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Use of cleaner and alternative fuels (CSI 037/TERM 031) - Assessment published Sep 2010

Indicator Assessment Created 07 Aug 2009 Published 08 Sep 2010 Last modified 13 Dec 2013, 09:17 AM
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Generic metadata


Transport Transport (Primary topic)

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

Key policy question: Is EU's progress towards promoting cleaner and alternative fuels satisfactory?

Key messages

  • The specifications for low-sulphur fuels (maximum of 50 ppm in 2005) are met in all EU-27 Member States. In 2006, there is already a significant share of zero-sulphur fuels in the EU as many Member States have introduced incentives to promote these fuels ahead of the mandatory deadline (maximum of 10 ppm in 2009).
  • The penetration of biofuels is still relatively low, reaching 2.9 % in the EU-27 in 2007. However, this share has increased by almost 1 % from 2006 to 2007, in view of the 5.75 % objective for 2010.

Low and zero-sulphur fuel use (%)

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

Data source:

European Commission, 2008. Quality of petrol and diesel fuel used for road transport in the European Union - Fifth annual report (Reporting year 2006) [COM(2008) 799].

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Share of biofuels in transport fuels (%)

Note: No data available for Switzerland.

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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Key assessment

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.

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-27 has reached 100 % in 2006, 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, Hungary and Sweden) are already offering only zero-sulphur fuel. At the other end of the scale, some other member states (Cyprus, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Slovenia and the United Kingdom) do not yet offer zero-sulphur fuels in their markets.

The share of biofuels in the EEA-32 in 2007 was relatively low, accounting for 2.7 % of all petrol, diesel and biofuels sold for transport purposes. 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 (11 %) of biofuels sold in its market.

Data sources

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Cinzia Pastorello


EEA Management Plan

2009 2.10.2 (note: EEA internal system)


Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled once per year in October-December (Q4)
Filed under: ,


European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100