85% of crop-based biofuel used on UK roads is imported

Only 15% of crop-derived biofuel used in UK transport is grown on British farms, 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.

Biofuels used in the UK in 2013-14 totalled 810m litres – with 85% coming from countries both in and outside of Europe.

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

Farmers Weekly Energy Switch

Save money on your energy bills with our new Farmers Weekly Energy Switch service.
See how much you can save