Reference Regulatory Frameworks
In November 2016, the EuropeanCommissionadopted a legislative proposal for a recast of the Renewable Energy Directive. In the context of the co-decision procedure, a final compromise text among the EU institutions wasagreed in June2018. In December 2018, the revised renewable energy directive 2018/2001/EUentered into force, as part of the Clean energy for all Europeans package, aimed at keeping the EU a global leader in renewables and, more broadly, helping the EU to meet its emissions reduction commitments under the Paris Agreement.
In RED II, the overall EU target for Renewable Energy Sourcesconsumption by 2030 has been raisedto 32%. The Commission’s original proposal did not include a transport sub-target, which has been introduced by co-legislators in the final agreement: Member States must require fuel suppliers to supply a minimum of 14% of the energy consumed in road and rail transport by 2030 as renewable energy.
The RED II defines a series of sustainability and GHG emission criteriathatbioliquids used in transport must comply with to be counted towards the overall 14% target and to be eligible for financial support by public authorities. Some of these criteria are the same as in the original RED, while others are new or reformulated. In particular, the RED II introduces sustainability for forestry feedstocks as well as GHG criteria for solid and gaseous biomass fuels.
Within the 14% transport sub-target, there is a dedicated target for advanced biofuels produced from feedstocks listed in Part A of Annex IX. These fuels must be supplied at a minimum of 0.2% of transport energy in 2022, 1% in 2025 and increasing to at least 3.5% by 2030.
Renewable Energy Directive
The Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC of 23 April 2009), so called RED Directive, poses two key requirements for the uptake of renewable energy and – more specifically – biofuels in the transport sector.
- EU Member States are required to meet 10% renewable energy share in the transport sector by 2020. All transport modes are included in this target and different renewable energy sources are factored in differently, namely the contribution of advanced biofuels towards achieving the 10% target are accounted twice whereas electricity from renewable sources for road transport counts 2.5 times.
- Each Member State is requested to establish a national renewable energy action plan including information on sectoral targets. In addition, Member States should set out measures to achieve those targets, assessing the contribution of both energy efficiency and energy saving measures. Biofuels sustainability is required for feedstock and biofuels production as well as minimum greenhouse gas (GHG) savings per energy unit.
Fuel Quality Directive
The Fuel Quality Directive (2009/30/EC of 23 April 2009), so called FQD Directive, sets environmental requirements for petrol and diesel fuel in order to reduce their air pollutant emissions.
These requirements consist of technical specifications for fuel content and binding targets to reduce fuels’ life cycle greenhouse gas emissions. The Directive places the responsibility of reducing GHG emissions on fuel suppliers and the reporting on progress achieved on Member States.
Fuel suppliers will have to gradually reduce fuel greenhouse gas emissions of 6% by 2020. Member States may choose to expand this reduction up to 10%. They may also choose to set the intermediate targets of 2% by 2014 and 4 % by 2017.
Suppliers will also have to reach an additional indicative reduction target of 2% by 2020 by either supplying electric vehicles or using GHG reducing technologies (including carbon capture and storage technology). Another indicative target of 2% by 2020 is to be achieved by the purchase of credits through the Clean Development Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol. The last two targets are subject to review.
From 2011 fuel suppliers will be bound to report annually to Member States on the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions per unit of fuel supplied.
Recent and on-going legislative developments
FQD Implementing Directive
The so-called “FQD Implementing Directive” (Directive EU 2015/652) prescribing the methodology to be used for calculating upstream emission reductions in the context of the FQD target was adopted on 20 April 2015. This directive sets out the average life cycle greenhouse gas intensity default values for fuels other than biofuels and electricity, and the 2010 fossil fuel baseline.
On 9 September 2015, Directive EU 2015/1513 – so-called “ILUC Directive”– was adopted. The “ILUC Directive” is in its essence the compromise text resulting from co-decision procedure (2012/0288 COD) to complete and revise the 2009 RED and FQD Directives.
Main key elements of the ILUC Directive are:
- Tackles indirect land-use change emissions through a 7% cap on conventional biofuels, including biofuels produced from energy crops, to count towards the renewable energy directive targets regarding final consumption of energy in transport in 2020. Member States have the possibility to set a lower cap.
- Sets an indicative, voluntary 0.5% target for advanced biofuels as a reference for national targets which will be set by EU countries in 2017.
- Harmonizes the list of feedstocks for biofuels across the EU whose contribution would count double towards the 2020 target of 10% for renewable energy in transport (Annex IX).
- Requires new minimum emission reduction thresholds for biofuels produced in new installations emit at least 60% fewer greenhouse gases than fossil fuels.
- Introduces stronger incentives for the use of renewable electricity in transport (by counting it more towards the 2020 target of 10% for renewable energy use in transport. 5x for renewable electricity in road transport and 2.5x for renewable electricity in rail).
- Includes a number of additional reporting obligations for the fuel providers, EU countries and the European Commission.
- Member States must enact the legislation by 2017.
Winter Package, 30/11/2016
The so-called “Winter package”adopted by the European Commission on 30 November 2016comprising a package of measures to keep the European Union competitive as the clean energy transition is changing global energy markets.
- Introducing an obligation on European transport fuel suppliers to provide an increasing share of renewable and low-carbon fuels, including advanced biofuels, renewable transport fuels of non-biological origin, waste-based fuels and renewable electricity. The level of this obligation is progressively increasing from 1.5% in 2021 (in energy terms) to 6.8 % in 2030, including at least 3.6% of advanced biofuels. Preferential rules apply to advanced aviation fuels in order to support their deployment in the aviation sector (e.g. their energy content is accounted 20% more).
- To minimize the Indirect Land-Use Change (ILUC) impacts, introducing a cap on the contribution of food-based biofuels towards the EU renewable energy target, starting at 7% in 2021 and going down progressively to 3.8% in 2030.
- Introducing national databases to ensure traceability of the fuels and mitigate the risk of fraud.
The proposal for a Directive (COM(2016) 767 of 30 November 2016) on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources is subject to co-decision procedure (2016/0382 (COD)) by the European Parliament and the Council.
Regulation on CO2 from light duty vehicles
This regulation is currently under Regulation 443/2009 setting emission performance standards for new passenger cars as part of the European Union’s integrated approach to reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles (vehicles of category M1).
Car manufacturers have to gradually reduce CO2 Emissions in the new fleet of passenger cars reaching new fleet averages of 130g/km in 2015 and 95g/km in 2020.
The Regulation places the burden of complying with the target on car manufacturers and recognises the role of alternative motor fuels (namely, E85) and innovative technologies, by accounting for additional CO2 % reductionson overall emissions.
Regarding E85 vehicles, the Regulation foresees that the CO2 emission reduction may be applied providing at least 30 % of filling stations provide E85 and that E85 meets sustainability criteria: there again yet another reason for car manufacturers and fuel producers and distributors to work sharing a common knowledge basis.
Further information and updates are available from is currently under Regulation 510/2011 setting emission standards for the EU fleet average for all new light commercial vehicles (vans) at 175 g/km as of 2014. The legislation affects light commercial vehicles, which means vehicles used to carry goods weighing up to 3.5 tonnes (vans and car-derived vans, known as "N1") and which weigh less than 2610 kg when empty.
Similar to the regulatory approach adopted for passenger cars, the requirement is phased-in as of 2014 when 75% of each manufacturer's newly registered vans must comply on average with the limit value curve set by the legislation then rising to 80% in 2015, and 100% from 2016 onwards.
This means that EU law requires that new vans registered in the EU do not emit more than an average of 175 grams of CO2 per kilometre by 2017. This is 3% less than the 2012 average of 180.2 g CO2/km. In terms of fuel consumption, the target corresponds to about 6.6 l/100 km of diesel. In 2014, the average van sold in the EU emitted 169.2 g CO2/km (preliminary data). This is significantly below the 2017 target, which was already reached in 2013, four years ahead of schedule.
For 2020, the target is 147 grams of CO2 per kilometre – 19% less than the 2012 average. This target corresponds to around 5.5 l/100 km of diesel.
If the average CO2 emissions of a manufacturer's fleet exceed its limit value in any year from 2014, the manufacturer has to pay an excess emissions premium for each van registered.
Emission standard for passenger cars and Heavy Duty vehicles
Regulation 715/2007 introduces new common requirements for emissions from motor vehicles and their specific replacement parts (Euro 5 and Euro 6 standards) for passenger cars, vans and light duty commercial vehicles (categories M1, M2, N1 and N2).
The Regulation covers a wide range of pollutant emissions: carbon monoxide (CO), non-methane hydrocarbons and total hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulates (PM). It covers tailpipe emissions, evaporative emissions and crankcase emissions.
- There are emission limits for each category of pollutant emissions and for the different regulated vehicles types.
Euro 5 standard will come into force on 1 September 2009 for type approval, and from 1 January 2011 for the registration and sale of new types of cars;
Euro 6 standard will come into force on 1 September 2014 for type approval, and from 1 January 2015 for the registration and sale of new types of cars;
Euro VI standards for Heavy Duty Vehicles (categories N2, N3, M2 and M3) were introduced by Regulation 595/2009 with new emission limits coming into force on 1 January 2013 (new type approvals) and 2014 (all registrations). Regulation in this field is evolving swiftly: for that reason, we recommend that the reader refers to the relevant webpages of DG GROW the European Commission’s Directorate General for Internal market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs .
Standards - Current European CEN Fuel SpecificationsFor pure bio-components:
- Ethanol: EN15376 (for blending up to 5% in gasoline)
Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME): EN14214
- 5% v/v (E5) ethanol and 2.7% oxygen (EN228)
- 10% v/v (E10) ethanol and 3.7% oxygen wt% (EN 228)
Since 2009 with the implementation of the FQD the “E5” grade was required to be distributed in the EU market until at least 2013. EU Member States may decide to mandate a longer period of E5 distribution.
- 7% v/v (B7) FAME in diesel fuel (EN590)
- Hydrogenated vegetable oils (HVO) and animal fats
- Biomass-to-Liquids (BTL)
Relevant initiatives of the Member States
France: E10 (2009); B7 (2008) and B30 for captive fleets
Germany: B7 plus 3% renewable diesel (2008), B100 for specially adapted vehicles
B20 (Poland) and B30 (Czech Republic) for captive fleets
E85 in Austria, France, Germany, and Sweden
Standardisation of high quality fuels containing bio-components is essential to ensure trouble-free performance in the current/future fleet and to ensure a truly single, non-fragmented internal market.