European Biodiesel Production Doubles in Two Years; EBB Warns on Need to Eliminate “Legislative and Standards Desert”
18 July 2007
Although production of biodiesel in Europe has more than doubled in the last two years, urgent market measures are required to create a real market for the fuel quantities being produced, according to the European Biodiesel Board (EBB). Absent those measures, the Board says, production may decline.
Production of biodiesel in Europe jumped 54% in 2006 to 4.89 million tonnes (about 1.5 billion gallons US), up from 3.184 million tonnes (about 961 million gallons US) in 2005, according to the EBB. This follows 65% record growth in 2005 over 2004.
As a result, EU biodiesel production has more than doubled in the last two years. In 2002, 2003 and 2004, biodiesel production rose by a relatively lower 30-35% rate.
In terms of capacity, the EU biodiesel industry will be able to fulfill the 2010 EU target and be ready to meet the 10% biofuels target endorsed in March, according to the EBB.
...however in the EU biodiesel is still strongly hindered by the lack of appropriate markets measures able to create a real market for biodiesel in Member States.
As a result the important increasing biodiesel industrial capacity risks to remain very largely unemployed and production may start stagnating if not declining already as from this year 2007, if urgent action is not taken
This would be a paradox...This paradox needs to be avoided: the EU cannot on the hand ask the biodiesel industry to undertake a long walk to reach very high levels of production in the long run and on the other hand leave this same industry alone to cross a legislative and standards desert over the next two years.
Among the measures the EBB called for is an increase in the biodiesel incorporation rate in EN 590 diesel (with no labeling) from the present 5% to 10% and then again to 15% by 2015 in order to achieve a 10% minimum target in all member states by 2020.
The EBB also blasted the US for its B99 export subsidy which gives US producers a roughly €200/m3 advantage and allows US exporters to sell US originated biodiesel “at the same or even at a lower price than the cost of EU industry’s raw materials.”
EBB is pushing EU authorities to take action on this at the WTO.
Europe is the global leader in biodiesel production, producing 77% of biodiesel worldwide in 2006. Within the EU, Germany, France and Italy are the top three producers, with Germany alone accounting for 2.662 million tonnes of production in 2006—about 54% of the EU total. The German government began taxing biodiesel in August 2006—a policy that has resulted in slowing sales at the pump, according to biodiesel producers.
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