Netherlands considers ending double-counting of used cooking oil

The Netherlands is considering ending the double-counting of used cooking oil (UCO) to reach EU targets for renewable energy blending in the transport sector as a criminal investigation into a Dutch biodiesel firm continues, EURACTIV reported on 12 September.

The probe into Biodiesel Kampen – which was declared bankrupt on 27 August – is investigating whether biodiesel sold by the company was wrongly certified as sustainable.

According to a Dutch News report in May, government inspectors suspected that 59% of the biodiesel sold by the company was wrongly certified in 2015. That year, Biodiesel Kampen accounted for almost a third of Dutch biodiesel, with 70% of the country’s production made from UCO.

In early September, the Dutch government held a session on the UCO issue.

“Before deciding on a course of action, we must know the exact nature and extent of the problem,” a Dutch spokesperson told EURACTIV.

“In parallel with the ongoing criminal investigation into this fraud case, the Dutch government is conducting a full analysis to identify weak points in the application of the [Renewable Energy] directive (RED).”

“The results of this analysis, together with lessons from the criminal investigation and the possibilities offered by REDII, will determine what changes to implement. Whether the solution includes ending the double-counting of UCO will, therefore, be decided at a later stage.”

The EU RED currently requires a 10% renewable energy content in the transport sector, to rise to 14% when the revised REDII comes into force on 1 January 2021.

UCO was double-counted under RED, meaning if its consumption was 2%, it would be counted as 4% of the total energy used in transport, making it attractive to EU member states trying to meet green standards, EURACTIV wrote.

The CEO of Biodiesel Kampen had already been convicted for trading biotickets without the corresponding quantities of biofuel actually reaching the Dutch market during the period from 2011 to 2014, the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) told EURACTIV.