Schrum: High Taxes Killing German Biodiesel Industry

John Davis

GermanflagIn what should be a cautionary tale to American lawmakers who might want to raise revenues from biodiesel sales, a leader of Germany’s biofuels industry says high taxes on biodiesel in that country are killing the green fuel there.

This article from quotes Peter Schrum, president of biofuels industry association BBK, saying that Germany’s nearly 5 million tonnes annual biodiesel capacity is only at about 20 percent of that level:

“The industry is still in a disastrous state largely because of increased taxes,” Schrum said. “Sales are dead.”

Germany increased taxes on biodiesel this year under the government’s continuing programme to raise taxes on green fuels to the same level as fossil fuels.

“Unless there is a major change in policy, biodiesel production in Germany will stop,” he said. “The industry will simply close down.”

The rise in fossil oil prices this year had not generated substantial new biodiesel demand at petrol stations as taxes had made the green fuel uncompetitive, he said.

Producers argue that biodiesel needs to be at least five euro cents cheaper than fossil diesel because vehicles consume more of the green fuel. The tax rises mean the price is almost the same in some German regions.

“The B100 (petrol station) market hardly exists for biodiesel,” he said.

The German biofuels industry is now looking to the Sept. 27th German parliamentary elections as a chance to change lawmakers to those who might reconsider the high-taxing actions.

Biodiesel, International