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UFOP urges German govt. to raise GHG quota as 2020 brings record sales of biobased diesel

Updated: Mar 17, 2021

Image: UFOP

At approximately 3.025* million metric tons (roughly 908 million gallons), Germany’s incorporation of biobased diesel reached its highest level in the past year since the quota regime was introduced in 2007. In providing this information, the Union zur Förderung von Oel- und Proteinpflanzen (UFOP) refers to statistics published by the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) in early March.

The UFOP sees this as confirmation of its expectations that the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target, which was raised from 4 to 6 percent for 2020, would be easy to meet. The adequate availability of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) played an important role in this.

The diesel fuel standard DIN EN 590 limits the incorporation rate of fatty acid methyl ester (biodiesel) to a maximum of 7 percent by volume. According to the standard, HVO can be blended at up to 26 percent.

The UFOP has estimated the share of biodiesel in fulfilling the quota requirements at approximately 2.46* million tons (738 million gallons) and that of HVO at approximately 0.56* million tons.

The association has pointed out that quota requirements were easily met despite the fact that quotas could not be carried over to 2020 from previous years. These and other options to meet the quota obligations can and will be applied in 2021. Against this background, the UFOP has called for the quota on GHG emission to be raised to 6.5 percent this year already.

From 2022 onwards, more ambitious increases are possible and urgently needed in the interests of climate protection, the UFOP has emphasized, referring to the opinion of the Bundesverband Bioenergie (BBE), the German Bioenergy Association, on the federal government’s draft bill for the future development of the GHG reduction target.

The UFOP has strongly underlined the need for action to stop the use of palm oil in biofuels production and for credits towards the cap on GHG emissions. This step would raise the domestic and European feedstock potential instead of promoting exports of rapeseed oil-based biodiesel.

The UFOP therefore welcomes the fact that the German government is making use of the authorization in the EU Commission’s Delegated Regulation (2019/807) to cease giving credits for palm oil-based biofuels from 2026. However, France and Austria are showing that palm oil can be excluded today, much earlier than the German government has planned.

*Editor's Note: These figures were originally underestimated by UFOP but were revised up slightly in mid-March.

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