Biofuel consumption in EU slowed as pending cap, ILUC looms

By Ron Kotrba | July 31, 2013

EurObserv’ER released its annual Biofuels Barometer, reporting slowed growth in biofuel consumption in the EU compared to previous years. Between 2011 and 2012, consumption grew by 2.9 percent, to nearly 14.4 million metric tons of oil equivalent (Toe), a drop from the 5.3 percent growth in consumption experienced 2010-’11, which itself was a considerable drop from consumption growth in years 2005-’10.

The reasons for slower EU growth of biofuel consumption in 2012 over 2011, the report states, are economic crisis and pending EU legislation that would cap first generation biofuel usage under the Renewable Energy Directive at 5.5 percent—a significant cut from the 10 percent cap currently in effect—as well as incorporate contentious indirect land use change theory into energy policy, along with other measures.  

In 2012, biofuels accounted for about 4.7 percent of transportation fuel within the EU, with biodiesel making up the lion’s share, as in previous years.

Biodiesel accounted for 79.1 percent of total energy content consumption in the EU last year, with ethanol a distant second at 19.9 percent. Pure vegetable oil and biogas made up the remaining 1 percent.

France was the EU’s top biodiesel user in 2012 as the nation consumed 2,299,800 Toe (roughly 690 million gallons).

The U.K.’s biodiesel consumption last year was 634 million liters (167.4 million gallons), down 31 percent from 2011 due to changes in legislation April 2012 on onwards.

For more details, view the full report here


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