The reliable system technology and experience offered by German companies can be used for the production and utilisation of biofuels worldwide. In addition to the further development of proven technologies for the production of what are now common biofuels, there is a concerted push to develop new technologies which utilise alternative biogenic resources.

German companies are working with researchers to develop processes for the generation of biofuels in their undiluted forms (B100) or as additives to fossil fuels (E10, B7, B10 or B30) based on a wide range of substrata including wood and straw as well as refuse. The first industrial-scale projects for biomass-to-liquid manufacture (BtL) are currently being prepared in Germany. The BtL process involves the thermal gasification of biomass, followed by the purification and liquefaction of the resulting synthesis gas. Another process being pursued in Germany is the development and launch of biodiesel production using algae with a high oil content.

In view of the public acceptance required, the production and marketing of biofuels will in future be linked with proof that certain sustainability requirements are fulfilled. Germany is a pioneer in the implementation of the European Fuel Quality Directive (2009/30/EC) and therewith the amended fuel standards of EN 590 (B7) and EN 228 (E10) as well as in national implementation as per the Renewable Energies Directive’s (2009/28/EC) specified sustainability requirements. Since 2 November 2009, the “Ordinance on requirements for the sustainable production of biofuels” (Biofuels Sustainability Ordinance, Biokraft-NachV) has been in effect in Germany. From 1 January 2011, biofuels in Germany will only offset the quota obligation or be included in tax exemptions when the required proof of sustainability is presented. To ensure compliance with the national biofuel ordinance, unions and organisations of the German agrarian and biofuel industry have created the REDcert certification system and founded REDcert GmbH at the beginning of 2010. In addition, the German government also supports an internationally oriented certification system for biomass destined for biofuel utilisation – the “International Sustainability & Carbon Certification” (ISCC). The system was developed under the auspices of the Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe (FNR) or Agency for Renewable Resources.

Furthermore, since 24 August 2009, the biomass electricity sustainability ordinance (BioSt-NachV) has been in effect (implementation also on 1 January 2011). It regulates the sustainability requirements for liquid biomass.