Which Oil Company scored best in producing sustainable biofuel 2013?

bio fuel, waste, report

In 2005 more than 50% of the fuel was depending on natural gas. Just 10% was green powered. Looking at the data from 2013, the market for energy production has been preserved substantially. 35% of green energy and the share of polluting sources like natural gas and coal has been reduced.

Under the Dutch biofuels obligation, fuel suppliers are required to include a minimum share of biofuels in their overall sales of road transport fuels: 5.0% in 2013.

They also have to submit an annual report detailing the biofuels they sell on the Dutch market. The Dutch Emissions Authority published a selection of the results. 

Ranking of fuel suppliers based on total GHG emissions of the seven biofuels mostly used in 2013

  1. Number 1 Salland
    This year the biofuels brought on the market by Salland have the lowest average GHG emission factor
  2. Number 2 Esso
  3. Number 3 Kuwait

Top 7 feedstocks

The emission factor of Salland (and Kuwait) is, however, uncertain due to the reporting methodology of the NEa: only the top 7 feedstocks for biofuels are reported, the rest is included in an ’other feedstock’ category.

The position of Salland in this graph is solely based on the feedstock that was specified (about 65% of their sales), the black line indicates the uncertainty in the emission factor for their total biofuels sales .

Esso from last to second

Esso moved from the highest average GHG intensity of the ranking in 2011 to almost the lowest GHG intensity of the ranking today.

Kuwait, with the highest average GHG intensity in 2012, also seems to have significantly improved as result of their shift from rapeseed and sugar beet to less carbon intensive feedstocks, but their data are relatively uncertain.

Compared to last year, the average GHG intensity of the biofuels from Den Hartog and TOTAL remain relatively high.

Total

The use of food crops plays a decisive role in the ranking.

As a fuel it is hardly better than fossil fuels. In addition, the use of food crops for biofuels often leads to deforestation and land grabbing.

This is the reason why Total has been scored low in the rankings: much blending of biofuels from food crops.

GHG emission savings

As there is a large variation in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from different biofuels, the actual GHG emission savings, achieved by the biofuels obligation, then depend significantly on the biofuels mix that the fuel suppliers choose to supply to meet the requirements of the obligation.

The ranking is based on data reported at excise duty point level, whereas the additional analysis looks at biofuels production, further upstream in this chain.

Waste and residues

The incentive of double counting in the biofuels obligation in the Netherlands may create a number of risks related to fraud and price impacts on other industries that use these feedstocks, as it drives up prices for both UCO and UCO-based FAME. Nevertheless, UCO prices remain below prices for virgin oil, and concrete cases of fraud have so far not been identified. Because the Netherlands do not have sufficient waste and residues such as UCO to fulfill demand, these feedstocks are also imported.

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