Use of cleaner and alternative fuels (CSI 037/TERM 031) - Assessment published Nov 2010
Transport (Primary topic)
Typology: Policy-effectiveness indicator (Type D)
- CSI 037
- TERM 031
Key policy question: Is EU's progress towards promoting cleaner and alternative fuels satisfactory?
- Many Member States have introduced incentives to promote low and zero sulphur fuels towards the objective of reducing the sulphur content of fuels to a maximum of 50 ppm by 2005 and to a maximum of 10 ppm by 2009. Although the target for 2005 has been achieved, the penetration of zero sulphur fuels in view of the 2009 target is still rather low. 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.
- The penetration of biofuels is also low. The share of biofuels in the EU-27 in 2005 was about 1%, i.e. half of the 2% target. However, this share has increased rapidly to 3.4% in 2008, in view of the 5.75% objective for 2010.
Low and zero-sulphur fuel use in the EU
Note: The graph shows share of low and zero sulphur fuels (petrol and diesel) in the EU and Switzerland in 2007.
European Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/air/transport/pdf/fqm_summary_2007.pdf
Final energy consumption in the transport sector in EEA
Note: This table shows final energy consumption from petrol, diesel and biofuels in the EEA countries in 1995, 2000 and 2008. Fuel shares in final energy consumption are also shown for the same fuel types.
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
The share of biofuels in the EU-27 in 2008 was rather low, accounting for 3.4 % of all petrol and diesel sold for transport purposes (reported biofuels consumption as a percentage of total petrol and diesel consumption). This share has more than tripled over the past three years; however more effort is needed to reach the 5.75 % objective by the end of 2010. Austria, Germany, France and Slovakia have the highest shares of biofuels sold in their markets, having already reached the 2010 target.
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 Member States have set national targets, most of them aiming for the proposed 5.75 % market share by 2010 or earlier. France has set a higher target of 7 %, whereas the Czech Republic, Italy, Slovenia and the United Kingdom have set lower targets for 2010 (5.55 %, 2.5 %, 5 % and 3.5 % respectively). Germany has set different targets for ethanol and biodiesel (3.6 % and 6.17 % respectively). 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.
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. Although sulphur reduction is mainly aimed at long-term durability and fuel efficiency with advanced aftertreatment systems, such as NOx storage catalysts and diesel particulate filters, short-term effects are also important in view of the potential impact on the existing vehicle fleet.
With the latest addition of Bulgaria, Latvia, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, all EU 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 2007, 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, Netherlands and Sweden) are already offering only zero-sulphur fuel. At the other end of the scale, some other member states (Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Malta and Slovenia) do not yet offer zero-sulphur fuels in their markets.
Transport statistics (Eurostat)
provided by Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat)
More information about this indicator
See this indicator specification for more details.
Contacts and ownership
EEA Contact InfoCinzia Pastorello
EEA Management Plan2009 2.9.2 (note: EEA internal system)
Frequency of updates
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
PDF generated on 29 Mar 2015, 09:50 PM