Federal Office for Agriculture and Food

A rapeseed field in full bloom Rapeseed Field A rapeseed field in full bloom Source: Wolfgang Jargstorff - Fotolia.com

77 per cent emission savings through biofuels

In 2016, greenhouse gas emission savings of all biofuels placed on the market in Germany amounted to a total of almost 77 per cent, an improvement of seven percentage points compared with 2015.

The use of biofuels thus avoided 7.3 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent which would have occurred if only fossil fuels had been burnt. The Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) presents its annual Evaluation Report.

In 2016, 3.3 million tonnes of biofuels were placed on the German market. This corresponds to an energy content of 113,528 terajoules and roughly equals last year’s amount. About 72 per cent thereof were produced from source materials within the EU. The major source materials of all biofuel types were waste and residues as well as rape seed, palm oil, corn and wheat.

Biodiesel is increasingly produced from waste and residues instead of rapeseed

At a total of almost 66 per cent, the largest share went to biodiesel (FAME) of which 43.5 per cent were made from waste and residual products, while in 2015 rapeseed still constituted the major source material for biodiesel.

Four times more bioethanol from sugar cane

A 27 per cent in 2016, bioethanol ranges second. Corn and wheat were the source materials mostly used to produce bioethanol. While the quantity produced from sugar cane has almost quadrupled, the amount made sugar beet almost halved.

Hydrated vegetable oils (HVO) ranged third among biofuel types, representing six per cent. They were produced mainly from palm oil and from wastes and residues.

Biofuels achieve consistent savings

Applications for remuneration under the Renewable Energies Act (EEG) were lodged for 32,010 terajoules of bioliquids. 88 per cent of these biofuels consisted of thick liquor from the pulp industry, almost twelve per cent were vegetable oils. Compared with fossil fuels, the total greenhouse gas emission savings of all biofuels amounted to almost 94 per cent. Through their use, approximately 2.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent were avoided.


The EU aims at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, at increasing the share of renewable energies within its territory and at reducing the dependence on fossil energy sources. Regulations implement relevant directives by the European Parliament and the Council in national law. The BLE monitors compliance with the sustainability criteria of the EU Directive in Germany and provides the German government with data illustrating the status of respective goals and achievements reached.

Date of issue: 2017.10.30