Only four of the 27 member states – Croatia, Denmark, Finland, and Lithuania – managed to improve their renewable energy share compared to 2020, with all other countries recording a downward trajectory, according to Eurostat. Ireland fared the worst, more than halving its renewable energy share in the transport sector. The island nation dropped from a 10.2% renewables share in 2020 to 4.3% in 2021. Hungary recorded a sharp fall as well, dropping from a 11.6% share to 6.2%. Luxembourg saw a 36.7% decrease, going from 12.6% in 2020 to 8% in 2021.
Central and eastern European nations were subject to decreases ranging from 20.2% in Czechia to 13.8% in Poland to 10.2% in Romania. The EU’s largest nations were also not immune: Germany saw a fifth of its renewable share in transport erased, falling from 10% to 8%. France, meanwhile, recorded a more modest decrease of 11%, while Italy saw a relatively minor drop of some 6.8%, reducing from 10.7% in 2020 to 10% in 2021.
Green campaigners have questioned the unrestricted use of biofuels derived from used cooking oil as a means to decarbonise the transport sector, alleging that UCO imported from abroad may be fraudulent. A lack of used cooking oil supply from within the EU has indeed led to high levels of importation. Around 68% of UCO imports in 2019 were from Asia and the United States. A 2022 study by the International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT), a US-based non-profit organisation, cast doubt on Asian countries’ ability to meet rising UCO demand from Europe.
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