For the first time since the start of the UK’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation in 2008, no palm oil has been used in the renewable biodiesel that is blended into fossil diesel, according to official figures.
The Renewable Energy Association (REA) reported that volumes have dropped sharply since 2012 and UK biodiesel is now largely made from waste feedstocks, in particular used cooking oil.
UK feedstocks are also the major contributor to renewable bioethanol that is blended into fossil petrol. In 2008 UK feedstocks accounted for 8% of UK’s renewable fuels and this has now risen to 26%. In the same period greenhouse gas savings have risen from 46% to 74% when compared to fossil fuels.
UK fuel suppliers
Commenting on the release of UK Department of Transport data on Year 8 of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation, Clare Wenner, the REA’s head of renewable transport, said:
“These figures show how seriously the UK fuels industry has taken the potential damage to global carbon emissions posed by the use of palm oil. It has been many years since the UK biofuels industry stopped using palm oil to make biodiesel, but this example has now been followed by all UK fuel suppliers.
“UK-sourced feedstocks now make up over a quarter of the material for our renewable fuel use and deliver a stunning 74% reduction in carbon emissions.
“The total absence of palm oil and these excellent carbon emission savings show that there is no need for the government to introduce excessive curbs on the use of crop-based biofuels. Our home-grown bioethanol produces low carbon fuel and animal feed and our biodiesel industry uses our waste cooking oil – wins all round for UK PLC.”