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Palm oil still dominant biofuel feedstock in Germany’s 2021 GHG-quota year


With 1.063 million metric tons, palm oil was still by far the most important vegetable oil raw material for the production of biodiesel and hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) in the quota year 2021 for offsetting against Germany’s greenhouse-gas (GHG) quota obligation. In 2020, palm-oil use was even higher at 1.414 million tons.




According to the evaluation report 2021 published in December 2022 by the German Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE), 1.318 million tons of the raw materials certified under EU law (RED II) came from Asia. Among these, palm oil dominated with 0.992 million tons.



The Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (UFOP) expects the share of palm oil to halve in the completed quota year 2022. Total sales are estimated at about 2.5 million tons. This expectation is based on the statutory limit in Germany of 0.9 percent of final energy consumption in transport for offsetting against the GHG quota obligation.




From the UFOP’s point of view, it is primarily rapeseed oil from European cultivation that will have to close the demand gap. This applies in particular to the period from 2023 to 2030. Since Jan. 1, 2023, palm oil-based biofuels have been excluded from offsetting, well ahead of the phaseout by 2030 prescribed by EU law. Other EU member states, including France, Sweden, Belgium and Austria, have already implemented this exclusion.



The funding union underlines the important bridging function of sustainably certified biofuels from cultivated biomass as a noticeable contribution to climate protection in transport. At the same time, it calls for a national fuel strategy until the share of renewable power finally takes the ramp-up desired by policymakers as a contribution to the decarbonization of the transport sector.




In view of the difficult supply situation for natural gas and oil on the one hand and the ambitious climate-protection targets on the other, all sustainably certified options must be used in the best possible way. This applies in particular to the use of biofuels in heavy-goods transport. Here the laws of physics and the costs of electrification set the “guard rails” that must be taken into account with a view to the climate-protection targets under the Climate Protection Act.




At the same time, the UFOP emphasizes the limits of availability for the provision of biofuels as a result of the naturally given crop-rotation restrictions imposed by the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.




In this respect, the priority is to optimally exploit the available potential, emphasized UFOP with reference to the coordination of a National Biomass Strategy (NABIS), which will begin this spring.




These and other topics will be discussed at the 20th International Conference on Renewable Mobility—Fuels of the Future 2023. This major pan-European, cross-sectoral flagship event will take place Jan. 23-24 in the City Cube in Berlin. More than 400 participants are already registered. For more information, visit https://www.kraftstoffe-der-zukunft.com/.

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