Germany’s biodiesel use up but incorporation rate slips as diesel consumption hits 3-year high
The use of diesel fuel in Germany reached its highest level since October 2019 at 3.1 million metric tons in August.
In August, 212,960 tons of biodiesel were used for blending, which was up 6.1 percent on the previous month. Since at the same time consumption of diesel rose 8.8 percent to 3.1 million tons, hitting a three-year high, the incorporation rate declined 0.2 percentage points to 6.4 percent. This was the lowest incorporation rate since the beginning of the year.
Total consumption of diesel and biodiesel in August amounted to slightly more than 3.3 million tons, which was 3.7 percent more than in August 2021.
Biodiesel consumption in the running year totaled just over 1.6 million tons. The January to August incorporation rate this year averaged 7.2 percent. This compares to 7.4 percent in the same period a year ago.
The Union zur Förderung von Oel- und Proteinpflanzen (UFOP) has pointed out that the standard for diesel fuel, DIN EN590, places a cap on the percentage of biodiesel at 7 percent by volume. The blending percentage exceeding this limit is hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO). The association has contended that these volumes are still not listed by the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export (BAFA).
UFOP estimates biodiesel/HVO demand in the 2022 calendar year to be slightly lower than in 2021, when the amount used was 2.53 million tons.
The trend is towards a decline in demand for diesel and energy as a consequence of increasing e-mobility and the advancing energy efficiency associated with this type of powertrain.
In view of the current debate on the German government coalition’s Immediate Climate Action Programme and criticism from the government’s Expert Council on Climate Issues, the UFOP has emphasized that in 2030, the target year set out in the German Climate Change Act, more than 35 million vehicles will still be powered by combustion engines in Germany.
The association is convinced that in order to meet the GHG-quota obligation and emission requirements for traffic, the world needs any and all options without giving preference to any specific technology and that such options would include certified sustainable greenhouse gas (GHG)-efficient biofuels from cultivated biomass, residues and wastes.
Looking at products that do not need to meet requirements of the same standard, UFOP has pointed out that proof of sustainability should be the “permit” to access the market and being granted credits towards the cap on GHG emissions.