The topic is bioenergy sustainabilitt in criticism. This criticism is particularly the focus of the biofuels industry (keywords: Palm oil and biodiesel) taken very seriously in recent years. The result is that the bioenergy industry now has the most modern certification systems available for the sustainable cultivation and use of biomass. When it comes to control, the certification systems mainly focus on the ecological and partly also on the social sustainability of this branch of the economy.

However, that does not mean that the Sustainability certification systems work smoothly in everyday economic life. Experience has shown that a lot of tuition has to be paid to implement such extensive protective mechanisms. In Europe, compliance with the sustainability requirements has been mandatory since 2011 and the experience gained since its introduction is supported by the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE) evaluated in field reports.

Die Nachhaltigkeit der Bioenergie

BLE publishes a report on the implementation of the sustainability criteria

The following text is a notification from BLE dated July 11, 2013.

The BLE published its third evaluation and experience report in the middle of the month, summarizing the implementation of the sustainability criteria from the Renewable Energy Directive. In 2012, 1,943 additional companies were certified across the EU, including 50.2 percent in Germany.

In its third evaluation and experience report, the BLE summarizes the implementation of the sustainability criteria from the Renewable Energy Directive. Almost 45 percent of the biomass marketed in Germany becomes biodiesel manufactured. The second highest percentage is found according to the data from the BLE database Nabisy bioethanol with about 22 percent followed by biomethane (around 16 percent). As of December 31, 2012, a total of 1,943 companies were certified, of which 50.2 percent were in Germany. 39.6 percent of the companies come from other EU member states and 10.2 percent from third countries.

Distribution of economic operators registered for the German market:

Zertifizierungsstellen nachhaltige Bioenergie

Emissions savings compared to fossil fuels increase to 57 percent

In Nabisy, the web-based state database for documenting the traceability and mass balancing of deliveries of sustainable biomass, 13,119 proofs of sustainability with a total energy content of 315,896 terajoules were discontinued. Emissions savings compared to fossil fuels improved to around 57 percent last year (2011: 49 percent).

Summary of key results from 2012

The following points come from the summary of the current evaluation and experience report of the BLE.

  • As of December 31, 2012, 2 certification systems and 26 certification bodies were recognized by the BLE.
  • By the end of 2012, the Commission had approved a total of 13 voluntary schemes.
  • 1,259 companies worldwide were certified in 2012 by the certification bodies recognized by the BLE.
  • In 2012, 13,119 proofs of sustainability for biofuels or biofuels with a total energy content of 315,895,919,901 MJ were recorded in Nabisy.
  • Based on the total energy content, with almost 45 % biodiesel, alongside bioethanol and biomethane, is the most important biomass product.
  • The most important raw material for biodiesel production is rapeseed, just like last year at just under 63 %.
  • The most important raw material for bioethanol production is corn with around 48 %. In contrast to last year, only about a third of this corn comes from the United States.
  • The share of the energy content booked out in accounts of other countries amounts to 17.36 % of the total energy content stored in Nabisy for the year 2012.
  • 44 % of sustainable biofuels or biofuels, which were recorded in Nabisy for 2012 and contain information on the cultivated land, are made from raw materials that were grown in Germany.
  • The total saving of greenhouse gas emissions for 2012 is 12,907,122 tCO2eq with an underlying energy content of 274,372,748,060 MJ.

Download BLE experience report on the sustainability of bioenergy

Download experience report

The BLE experience report

Here you can download the complete evaluation and experience report 2012 of the Federal Institute for Food and Agriculture as PDF
Download experience report