Policy implementation in Germany

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Note: This page is part of the EU biofuel policy tracker, created with content provided by the International Council on Clean Transportation

Implementation of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) in Germany.

Policy implementation in EU countries
This page was developed with information supplied by ICCT, the International Council on Clean Transportation (http://www.theicct.org/).
EU biofuel policy tracker:
Implementation of the EU's Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and
Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) in
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  • Note: Information believed to be current as of 1 October 2011.


Overview of the EU Directives

Overview of the two European Union Directives.
Renewable Energy Directive (RED)

  • The Renewable Energy Directive sets mandates for the use of renewable energy in the European Union. This includes a mandatory target for European Member States that 10% of energy in land transport should be from renewable sources by 2020. This renewable energy could be in any form, such as hydrogen or electricity, but it is widely expected that the bulk of the target will be met by the use of biofuels. The Directive includes sustainability criteria (mirrored in the Fuel Quality Directive) that put a minimum threshold on the direct emissions savings from biofuels based on a lifecycle analysis methodology described in the directive, and define categories of high biodiversity and high carbon land that must not be converted for biofuels production. The Directive puts an obligation on European Member States to enforce both the overall targets and the sustainability conditions, and so the legal requirements on economic operators may vary from Member State to Member State. See Renewable Energy Directive.

Fuel Quality Directive

  • The Fuel Quality Directive includes a mandatory target that the carbon intensity of transport fuel supplied in Europe should be reduced by 6% in 2020 compared to the baseline. It is anticipated that the bulk of this saving will be achieved with biofuels, but electric vehicles and other low carbon vehicle technologies may also be important. There may also be recognition available for reduced emissions intensity from fossil fuel supply, such as by reduced flaring emissions. The 6% target is intended to be achievable by any economic operator supplying all of its mandated 10% renewable energy under the Renewable Energy Directive as biofuel with an average carbon saving of 60%. See Fuel Quality Directive.

Germany Overview

  • Germany has enacted two measures to meet the RED and the FQD: a volume mandate (the Biofuels Quota Act) and a parallel sustainability requirement (the Biofuels Sustainability Ordinance). The Biofuels Quota Act, in effect since 2007, mandates a 6.25% biofuel-petroleum blend by 2014. The Biofuels Sustainability Ordinance (BSO), in effect since January 2011, requires biofuels to meet a BSO registered sustainability scheme, which must at minimum include the mandatory sustainability criteria from the RED/FQD (e.g. biofuels to be 35% less carbon intensive than petroleum in 2011, 50% in 2017, and 60% in 2018).

Policy name(s)

  • The Biofuels Quota Act is translated from the German ‘Biokraftstoffquotengesetz’ (BioKraftQug); the Biofuels Sustainability Ordinance is translated from the German ‘Biokraftsoff-Nachhaltigkeitsverordnung’ (BioKraft-NachV).

Type of policy

  • The Biofuels Quota Act is an energy content mandate. It replaced tax incentives that were previously in place – although tax incentives for 100% biodiesel and straight vegetable oil will remain until 2012, and incentives for ‘second generation’ biofuels, biogas and E85 will remain in place until 2015. The Biofuels Sustainability Ordinance is a parallel sustainability requirement.

Implementing authority

  • The Biofuels Quota Act is implemented by the Customs Administration of the Federal Republic of Germany; the Biofuels Sustainability Ordinance is implemented by the Bundesanstalt fur Landwirtschaft und Ernahrung (BLE; The Federal Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition).

Year introduced

  • The Biofuels Quota Act has been in effect since January 2007; the Biofuels Sustainability Ordinance has been in effect since January 2011.


  • The Biofuels Quota Act has been in effect since January, 2007, and the Biofuels Sustainability Ordinance has been in effect since January, 2011. It is anticipated that the scheme will transition from an energy mandate to a carbon reduction scheme from 2015.


  • The Biofuels Quota Act mandates a 6.25% blend of biofuels in road transport fuels (by energy) from 2011-2014. The mandate includes minimum sub-targets for gasoline (2.8%) and diesel (4.4%). This mandate is expected to switch to a net greenhouse gas reduction quota in 2015, requiring a 3% GHG reduction of blended fuel carbon intensity relative to petroleum from 2015-2016, a 4.5% GHG reduction from 2017-2019, and a 7% GHG reduction from 2020 onwards.
  • The Biofuels Sustainability Ordinance requires biofuels to be at minimum 35% less carbon intensive than petroleum in 2011, 50% in 2017, and 60% in 2018.

Legally obligated parties, opt-in parties and compliance pathways

  • Suppliers of fuels for road transport in Germany are responsible for meeting these requirements. The fulfilment of the quota can be transferred to third parties. Non-fulfilment of the quota results in a levy proportional to the energy equivalent of the missing biofuel. For the gasoline quota, the levy is 43 euros per gigajoule; for the diesel quota and for the overall quota, the levy is 19 euros per gigajoule.


Greenhouse gas emissions

  • Suppliers of transport fuel must report the greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacture and supply of biofuels on an energy basis (g CO2 eq MJ-1), as well as the comparable figure for fossil fuels.

Life-cycle analysis (LCA)

  • The LCA will be based on the RED/FQD LCA system, as described by the Biograce website.


  • Biofuels will be grandfathered in line with the grandfathering in the RED/FQD.

GHG emissions from ILUC

  • There are no plans to account for ILUC in the carbon intensity reporting of biofuels at this stage (“Basically, it is assumed that effective measures will be taken to avoid indirect land use changes. This will determine to a large extent whether the use of higher volumes of biofuels will gain public acceptance.” – NREAP, 2010)

Mandatory environmental criteria on land types

  • Biofuel must meet an independent certification scheme authorised by the BLE. These schemes must, as a minimum, enforce the sustainability criteria on land types and carbon intensity laid out in the Renewable Energy Directive. Compliance with the schemes must be verified by a BLE authorised certification body. The first schemes accepted were the ISCC (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) and REDcert schemes. It is anticipated that all schemes accepted by the Commission as providing adequate sustainability assurance will also be recognised by the BLE. In Germany itself, Bbiofuel production must follow the Federal Nature Conservation Act (Bundesnaturschutzgesetz – BnatSchG) as well as federal states’ conservation laws. These laws protect areas of high biodiversity or carbon stocks, such as peatlands.

Additional environmental and social reporting requirements

  • It is anticipated that compliance with schemes authorised by BLE will provide information for additional carbon and sustainability reporting. The amount of additional assurance provided would vary by scheme – for instance, the ISCC scheme covers substantially wider sustainability considerations than the REDcert scheme.

System for verifying carbon and sustainability claims

  • The BLE requires that suppliers obtain certification against a BLE authorised scheme from a BLE authorised certifier.

Reporting system

  • Biofuel suppliers must apply for certificates with evidence of meeting quota and sustainability requirements.

Double reward for cellulosic biofuels, use of wastes and residues

  • Fuels eligible for double reward under the RED/FQD to be eligible for twice as many certificates per gigajoule.

Eligible feedstocks

  • Eligible feedstocks include: direct and indirect supply of wood biomass, agricultural crops, fishery products, agricultural and fishery by-products and processed residues, the biodegradable fraction of municipal waste, and sewage sludge.

Credit trading

  • Further information sought.

Aviation and shipping

  • Aviation and shipping are not included at this time.


  • 1. Federal Republic of Germany. 2010. National Renewable Energy Action Plan in accordance with Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources. Available here
  • 2. Bundesministeriums der Justiz in Zusammenarbeit mit der juris. July 7, 2009. Verordnung über Anforderungen an eine nachhaltige Herstellung von flüssiger Biomasse zur Stromerzeugung (Biomassestrom- Nachhaltigkeitsverordnung - BioSt-NachV).
  • 3. Bundesministeriums der Justiz in Zusammenarbeit mit der juris. August 9, 2009. Verordnung über Anforderungen an eine nachhaltige Herstellung von Biokraftstoffen (Biokraftstoff-Nachhaltigkeitsverordnung - Biokraft-NachV).
Policy implementation in EU countries edit
European Union policy - European Biofuels Directive | EU member states biofuel targets
EU biofuel policy tracker -- Implementation of the EU's Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) in:
AustriaBelgiumBulgariaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkEstoniaFinlandFranceGermanyGreeceHungaryIrelandItalyLatviaLithuaniaLuxembourgMaltaThe NetherlandsPolandPortugalRomaniaSlovakiaSloveniaSpainSwedenUnited Kingdom
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