UK imports almost all of its biofuel

85% of crop-based biofuel used on UK roads is imported, new figures from Defra reveal. This is despite a 17% increase in UK-sourced biofuels being used in the nation’s vehicles between 2012-13 and 2013-14 to 332m litres.

That means 85% of crop-based biofuel used on UK roads is imported. Biofuels used in the UK in 2013-14 totalled 810m litres – with 85% coming from countries both in and outside of Europe.

Largest import from Ukraine
The largest import came from the Ukraine, which exported 138m litres of corn-derived biofuels to the UK market. Other big exporters to the UK were France (71m litres from sugar beet compared to 57m litres home-grown) and the USA (60m litres from corn). Of wheat-derived biofuels, British and French farms produced the most for the UK market, at 71m litres each.

A total of 42,000ha of UK farmland was used for biofuel production in 2014, amounting to 0.7% of the country's arable area. A total of 787t of UK-grown crops were used for biofuel production for the road transport market in 2013-14 – an increase of 7% on the previous year.

Total agricultural area in the UK used for bioenergy crops (thousand ha)
2012 2013
Wheat of which: 1,992 1,615
used for bioethanol 20 26
OSR of which: 756 715
used for biodiesel 3 8
Sugar beet of which: 120 117
used for bioethanol 10 8
Source: Defra

[Source: FarmersWeekly]

Jez Fredenburgh, FarmersWeekly

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