Europe promotes biodiesel use
Biodiesel production in Europe
Not only in the US but also in Europe is biodiesel becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to mineral oil-based fuel. In Europe around 50 manufacturers produce approximately 1.5 million tonnes of biodiesel, with a total capacity of around 2.1 million tonnes Germany is the biggest market in the world and produced about one million metric tonnes in 2004. France produced 310,000 metric tons biodiesel in 2003. In the US biodiesel is mainly produced from soybean oil but in Europe the main source of biodiesel is rapeseed oil. In other tropical countries also palm oil is used as source.
Following the example of Germany and France, the Scandinavian countries are also set to swiftly implement the EU guidelines for biofuels. Sweden has already decided to completely abolish the energy and CO tax on biodiesel. TheSwedish rapeseed producer Svensk Raps estimates a ratio of two to three percent biodiesel over the medium term,which,
with diesel demand at 3.5 million tonnes,will require production of 70,000 to 100,000 tonnes. Denmark has not yet amended its national legislation to enable admixtures with biodiesel in its own country. Consequently,its production is still being marketed in Germany. The new EU member Lithuania has 80,000 hectares in rapeseed production. also now underway here. About 40,000 tonnes of rapeseed oil are produced of which a tenth is processed into biodiesel.
European legislation for biodiesel
The European Parliament has approved a directive which will come into effect in 2005. This Directive requires member states to ensure that a minimum proportion of biodiesel and
other renewable fuels is brought onto the European markets. By the end of 2005 about 2 percent of fuel should be from renewable sources and by 2010 this should increase to 5.75 percent.