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 228,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2022. Germany, the largest car market on the continent, is also the leading biofuel producer in Europe, with an output of 62,000 barrels of oil equivalent daily, 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 2022, the Finland-based company had a production capacity of 3.3 million metric tons per year across three plants in Netherlands, Finland, and Singapore.
Imports rise with greater consumer demandApproximately 17.02 million metric tons of oil equivalent of biofuels were consumed in the EU in 2021. 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 recent years.
In order to meet consumer demand, many European countries are reliant on biofuel imports. The import value of biodiesel in Europe climbed to a peak of 35.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. This figure includes inter-European imports. This growth is also reflected in EU fuel ethanol imports, which was expected to reach 538 million liters in 2022.