Biofuels on the Dutch market

There are large differences in the sustainability of the biofuels sold on the Dutch market, with  fuels containing a high proportion of waste- and residue-derived fuel generally resulting in a better score. Because indirect land use change (ILUC) is not yet included in the Renewable Energy Directive, fuel suppliers can currently market biofuels that only achieve very limited GHG emission savings, or even increase overall GHG emissions.

The level of data transparency could be greatly improved by the Dutch government by including absolute volumes and linkage of type of biofuels to feedstocks and country of origin in their annual report. A high level of transparency would provide an incentive for fuel suppliers to opt for biofuels from waste and residues instead of crop-based biofuels.

BirdLife Europe, Transport & Environment, the European Environmental Bureau and the Dutch NGO Natuur & Milieu commissioned the study Biofuels on the Dutch market – Ranking oil companies in the Netherlands to assess these data by comparing the environmental performance of the biofuels sold by the various fuel suppliers and rank them based on the average greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of their biofuel blends in 2011. The aim is to identify differences in the companies’ performance and raise the awareness of Dutch consumers.

The data were compiled by the Dutch Emissions Authority (NEa), which publishes a selection of the results. The first report, with data for 2011, was published in 2012. The Netherlands is the second EU country (after the United Kingdom) to make data on biofuels publically available.