About Ethanol

Energy Security

In 2015, our ethanol biorefineries produced 4.5 billion liters of renewable ethanol transport fuel which displaced the need for 19 million barrels of petrol in Europe's road transport sector - equivalent to nearly 4% of Europe’s petrol volumes. This saved nearly €2 billion to Europe's oil import bill.

European transport is too reliant on foreign oil

Over-reliance on energy imports hampers EU competitiveness by leaving its economy at the mercy of oil prices and supply volatilities beyond its control. In 2014, the EU’s oil import bill topped €272bn, which is nearly the size of the entire debt of Greece, and contributed to a significant deficit in the EU trade balance of 2.5% of EU GDP. Europe’s oil bill would have been much larger but for the past year’s collapsing oil prices.

The recent crisis in Ukraine brought home the fact that Europe is over-reliant on foreign oil. In 2014, the EU imported over 90% of its crude oil needs, 27.5% of which came from Russia. Most of these oil imports came from politically unstable regions. Europe’s oil dependency has now increased by around 10% since 2009. The transport sector is especially vulnerable, with 95% of its energy coming from oil products.

Domestically produced ethanol helps increase Europe’s energy security

Investing in domestically produced renewable ethanol can help Europe reduce its dependence on foreign energy imports and thereby increase its energy independence and security. In 2015, our ethanol biorefineries produced 4.5 billion liters of renewable ethanol transport fuel which displaced the need for 19 million barrels of petrol in road transport - equivalent to nearly 4% of Europe’s petrol volumes. This saved nearly €2 billion to Europe's oil import bill. Increased ethanol use, via a EU-wide shift to E10 fuel, would further strengthen the benefits of ethanol use, and reduce petrol use by 46 million barrels, thereby saving over €4.2bn for the European economy based on 2014 oil prices.

For more information about the benefits of ethanol, please click here.

Key Facts

  • In 2014, the EU’s oil import bill topped €272bn and contributed to a significant deficit in the EU trade balance of 2.5% of EU GDP
  • Over-reliance on energy imports hampers EU competitiveness by leaving its economy at the mercy of oil prices and supply volatilities beyond its control
  • In 2015, Europe's ethanol biorefineries produced 4.5 billion liters of renewable ethanol which displaced the need for 19 million barrels of petrol in Europe's road transport sector - equivalent to nearly 4% of Europe’s petrol volumes, saving nearly €2 billion to the EU oil import bill (based on 2014 prices)
  • This helped re-dress the over-reliance on energy imports and increase Europe's energy independence and security
  • An increase in ethanol use, via a EU-wide shift to E10 fuel, would reduce petrol use by 46 million barrels, thereby saving over €4.2bn for the European economy (based on 2014 oil prices).