|Consumption of biofuels by country. Click to enlarge.|
Consumption of transportation biofuels in the 25-member European Union jumped 78% from 2005 to 2006, rising from 3 million to 5.38 million tonnes of oil equivalent (toe), according to the Biofuels Barometer published by EurObserv’ER, a renewable industry consortium. That increase resulted in biofuels representing a 1.8% share of the total consumption of transportation fuels, compared to a 1% share in 2005.
In 2006, biodiesel represented 71.6% of the energy content of biofuels dedicated to transport, far out ahead of bioethanol (16.3%) and other biofuels (12.1%). Of the “other” biofuels, pure vegetable oil accounted for 629,809 toe (11.7% of total biofuel consumption) and biogas for 13,940 toe.
The consumption of crude vegetable oil is primarily driven by Germany, where it is legally considered a full-fledged fuel, according to the report.
Biodiesel consumption is growing the most rapidly, with an increase of 71.4% between 2005 and 2006, compared to a 57.5% growth in bioethanol consumption. Consumption of the other biofuels was multiplied by 3.4 in a single year.
Germany continued to be the largest European consumer of biofuel in 2006, accounting for 2.8 million tonnes of biodiesel, according to the AGEE Stat, the statistical organization of the Ministry of the Environment. The 2.8 million tonnes of biodiesel represents 2.408 million toe. German consumption of vegetable oil was 0.71 million tons of vegetable oil (628,492 toe) and 0.48 million tons of bioethanol (307,200 toe).
This consumption corresponds to a 6% share by energy content of biofuels, the largest for an EU country.
France remained the second largest European biofuel consumer in 2006. French consumption increased by 62.7% to reach, according to the Ministry of Industry, 682,000 toe (i.e. 1.6% of French domestic fuel consumption). Biodiesel represents the biggest share (78%, far ahead of bioethanol with 22%).