BDBe: despite lower gasoline consumption and drop in production, sales of bioethanol in Germany up in 2018
The German Bioethanol Industry Association (Bundesverband der deutschen Bioethanolwirtschaft – BDBe) has published 2018 market data for the production and consumption of certified sustainable bioethanol. German bioethanol production, standardized for use as fuel, fell to 613,000 tonnes, a decline of 8.9% compared with the previous year. However, in a shrinking gasoline market, sales of bioethanol rose by almost 3.0% in 2018.
In 2018, when the fuel market declined overall, with 17.8 million tonnes of gasoline sold—around 2.5% less than in the previous year (2017: 18.3 million tonnes)—the consumption of bioethanol, which is used as a blendstock for Super E10, Super Plus and Super (E5) or used to produce ETBE (ethyl tert-butyl ether), rose to just under 1.2 million tonnes.
While just under 110,000 tonnes of bioethanol were used for ETBE production, around 1.4% less than in the previous year, the blend percentage rose significantly. For the first time in several years, this has again resulted in increasing percentages of bioethanol in the fuel types Super (E5), Super E10 and Super Plus.
Last year, bioethanol’s share of the gasoline market reached 6.3% by volume, 0.3 percentage points higher than in 2017.
The obligation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for all fuels from the current level of 4.0% is clearly too low to ensure even more climate change mitigation in the transport sector. However, this will change starting in 2020, when the greenhouse gas savings quota will increase to 6% as stipulated by law. The mineral oil industry will then use the biofuels that best meet the commitments.—Stefan Walter, Managing Director of the BDBe