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2016 a record year for biofuels in Sweden

Biofuels accounted for 18.6 percent of all fuel supplied to vehicles operating in Sweden in 2016 according to preliminary statistics from Statistics Sweden and compiled by the Swedish Bioenergy Association (Svebio).

Supplies of biofuels

Supplies of biofuels to the Swedish transportation market 2016 in TWh (graphic courtesy Svebio).

Based on energy content, biofuels accounted for 18.6 percent of all fuel supplied to vehicles operating in Sweden in 2016. One in four litres of diesel was a renewable diesel, and the total of 17.2 TWh of biofuels was used according to preliminary statistics from Statistics Sweden and compiled by the Swedish Bioenergy Association (Svebio).

– These figures suggest that Sweden is the best in Europe when it comes to switch from fossil fuels to biofuels. Globally, it is probably only Brazil that has reached further than Sweden in the transition away from fossil fuels in transportation, said Gustav Melin, Managing Director of Svebio.

The rapid growth of biofuels in recent years is mainly attributed to the increased use of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) diesel, a renewable diesel made from different bio-based raw materials. Sweden has also an extensive use of rapeseed-derived biodiesel (RME). The share of biomethane in the natural gas vehicle (NGV) fuel blend has increased, reaching a record 83 percent level in 2016. The use of ethanol has however decreased.

Further increase possible

– Despite the very high proportion of biofuels, Sweden has not taken advantage of all the opportunities. The taxation of ethanol and RME in recent years has held back the use of these fuels. We have yet to increase low-blend of ethanol in gasoline, from 5 to 10 percent, as the EU standard allows. So there are good opportunities to further increase the share of biofuels and reduce the climate impact from transport, said Tomas Ekbom, Biofuels Expert at Svebio.

He added that the share of fossil gasoline and diesel without any bio-components has also increased.

– It is unclear what is behind this trend, as there are no technical obstacles to hinder biofuels blending, said Ekbom.

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