Political framework conditions in the EU and in Germany

In the development and setting-up of an efficient and powerful bioethanol industry, CropEnergies is profiting from internal EU policies. Their aim is to increase long-term security of supply by tapping domestic energy sources, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to further the development of a new sector of industry.

Promoting through EU directives

In 2003, the EU initially created the political framework for the establishment of a bioethanol industry. At the moment, the use of bioethanol in the EU is regulated by the following directives:
  • Renewable Energies Directive (2009/28/EG) (PDF, 1.28 MB)
    In the transport sector, the proportion of renewable energies is to rise to 10% of total fuel consumption by the year 2020. In 2015, the proportion of conventional biofuels from field crops such as cereals or sugar was limited to 7% in the transport sector until 2020.
    Besides, the EU observes the fulfilment of strict sustainability requirements. This also includes that biofuels reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 35 wt.-%, and by as much as 50 wt.-% from 2018 on, compared to fossil fuels. New biofuel plants constructed after 2017 must achieve greenhouse gas reductions of at least 60 wt.-%.
    The origin of the biomass has to be completely documented, too. Thus, raw materials for biofuel production must not be grown on areas with high levels of carbon, for example, forests and areas with high biodiversity. Regular inspections and certifications systems guarantee the sustainable production of biofuels.
  • Fuel Quality Directive
    It stipulates that, by the year 2020, there needs to be a reduction in greenhouse gases of 6 wt.-%, calculated in terms of overall fuel consumption. The reduction must be achieved in relation to the average greenhouse gas intensity of fuels consumed in 2010. The directive contributes to decrease the emissions of the current car fleet and enables the introduction of E10 fuel in the EU.

2030 Climate and Energie Packet

On November 30, 2016, the European Commission proposed a vast package of climate and energy measures for the period beyond 2020. The proposal does not contain any specifications for the transport sector. Nevertheless, the intention is to increase the share of alternative fuels based on wastes and residues to 6.8% until 2030. At the same time, the European Commission wants to reduce the share of crop based biofuels to a maximum of 3.8%. The EU questions the sustainability of those biofuels and ignores scientific fact:
It has been proven that today, European bioethanol already reduces greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 70% compared to fossil fuel and it lowers the high dependence on crude oil imports. Furthermore, co-produced food and animal feed which are rich in protein replace soy imports from North and South America. Within the legislative process, CropEnergies will campaign for the support of sustainably produced biofuels after 2020. This will mean in particular implementing mandatory targets to increase the share of renewable energies in the transport sector. To achieve those goals and to reduce oil consumption, a cooperation of sustainable fuels not only based on crops, but also on residues will be necessary.
The associations of the German biofuels value chain formulated their concrete demands regarding the Renewable Energies Directive's amendment in a position paper.
Paris Climate Agreement
In 2015, the EU and its Member States committed themselves on taking the necessary actions to restrict global warming to less than 2 °C. The reduction of burning fossil carbon sources and decreasing the greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere are important pillars in this regard. Therefore, renewable fuels based on regrowing plants, which bind the atmosphere's CO2 by photosynthesis, make an indispensable contribution.


Since 1 January 2015, biofuel quotas have no longer been calculated on the basis of calorific value but on the basis of greenhouse gas reduction instead. As of 1 January 2017, the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the fuel sector have been raised from 3.5 wt.-% to 4 wt.-%. From 2020 on, an increase to 6 wt.-% is planned. The German biofuels industry demands a step-by-step increase to achieve the goal in 2020.
According to the Biofuel Sustainability Regulation (Biokraft-NachV), fuels made of biomass are only promoted if they comply with certain sustainability criteria. As from 1 January 2011, all companies producing biofuels have to prove during a certification process that their production is sustainable.

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