Target for Biofuel Content in Road Fuels Met in First Year of Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation
UK Petroleum Industry Association

15th April 2009


The use of biofuels in road fuels

The UK oil industry has exceeded the Government’s 2.5% volume target for biofuel content in road fuels in the first full year of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) (2), which has largely been met by the addition of 5% bio content into conventional ‘zero sulphur’ diesel. This has been achieved seamlessly from a consumers’ perspective.

This was one of the messages from UKPIA, the trade association representing the main UK oil refining and fuel marketing companies, in a media briefing today which also outlined the likely future impact of EU legislation (3) on biofuel supply and the technical research the industry is engaged in to develop new alternative fuels that help meet the challenges of satisfying future fuel demand in a more sustainable way.

Chris Hunt , Director General of UKPIA, commented "Biofuels have a role to play, but are just one of many measures to reduce CO2 emissions from road transport. The whole issue of carbon saving and sustainability is hugely complex, a point which was made in UKPIA’s 2004 report ‘Future road fuels’.  Good progress has been made, with UKPIA and its members playing a leading role in the development of sustainability standards for biofuel supply, which are monitored by the Renewable Fuels Agency. Member companies continue to work hard with suppliers and other organisations to establish internationally recognised sustainability standards.”

To view the presentation slides, click here


Nick Vandervell +44 (0)20 7269 7604
Chris Hunt +44 (0)20 7269 7601

Notes to editors:
  1. UKPIA represents the nine main oil refining and marketing companies operating in the UK, which also own approximately 2,190 of the UK's 9,264 service stations.
  2. The RTFO paving the way for the introduction of biofuels into road fuels in the UK, started on 15th April 2008 and in the first year, the biofuel obligation of 2.5% was largely  met by blending 5% biodiesel with conventional  zero sulphur diesel. The original RTFO targets envisaged a biofuel content of 3.75% in 2009/10, rising to 5% in 2010/11. Following the Gallagher Review in June 2008, the UK Government has amended the targets and timetable for introduction to 3.25% in 2009/10, 3.5% in 2010/11, 4% in 2011/12 and 5% in 2013/14.
  3. The EU Biofuels Directive 2003 requires an indicative biofuel content in road fuels of 5.75% by energy (7.5% by volume) by 2010. The EU Renewable Energy Directive 2009 to be implemented from January 2011 will require a biofuel content of 10% by energy (13% by volume) by 2020, subject to review in 2014.
  4. The description "biofuel" is a generic one used to describe liquid or gas fuels that are not derived from petroleum based fossils fuels or contain a proportion of non fossil fuel. Biofuels fall into two main categories - conventional biofuels produced from plants - crops such as sugar cane/beet for ethanol and palm oil, rape seed oil or re-processed vegetable oils for bio-diesel - and advanced bio-fuels from gasified biomass. At present, most biofuels fall into the conventional category.
  5. More information can be found on UKPIA's website under 'Publications'.

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If you need more information,
please contact either:

Nick Vandervell
+44 (0)20 7269 7604

Chris Hunt
+44 (0)20 7269 7601