UK falling behind in E10 fuel uptake

The European fuel ethanol market has seen a steady increase in both production and consumption over the past few years and is forecasted to grow with wider adoption of biofuels across Europe. But the uptake of E10 – a petrol grade containing 10% ethanol ­– in the UK is lagging behind other European countries.

Emily Lewis, Analyst at Pixie Energy, said:

“The ethanol fuel market is expected to grow in coming years, mainly driven by emission targets such as the Renewable Energy Directive for European countries. This will require wider use of ethanol blend fuels, such as E10.

“Despite having the fourth-highest capacity for ethanol production, E10 fuel is currently not being sold in the UK. The delayed implementation of higher percentage ethanol petrol comes hesitation, over ethical and environmental concerns around unstainable feedstock, vehicle compatibility and Brexit uncertainty.

“With carbon targets to achieve, and the British Bioethanol industry potentially at stake, a lack of activity could compromise an avenue to decarbonise transport in the mid-term.

“With the recent E10 introduction in the Netherlands and the expectation that other European markets will follow suit in the near future, it is possible that E10 can be introduced in a managed way.”


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Pixie Energy was set up in 2015 to promote change in the GB energy market, to the benefit of consumers and communities. It seeks to explore and support commercial innovation and a new entry in local energy markets based around smart, flexible technologies.