Bioenergy Policy and Legislation


A number of directives cover biofuels use in the EU including the ILUC-Directive 2015/1513/EU, Renewable Energy Directive (EU) 2018/2001, Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC (RED), the Fuel Quality Directive 2009/30/EC (FQD) and the earlier Biofuels Directive 2003/30/EC.
The Renewable Energy Directive (EU) 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and the Council on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources has finally been approved on December 11, 2018.

Current EC policy and legislation relating to bioenergy

The European Green Deal

The European Green Deal is a roadmap of key policies and measures to fight against climate change. The aim is to reach climate neutrality, which means no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050, and the decoupling of economic growth from use of resources. Bioenergy as part of a new, modern, emerging bioeconomy, could have an essential contribution to reach that aim.


REPowerEU is the European Commission’s plan to make Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels well before 2030. Elements include diversifying energy supplies, encouraging energy saving, and accelerating clean energy deployment. Boosting hydrogen and biomethane production is one of the key elements of the plan.
Fit-for-55 package

The Fit-for-55 package is a set of proposals to revise and update EU legislation to ensure that EU policies are in line with the climate goals of the Green Deal. The most relevant elements with respect to the transport sector are the following:

  • review of the Renewable Energy Directive
  • revision of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation
  • new ReFuel EU Aviation proposal
  • new FuelEU Maritime proposal

The Fit-for-55 package was submitted to the Council in July 2021 and it is being discussed across several policy areas, such as environment, energy, transport and economic and financial affairs. On 2 June 2022, the Council has adopted its position on the latter three texts, and in essence retained the core aspects of the Commission proposal. Click here for the press release. The next step in the legislative process is to enter tri-partite discussions that also include the European Parliament.

European Green Deal Call

In support of the Green Deal a H2020 call has mobilised research and innovation to foster a just and sustainable societal transition. Under the new EU research and innovation programme (2021-2027) Horizon Europe, over 35% of spending is allocated to address climate change.

Directive (EU) 2018/2001 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources

Renewable Energy Directive

  • Approval by European Parliament on 11 Dec 2018
  • 35 % improvement in energy efficiency
  • Minimum 35 % share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy
  • 12 % share of energy from renewable sources in transport by 2030
  • Biomass fuels consumed in transport, where produced from food and feed crops, shall not exceed a maximum of 7 % of final consumption of energy in the road and rail transport sectors in that Member State
  • Contribution of advanced biofuels and biogas produced from the feedstock listed in Part A of Annex IX as a share of final consumption of energy in the transport sector shall be at least 0,2 % in 2022, at least 1 % in 2025 and at least 3,5 % in 2030
  • Each Member State shall set an obligation on fuel suppliers to ensure that the share of renewable energy within the final consumption of energy in the transport sector is at least 14 % by 2030


Directives and Communications

Further information on European Legislation is available through EUR-Lex the portal to European Union law. EUR-Lex provides direct free access to European Union law. The system makes it possible to consult the Official Journal of the European Union and it includes inter alia the treaties, legislation, case-law and legislative proposals. It offers extensive search facilities.


References and Further Reading

EBTP Position on Rappoteur Amendment to the RED/FQD Proposal

ePure Press Release

European Biodiesel Board Press Release

iLUC Prevention Study - Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development

NASA Earth Observatory Tropical Deforestation Update

Renewable ethanol: enabling innovation and sustainable development: State of the Industry 2015

Baseline time accounting: Considering global land use dynamics when estimating the climate impact of indirect land use change caused by biofuels

Land Use Change Greenhouse Gas Emissions of European Biofuel Policies Utilizing the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) Model

A change for the worse: The campaign to re-dredge ‘Indirect Land Use Change'

Greenhouse gas impact of marginal fossil fuel us

Links to EC Policies, initiatives and official information relating to bioenergy

SET plan

Strategic Energy Technologies Information System (SETIS)

See also MEMO/09/437 – Questions and answers

Energy 2020 A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy

Communication on Energy Technologies and Innovation SWD(2013) 157 final / SWD(2013) 158 final (May 2013)

JRC support to the SET Plan

Strategy for a Sustainable European Bioeconomy

A resource-efficient Europe – Flagship initiative of the Europe 2020 Strategy

Renewable Energy Road Map

DG Energy pages on bioenergy and biofuels

Renewable energy