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Use of cleaner and alternative fuels

Indicator Assessment Created 17 Nov 2008 Published 21 Apr 2009 Last modified 04 Sep 2015, 06:59 PM
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Topics: ,
Indicator codes: CSI 037 , TERM 031

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 on track towards promoting cleaner and alternative fuels?

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 renewable energy sources in transport. The ratio determining a Members State’s share of renewable energy in transport consumption (RES-T) is defined in the Article 3 (4) of the RES Directive.

For the calculation of the denominator, that is the total amount of energy consumed in transport, only petrol, diesel, biofuels consumed in road and rail transport, and electricity are taken into account.

For the calculation of the numerator, that is the amount of energy from renewable sources consumed in transport, all types of energy from renewable sources consumed in all forms of transport are taken into account.

For the calculation of the contribution from electricity produced from renewable sources and consumed in all types of electric vehicles for the purpose of the calculation of the numerator and denominator of the RES-T share, Member States may choose to use either the average share of electricity from renewable sources in the Community or the share of electricity from renewable energy sources in their own country as measured two years before the year in question. Furthermore, for the calculation of the electricity from renewable energy sources consumed by electric road vehicles, that consumption shall be considered to be 2.5 times the energy content of the input of electricity from renewable sources.

Units

Final energy consumption of biofuels, petrol and diesel, and electricity for transport are measured in ktoes. The decision to use ktoe as the main calculation unit was made due to the choice of reporting units in the Template for Member State progress reports under Directive 2009/28/EC.


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. 

The EU Biofuels Directive has created a legislative framework in Member States and has therefore triggered rapid market implementation of biofuels. The share of biofuels in the EU-28 in 2010 was 4.8% of all petrol and diesel sold for transport purposes, still somewhat below the original policy objective under Directive 2003/30/EC to reach 5.75% by the end of 2010. These targets were subsequently revised following the adoption of the Directive 2009/28/EC, subsequently amended in 2013 and in 2015, on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (repealing two previous Directives) the share of renewable energy use in transport rises to a minimum 10% in every Member State by 2020. The new directive on renewable energy also aims to ensure that only sustainable biofuels are used in the EU, which generate a clear and net GHG saving and have no negative impact on biodiversity and land use. Only biofuels complying with the sustainability criteria under the RED are to be counted towards this target and therefore proper monitoring is only possible from 2010. In addition, to stimulate the growth of certain shares of renewable energy sources in transport, renewable electricity in electric road vehicles is accounted for 2.5 times the energy content of the input of electricity from renewable energy sources, while the contribution of biofuels produced from wastes, residues, non-food cellulosic material, and ligno-cellulosic material is considered twice that of other biofuels. Nevertheless, the 10 % target is expected to be met primarily through biofuels.

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

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

  • DIRECTIVE 2001/77/EC Renewable electricity
    Directive 2001/77/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 September 2001 on the promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in the internal electricity market
  • Directive 2003/30/EC, use of biofuels and renewable fuels
    Promotion of the use of biofuels and other renewable fuels for transport. Directive 2003/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 May 2003 on the promotion of the use of biofuels and other renewable fuels for transport.
  • DIRECTIVE 2009/28/EC
    DIRECTIVE 2009/28/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC
  • Regulation (EC) No 1099/2008 on energy statistics
    Regulation (EC) No 1099/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2008 on energy statistics (OJ 2008 L 304, p. 1).

Methodology

Methodology for indicator calculation

The share of renewable energy sources in transport is calculated by dividing the renewable energy consumption by the total energy consumption including petrol and diesel.

The ratio determining a Member State’s RES-T share is defined in the Article 3(4) of the RES Directive, where for the calculation of the denominator, the consumption of petrol for transport, diesel for transport, biofuels used in road and rail transport and electricity in any mode of transport are taken into account. For the numerator, compliant biofuels (liquid and gaseous) in all modes of transport and where applicable with the respective multiplier (2x) as defined in Article 21(2), renewable electricity in transport with the respective multiplier (2.5x) for road transport, hydrogen of renewable origin in all modes of transport and other forms of renewable energy consumed in the transport sector are taken into account as well.

Methodology for gap filling

No gap-filling is applied. 

Methodology references

  • SHARES Tool Manual Shares Tool Manual: Describes the Shares Tool that is designed to collect and present the information – the energy data – that are needed for the calculations as defined in Article 3 (transport sector) and Article 5 (overall target) of the Directive. 

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

Diana Vedlugaite

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