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Use of cleaner and alternative fuels (CSI 037/TERM 031) - Assessment published Apr 2009

Indicator Assessment Created 17 Nov 2008 Published 21 Apr 2009 Last modified 20 Feb 2014, 04:41 PM
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Key messages

  • The combined penetration of low and zero-sulphur fuels in the EU-25 increased from 50 % to 99.9 % between 2003 and 2005, meaning that the specifications for petrol and diesel in 2005 are met. Many Member States have introduced incentives to promote the use of zero-sulphur fuels ahead of the mandatory deadline (maximum of 10 ppm "zero" in 2009).
  • The penetration of biofuels is still low. The share of biofuels in the EU-27 in 2006 was less than 1.8 %, off the 2 % target set for 2005. However, this share has increased by almost 1 % from 2005 to 2006, in view of the 5.75 % objective for 2010.

Is EU's progress towards promoting cleaner and alternative fuels satisfactory?

Low and zero-sulphur fuel use (%)

Note: No data available for Bulgaria, France and Romania.

Data source:

European Commission, 2007. Quality of petrol and diesel fuel used for road transport in the European Union - fourth annual report (Reporting year 2005) [COM(2007) 617].

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Share of biofuels in transport fuels (%)

Note: N/A

Data source:

Energy statistics (sirene), Eurostat

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Final energy consumption in the transport sector

Note: N/A

Data source:

Energy statistics (sirene), Eurostat

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A reduction in the sulphur content of petrol and diesel fuels is expected to have a large impact on exhaust emissions as it will enable the introduction of more sophisticated after-treatment systems.

With the exception of Latvia, Poland and Slovakia, all member states have abandoned the sale of regular (350 ppm sulphur) petrol and diesel fuel. The combined penetration of low and zero-sulphur fuels in the EU-25 has reached 99.9 % in 2005, meaning that the specifications for petrol and diesel in 2005 are met.

In view of the 2009 (10 ppm) mandate, many Member States have introduced incentives to promote zero-sulphur fuels. Some member states (Denmark, Finland, Germany and Sweden) are already offering only zero-sulphur fuel. At the other end of the scale, some other member states (Luxembourg, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Malta and Slovenia) do not yet offer zero-sulphur fuels in their markets.

The share of biofuels in the EEA-32 in 2006 was relatively low, accounting for 1.7 % of all petrol and diesel sold for transport purposes (reported biofuels consumption as a percentage of total gasoline and diesel consumption). This share has almost quadrupled over the past four years; however more effort is needed to reach the 5.75% objective by the end of 2010. Germany has by far the highest share (7 %) of biofuels sold in its market.

The EU Biofuels Directive has lead to the creation of favourable legislative frameworks in most Member States and has therefore triggered rapid market implementation of biofuels. By now all of the Member States have set national targets, most of them aim for the proposed 5.75 % market share by 2010 or earlier. Each EU Member State has to send annual reports to the EC, stating the implemented measures, the annual biofuel production and the market share achieved.

Indicator specification and metadata

Indicator definition

Shares of sulphur-free fuels (<10 ppm), and biofuels in total fuel consumption by road transport (in percentage of fuels sold for road transport purposes). The shares of low and zero sulphur petrol and diesel are calculated by dividing the consumption of each fuel by the total fuel consumption of petrol and diesel respectively. The share of biofuels is based on their energy content and is thus calculated by dividing the energy consumption of biofuels by the energy consumption of all petrol and diesel sold for transport purposes.

Units

Petrol and diesel fuels are measured in millions of liters and presented as shares of regular, <50 ppm sulphur and <10 ppm sulphur, respectively.

Final energy consumption of biofuels, diesel and gasoline for transport are measured in Terajoules net calorific values (NCV) and presented as a percentage of biofuels to the sum of all three fuels.

Table: nrg_102a, unit: 1000toe Thousands tons of oil equivalent (TOE), tj_ncv Terajoules (Net calorific value = NCV), indic_en: 101900 Final energy consumption – Transport, product:, 3230 Motor Spirit, 3260 Gas / Diesel Oil

Table: nrg_1073a, unit: tj_ncv Terajoules (Net calorific value = NCV), indic_en: 101900 Final energy consumption – Transport, product: 5545 Biofuels



Policy context and targets

Context description

In April 2009, Directive 2009/30/EC was adopted which revises the Fuel Quality Directive [Directive 98/70/EC]. It amends a number of elements of the petrol and diesel specifications as well as introducing in Article 7a a requirement on fuel suppliers to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of energy supplied for road transport (Low Carbon Fuel Standard). Fuel suppliers must reduce emissions by 6-10 % by 2020 (relative to 2010 fossil fuels). In addition the Directive establishes sustainability criteria that must be met by biofuels if they are to count towards the greenhouse gas intensity reduction obligation. Progress against the FQD target will be evaluated once annual progress reporting begins in 2012.

The Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC (that repeals the previous 2003/30/EC) establishes a common framework for the promotion of energy from renewable sources. Under this directive, the share of renewable in transport rises to a minimum 10 % in every Member State in 2020. The new directive on renewable energy also aims to ensure that as we expand the use of biofuels in the EU we use only sustainable biofuels, which generate a clear and net GHG saving and have no negative impact on biodiversity and land use.

Member States are required to report to the Commission annually on (1) the measures taken to promote the use of biofuels or other renewable fuels to replace diesel or petrol for transport purposes, (2) the national resources allocated to the production of biomass for energy uses other than transport, and (3) the total sales of transport fuel and the share of biofuels, pure or blended, and other renewable fuels placed on the market for the preceding year.

Targets

EU legislation requires the reduction of the sulphur content of fuels to below 10 mg/kg (zero sulphur fuels) by 2009. This Directive 2009/28 requires that by 2020 the EU’s fuel consumption should have a 10 % share of renewables in the transport sector.

The Renewable Energy Directive (RED, 2009/28/EC) set a target for all Member States to reach a 10 % share of renewable energy in transport by 2020.

The White Paper (EC, 2011) provides objectives for decarbonising transport fuels in aviation and shipping, i.e.: “Low carbon sustainable fuels in aviation to reach 40 % by 2050; also by 2050 reduce emissions from maritime bunker fuels by 40 % (if feasible 50 %) compared to 2005 levels.” In both sectors it would be anticipated that the majority of these targets would need to be met through the utilisation of sustainable biofuels.

Related policy documents

Methodology

Methodology for indicator calculation

The shares of low and zero sulphur petrol and diesel (in percentage) are calculated by dividing the consumption of each fuel (in tonnes) by the total fuel consumption of petrol and diesel respectively.

The share of biofuels (in percentage) is based on their energy content and is thus calculated by dividing its energy consumption (in tonnes of oil equivalent) by total energy consumption including petrol and diesel.

Methodology for gap filling

The final energy consumption time series contains an extrapolation to the latest available year (2010). The primary Eurostat dataset does not extend to 2010, so an extrapolation was made based on Eurostat monthly data on supply and transformation of oil-based products. The following assumptions were used:

  • Maritime bunker final energy consumption was assumed to correlate with internal market deliveries of maritime bunker fuels;
  • Road transport final energy consumption was assumed to correlate with an energy-weighted combination of internal market deliveries of motor gasoline and transport diesel;
  • Aviation final energy consumption was assumed to correlate with internal market deliveries of kerosene – jet fuel.

Using these assumptions, final energy consumption in 2010 was extrapolated by the formula:

[Final energy consumption 2010] = [Final energy consumption 2009] * [Internal market deliveries 2010] / [Internal market deliveries 2009]

For other modes, final energy consumption was assumed to remain a constant in proportion to the sum of the above three modes. It is recognised that this is a very crude assumption, however the remaining modes account for less than 5% of the total final energy consumption in all recent years.

Methodology references

No methodology references available.

Uncertainties

Methodology uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Data sets uncertainty

The data are collected on an annual basis by the European Commission and can thus be considered reliable and accurate. The requirement for the data collection for low and zero sulphur fuels and biofuels is mandatory and thus the results are harmonised at the EU level.

Rationale uncertainty

-

Data sources

Generic metadata

Topics:

Transport Transport (Primary topic)

Tags:
csi | transport
DPSIR: Response
Typology: Policy-effectiveness indicator (Type D)
Indicator codes
  • CSI 037
  • TERM 031
Geographic coverage:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Cinzia Pastorello

Ownership

EEA Management Plan

2010 2.9.2 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled once per year
Filed under: ,
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100