Biodiesel consumption slumping in Germany, UFOP calls for changes to GHG reduction requirements

Increases in the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction requirement have failed to prevent a fall in biodiesel consumption, according to the German Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (Union zur Förderung von Oel- und Proteinpflanzen: UFOP).

The GHG reduction requirement increased from 3.5% to 4% at the start of 2017, while diesel consumption rose to 15 million tonnes (it stood at 14.15 million tonnes in the previous year). Despite this, biodiesel consumption has fallen once again from 0.912 million tonnes to 0.848 million tonnes. 

According to UFOP, these figures can be explained by the increase in the GHG reduction of biodiesel from 65.3 to 71.5 percent. UFOP emphasises that this also shows that the potential for the necessary decarbonisation of fuel is not being exhausted by the current reduction requirement quota. UFOP argues that the GHG reduction requirement introduced in Germany in 2015 in place of an energy quota requirement is, in principle, the right way to increase raw materials and cost efficiency with sustainably produced biofuels. For that reason, the association claims the same quota should be introduced throughout the EU from 2021. 

“The climate protection target in the transport sector requires greenhouse gas neutrality in order to reach the 2 degree (or better still, the 1.5 degree) target,” UFOP argues in a statement. “We must make use of all available options rather than just following the car industry’s current approach of relying on a future possibility of producing synthetic fuels from renewable energies for the same price as the fossil fuels or biofuels available today.”

UFOP is calling on policy-makers to align GHG reduction requirement with the admixture proportion stipulation in the diesel fuel standard of 7% biofuels by volume.

“The new federal government needs to take this as a starting point and also establish calculation options for vehicle manufacturers who need to reduce CO2 emissions in new cars down to 95 g from 2021. Otherwise they would be faced with severe penalties of EUR 95 per excess gram and car, which would be paid to the EU commission,” the statement reads.

UFOP also argues for aviation to be included in the GHG reduction requirement, to stimulate the use of alternative fuels in the sector. 

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