a dilemma: because the expansion of wind power and photovoltaic plants is lagging far behind the steadily growing additional energy demand on the road and for heat generation in buildings. As a result of the current "gas crisis", coal-fired power plants will also have to be commissioned, which will worsen the emission factor for electricity, the UFOP expects. Contrary to reality, electricity is accounted for in the transport sector with 0 kg CO2-eq. The result is that the emissions burden is shifted to the energy sector. Of course, this does not help climate protection at all. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) is therefore responsible for ensuring that the climate protection targets are met and at the same time that the dependence on imports of crude oil, diesel fuel and natural gas from Russia is reduced as quickly as possible.

At 31.2 TWh, the energy provided by biofuels in Germany is equivalent to that of more than 7,500 wind turbines of average capacity. In the UFOP's view, this is a potential that must continue to be exploited if the binding climate protection targets are to be achieved.

1)B30: Diesel with 30% biodiesel / R33 with 26% hydrogenated vegetable oil, HVO, 7% biodiesel)