Germans publish update versions of EU biofuels directives

By BDBE | October 28, 2015

German Bioethanol Industry Association (BDBe) has published updated versions of the two European Directives 2009/28/EC "Renewable Energies" and 98/70/EC "Fuel Quality" in German and English. The EU Council of Ministers adopted Directive 2015/1513/EU to amend these directives on July 23. The amending directive was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ L239 p. 1 to 29) on Sept. 15. The updated versions of the two directives contain the extensive amendments. The new requirements must be transposed into national law by the Member States by 2017.

BDBe had provided feedback on the decisions to reform the EU Biofuel policy of the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers from April 2015 and views the conclusion of the controversial discussion as a first, yet insufficient step in clarifying the future legal framework for biofuel producers. 

One positive aspect is that biofuels made from residues such as straw and waste are also to be promoted and indirect land-use changes (iLUC factors) as a penalty for European and sustainably produced biofuels were not included in the amending directive given the lack of scientific data.

A maximum cap of 7 percent in relation to the energy content will be introduced for biofuels made from starch, sugar and vegetable oils.

The Member States have until 2017 to transpose the amendments of the EU Directives for renewable energies (RED) and fuel quality (FQD).

Dietrich Klein, secretary general of BDBe: "For the period after 2020, the production of biofuels introduced to the market cannot be reliably planned nor can investments in the production of biofuels from residues and wastes on an industrial scale. The maximum cap adopted for biofuels from energy crops represents a market share of around 10 volume per cent bioethanol in petrol. The market share of bioethanol in Germany is currently only 5.9 volume per cent. Still the "Climate and Energy Package 2020" adopted by the European Council at the end of 2008 was confirmed with the amendments of the two directives. Bioethanol in petrol and biodiesel in diesel are supporting the European climate and energy reform for fuels and are indispensable in the effort to lower CO2 emissions from road traffic along with more energy efficiency and other alternative drives."

The updated versions of both directives are available for downloading in German and English at