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Pixie Chart of the Week

2019

Europe’s biofuel producers: is the UK falling behind?

Emily Lewis Analyst

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. This week’s chart comes from data shared in ePURE’s report Updated for 2018: Overview of biofuel policies and markets across the EU-28. The chart outlines the top 10 countries for ethanol production capacity. 18 countries have installed capacity to produce bioethanol, with a combined total capacity of 8,901mn litres a year. France is Europe’s leading market and hosts 23% of European biofuel production capacity. The fuel ethanol 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, a 10% blend of ethanol in petrol. Currently, Belgium has the highest share of E10 in the petrol market at 79%, Finland has a 68% and France has 43%. E10 fuel is not currently sold in the UK despite having the fourth highest capacity for ethanol production. The delayed implementation of higher percentage ethanol petrol comes from government hesitation, which has delayed the decision to introduce E10 until 2021. This has arisen from ethical and environmental concerns around unsustainable feedstock, vehicle compatibility and Brexit uncertainty. This delay in the introduction of E10 has also contributed to the closure of the UK’s largest bioethanol producer, Vivergo Fuels. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Bioethanol is concerned that the UK ...

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