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UK biofuel consumption down 9% in 2015-16 reporting period: Transport

London — UK biofuel consumption in the 2015-16 reporting period dropped 9% to 1.522 billion liters, despite an increase in fossil fuel demand, UK Department for Transport data Thursday showed.

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Total fossil fuel demand was 50.171 billion liters, up from 49.199 billion in 2014-15, with 33.678 billion liters of diesel and low sulfur gasoil used and 16.492 billion liters of gasoline.

Biodiesel, including FAME (fatty acid methyl esters), HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oils) and off-road biodiesel, comprised 46% of the biofuel mix in the reporting period at 707 million liters. This was down from 50% of the mix in the prior period.

Bioethanol usage made up 52% of biofuels in 2015-16, up from 48%, at 788 million liters.

Article Continues below...



The balance was comprised of biogas and biomethanol, of which 1 million and 27 million liters were used, respectively.

This all equated to a basic biofuel incorporation rate of 3% by volume, but since certificates for 716 billion liters of double-counting biofuel from waste and residue feedstocks have so far been issued, the blending rate considered for the UK mandate is 4.5%.

The UK target, according to its Road Transport Fuel Obligation requirements, is 4.75%. However, 278 million liters worth of certificates are still to be fully verified for compliance with the RTFO and can still potentially be established as double-counted. 344 million liters of certificates from the previous reporting period were also carried over and can be cashed in for the 2015-16 mandate.

The usage of double-counted biofuels from waste and residue feedstocks stood so far at 47% of the whole mix for certificates which are fully verified. This compared to a final total of 50% in 2014-15.

The reporting periods run from April 15 of each year to April 14 of the following year. The data is subject to change until a final signoff, which is due in February, 2017 for the 2015-16 period.

In terms of feedstocks used for the 1.244 billion liters of biofuel that has already been fully verified by the DFT, used cooking oil for biodiesel production accounted for the largest proportion of biofuels used, at 36.5% of the total.

Wheat, sugar beet and corn were the next most used at 13.8%, 12.2% and 11.7%, respectively. Starch slurry comprised 8.4% and tallow 5.8%. The remainder came mainly from various other wastes and small amount of palm oil and rapeseed oil.

--Sean Bartlett, sean.bartlett@spglobal.com
--Edited by Richard Rubin, richard.rubin@spglobal.com