Fact check on biofuels subsidies

Published: 27/08/2013

In April 2013, the Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (GSI/IISD) published the study “Biofuels – At what costs? A review of costs and benefits of EU biofuels policies”. One of the key findings of the study is that biofuels are significantly supported by subsidies. The authors state that biofuels in the EU received € 9.3- 10.7 billion in 2011. Ecofys was asked by the Association of German Biofuels Industry (VDB) to review this study and revealed that the calculated biofuel subsidies were overestimated. Ecofys focused its assessment on the two factors with the highest figures on the total subsidies, i.e. budgetary support due to tax reduction and market price support resulting from a guaranteed market share for biofuels due to a mandate.

The budgetary support for biofuels estimated by Ecofys is 53% (2010) and 60% (2011) lower than the GSI/IISD outcomes. In total, the biodiesel subsidies in 2011 estimated by Ecofys are € 3.1 to 3.7 billion lower than the results of GSI/IISD.