Germany cuts biofuels blending target

The German government has trimmed its proposed biofuel blend levels in fossil fuels, Reuters reported. The cabinet approved a proposal from the environment ministry that oil refineries would have to mix 5.25% biofuels in fossil fuels by energy content in 2009, instead of a previously planned 6.25% blend.


From 2010, the biofuel blending level would be increased to 6.25% and remain fixed at that level until 2014, the ministry said. The blending quotas will undergo a general review in 2011 to address the "question of sustainability of biofuels production."


Germany’s cabinet also decided to increase taxes on biodiesel by only 18 euro cents (US$0.21) a litre from January 2009 instead of the proposed 21 euro cents (US$0.25). Germany’s biodiesel industry argues that tax increases on green fuel have had a negative impact on sales in the past.


Several European countries have scaled back plans to blend biofuels in fossil fuels in recent months because of fears energy crops were contributing to rising food prices. Germany also cut blending targets for some types of petrol earlier this year because of fears it would damage the engines of older cars.


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