EurOberv'ER releases annual Biofuels Barometer report

By Erin Voegele | August 27, 2014

The EurObserv’ER has released its annual Biofuel Barometer, reporting that last year was the first time the consumption of biofuels in Europe decreased. The report notes the decline is essentially related to Spain, where incorporation targets were cut, and Germany, where biofuel consumption declined after abolishing the last tax exemptions for the biodiesel sector. Some countries, including the U.K., Sweden and Denmark, significantly increased their incorporation rates, while others, such as France, Austria and Belgium kept steady incorporation rates.

The report indicates Germany was the EU’s top ethanol consumer in 2013, with 777,730 tons of oil equivalent (toe), down from 805,460 toe in 2012. The U.K. consumed an estimated 410,791 toe of ethanol last year, up from 388,220 toe the prior year. France was also a top consumer, with 393,541 toe consumed in 2013, down from 417,014 toe in 2012.

While total biofuel use has dropped, the report notes that ethanol consumption is on the rise when compared to other biofuels. The market share of ethanol in the biofuels space increased from 19.2 percent in 2012 to 19.9 percent in 2013. In addition, the report specifies that the year-on-year decline in ethanol consumption was only 3.1 percent, compared to 8.5 percent for biodiesel.

An estimated 86 percent of consumption in the EU was certified as sustainable last year. This is an increase over 79.8 percent in 2012. According to the report, only a handful of EU countries, including Spain, Finland, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus and Malta were in the process of setting up an effective system for certifying their biofuel consumption in 2013. Finland’s biofuel and liquid biomass sustainability law was adopted in 2013 and came into force at the beginning of the current year. The report states that Cyprus is at a similar stage and notes that uncertainty still surrounds the enforcement date of Spain’s certification mechanism.

According to the report, Agenoga Bioenergy is Europe’s top ethanol producer with 1.281 billion liters of capacity. Tereos is second with 1.26 billion liters of capacity. Crop Energies has 1.2 billion liters of capacity, followed by Cristanol with 550 MMly, Vivergo with 420 Mmly, and Agrana with 400 MMly. Verbio and Agroethanol each have 340 MMly and 210 MMly of capacity, respectively.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded from the EurObserv’ER website