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

Indicator Assessment Created 22 Oct 2010 Published 05 Nov 2010 Last modified 13 Dec 2013, 09:17 AM
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Key messages

  • 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.

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

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.

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Share of biofuels in transport fuels

Note: The graph shows the share of biofuels in transport fuels in EEA countries in 1995, 2000 and 2008. The 2005, 2010 and 2020 targets are also shown in the same graph.

Data source:

Eurostat: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/energy/data/database

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

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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.

Data source:

Eurostat: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/energy/data/database

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

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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.

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:
energy consumption
DPSIR: Response
Typology: Policy-effectiveness indicator (Type D)
Indicator codes
  • CSI 037
  • TERM 031
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
1995, 2000, 2007-2008
Geographic coverage:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, 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

2009 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