|The EU-25 (plus 4 candidate states).|
Biodiesel production in the 25 European Union member countries (EU-25) hit a new record in 2005, shooting up 65% from 2004 to 2005, an increase from 1.9 million tonnes to 3.2 million tonnes (about 966 million gallons) according to figures released by the European Biodiesel Board.
The European Union is the global leader in biodiesel production. By contrast, the US—the world’s second largest producer—delivered 250,000 tonnes in 2005 (about 75 million gallons—a tripling of its production in 2004.)
|Biodiesel production in the EU-25 and US, 2004 to 2005. Click to enlarge.|
In 2004, 2003 and 2002, European biodiesel production had risen 30–35% when compared to the prior year, marking a continued and aggressive expansion of the European biodiesel sector.
Although most production can be attributed to the EU-15 member states, with Germany the leader by an order of magnitude, the number of European countries with a biodiesel industry has nearly doubled in 2005.
Twenty of the 25 states are now producing biodiesel on a commercial scale, up from 11 countries last year. The EBB estimates that 2006 production capacity will reach 6 million tonnes.
Biodiesel represents around 80% of the EU biofuels production, ethanol being the other major component. Even with the surge in production, however, the EU did not reach its 2% biofuels target set for 2005.
Still, considering only EU diesel markets, biodiesel production got closer than expected to the 2% target, representing today approximately a 1.5% market share of the conventional EU diesel market in terms of energy content.