Largest producing countries and companiesAlthough the idea of using vegetable and cooking oils in engines predates the 21st century, marketable production only began taking off after 2000. With governments and leaders in the transportation industry looking to reduce reliance on petroleum-based fuels, biofuel production in the EU grew to some 660 petajoules by 2020. Germany, the largest car market on the continent, is also the leading biofuel producer in Europe, with an output of 146.3 petajoules that same year. Common feedstocks include crops such as sugar beet, corn, and canola, as well as used cooking oils and animal fats. Neste is the leading HVO biodiesel producer by capacity in Europe. As of 2020, the Finland-based company had an installed capacity of 1.53 million tons per year across two plants in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and Porvoo, Finland.
Imports rise with greater consumer demandAn estimated 15.8 million metric tons of oil equivalent biofuel are consumed in the EU every year. Despite a decline in 2020, due to lockdown measures and mobility restrictions following the coronavirus pandemic, the use of this alternative motor fuel has generally increased across all three fuel types.
In order to meet consumer demand, many European countries are reliant on imports. The import value of biodiesel in Europe climbed to a peak of over 15.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2020. This figure includes inter-European imports. This growth is also reflected in EU fuel ethanol imports, which were expected to reach 1.85 billion liters in 2021.