Germany’s use of biobased diesel hits record high in quota-year 2020

At around 3.45 million metric tons, the quantity of biofuel added to Germany’s diesel fuel in quota-year 2020 was approximately 1 million tons higher than the previous record value from 2019. Hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) made up about 1 million of the 3.45 million tons while the majority remainder consisted of biodiesel.

For Germany’s Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (UFOP), this outcome makes it clear that the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction obligation, which increased Jan. 1 to 7 percent and will rise to 25 percent by 2030, is achievable.

In order to fulfill the GHG-reduction obligations by 2030 in accordance with climate-protection law, which present a particular challenge for the transport industry, an approach willing to employ technology in production and application of biofuels and synthetic fuels made from renewable energy will be, and remain, essential.

In light of the insufficient expansion of production capacities for renewable energy, the e-mobility sector will not be able to handle climate change and climate goals. UFOP is therefore appealing to the new German government to show solidarity with all options for the good of evolutionary development, as opposed to showing one-sided privileged treatment.

Against the backdrop of the varied requirements and strategical approaches in the EU member states, Germany’s introduction of the GHG quota obligation has paved the way for fulfilling the climate-protection goals in the transport industry. These goals could now be achieved on a competitive basis, UFOP believes, emphasizing the essential meaning behind the national regulation. It is therefore regrettable that the EU Commission still refuses to allow biofuels and synthetic fuels to count towards the CO2 fleet limits. UFOP urges politicians to recognize not only the possibilities but also the limitations of physics in the face of differing power requirements, and in particular, the problem of a large number of existing vehicles.

In the coming years, biofuels made from a range of raw materials will have to take on a leading role in the replacement of fossil fuels. In quota-year 2020 in Germany, around 10 percent of diesel consumption was replaced with biofuels.

The 2020 Experience and Evaluation Report published by the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE), published in mid-December, further highlighted that the requirements under EU law for the proof of the origin of raw materials, cultivated area, and the necessary GHG reduction—that is to say, sustainability—are exemplary, and could also be implemented with the commercial enterprises concerned for other raw material flows that are critically discussed. In the opinion of UFOP, the accompanying transparency and documented proof of sustainability are necessary for acceptance, both within politics and with the general public.

For 2021, UFOP is expecting around 2.6 million tons in sales of biodiesel/HVO. The reason for this lower demand is the recurring possibility to be able to fulfill the quota requirement by trading or transferring quotas. In this respect, UFOP expects that any unfulfilled quota volumes from 2019 will be transferred into 2021. UFOP will continue to follow the trade of greenhouse gases promoted by the e-mobility sector with great interest. A dynamic branch of this sector has developed quickly, such as for users of charging stations.

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