Production outlook

Growing global demand

The International Energy Acency (IEA) recognises the role that biofuels play in providing sustainable energy to hard-to-abate sectors and the need to significantly grow biofuel production to reach the Net Zero Emissions target by 2050. In 2022, biofuel demand reached a record high of 170,000 million litres; by 2030, this needs to more than double to reach the 2030 targets in the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 scenario—an average growth of 11% yearly.

The IEA also highlight that specifically advanced biofuel production needs to expand, seeing the share of biofuels produced from waste, residues and non-food energy crops increase to 40% of total biofuel demand by 2030, compared to a 9% share in 2021.

Production & consumption in the EU

Biofuel consumption in EU transport sector was 13 million tonnes in 2015 and reached 16 million tonnes in 2019. The use of advanced biofuel has been increasing in recent years and was slightly above 4m tonnes in 2020 at around 25% of total biofuel consumption.

Over 1 billion litres of advanced biofuels were produced in the EU in 2020 and the numbers are growing with new announcements of investments in commercial production.

An untapped potential by the EU

While the market is growing in Europe, it remains untapped potential that could be accelerated, due to the lack of policy support, conflicting or non-technology neutral legislation and market drivers.  

Data modelling from the Imperial College London consultants concludes that the potential available of sustainable biomass, with no harm to biodiversity, could support advanced and waste-based biofuel production in Europe of up to 350m tonnes per year by 2050. This showcases how advanced biofuels, together with synthetic and waste based fuels, can support climate neutrality alongside electrification in Europe, if the opportunity is grasped by the EU.

In addition, A study for the EU Commision found that by working with industry, with succesful R&I and attainment of the 2050 EU targets, advanced biofuels could achieve 330 million tonnes of net emissions savings in replacing fossil fuels, significantly improve energy security and provide a market volume of 1.6% of EU’s GDP. The study also found that this would result in a net increase of 108,000 jobs, a positive development as it also includes the substitution of existing jobs displaced in the energy transition.

Learn more about our calls to action to unlock advanced biofuel production in the EU here.