Germany’s biodiesel consumption up 2% year-on-year: govt figures

16 Feb 2018 | John McGarrity

Germany’s consumption of biodiesel rose 2% in January-November 2017 compared with the first 11 months in 2016 as tighter CO2 targets for biofuels increased consumption of products that have a lower carbon footprint than bioethanol.

For 2017 excluding December, Germany’s consumption of biodiesel was 2.033 billion litres, up from 1.989 billion litres in the equivalent period in 2016.

This was an increase of 2.2% and much less pronounced than the annualised change in the November figures from Germany’s Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA).

Consumption of bioethanol was largely flat in the first 11 months of 2017 compared with the equivalent period in 2016, falling to 1.053 billion litres from 1.072 billion litres.

From January 1 2015, Germany switched its biofuel mandate from energy to a GHG-based measure, through which blenders have been required to establish a minimum GHG reduction of total fuel sales (including biofuels) compared with only the emissions from fossil fuels.

For the 2017-2019 period, the percentage of GHG savings of total fuel use (fossil and renewable) compared to the hypothetic GHG emissions had all the fuel been of fossil origin, is 4%.

This compares with a 3.5% mandate for 2015.

According to a 2017 USDA GAIN report, based on GHG savings the post-2015 system creates a preference for hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) above bioethanol and conventional biodiesel.  

In 2016, consumption of used cooking oil as a feedstock in Germany’s biodiesel overtook
the use of rapeseed for the first time.