In 2012, despite the uncertain political context, biofuel consumption growth was firm in the EU, rising to almost 14.4 million tonne of oil equivalent (toe), i.e., a year-on-year increase of 0.4 million toe. However the previous years’ weaker growth trend is confirmed with growth at just 2.9% between 2011 and 2012.
In Jun 2013, an EurObserv’ER survey pointed to consumption (both certified as sustainable and otherwise) at about 14.4 Mtoe in 2012 compared to 14 Mtoe in 2011, equivalent to 2.9% growth over 2011 (5.3% between 2010 and 2011). This slowdown follows the strong build-up in biofuel consumption between 2005 and 2010.
In 2012, while 14 countries of the EU (including France, Spain, Sweden and Finland) increased their consumption, 10 others (such as the UK, Poland, Hungary and Italy) decreased it.
Currently, Europe is about to vote on another European directive that could shape the development strategy for biofuel use in transport. The legislation is intended to pressure the Member States to set new incorporation rates dictated by the environmental quality of the biofuels. After two years of plunging consumption due to binding sustainability criteria, the aim is to revitalize growth in biofuel consumption. Since 2011, biofuel consumption has been associated with the establishment of binding sustainability criteria, which are now mandatory for the purposes of Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC target calculations. These criteria apply to the whole biofuel production and distribution chain within the European Economic Area, and also to biofuel produced from raw materials