• Germany's news in English

Germany sticking with loathed E10 biofuel

The Local · 8 Mar 2011, 17:48

Published: 08 Mar 2011 17:48 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"We need to reduce our dependency on oil," Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen said after meeting automakers, oil company representatives and consumer and motorists' organisations in Berlin.

"All those involved in the meeting are in favour of E10 (fuel) in order to protect the climate, to safeguard the environment, to preserve natural resources and for greater energy security."

The new fuel, which went on sale in February at German petrol stations, is to comply with a European Union directive for biofuels to account for at least 10 percent of all petrol and diesel sold in the 27-nation bloc by 2020.

In France, the launch has gone smoothly, with E10 accounting for 13 percent of all petrol sales at the end of 2010 and the fuel is available in close to 20 percent of filling stations.

But German motorists have steered clear, despite the fact that it is cheaper than regular petrol, because of fears that it will damage their engines even though the automobile federation says 93 percent of cars can use it.

There are also doubts about its environmental benefits because considerable amounts of carbon dioxide are emitted during the harvesting and processing of the crops, and because the fuel is less efficient, critics say.

Strong demand for the fuel also means less farmland is available for other crops, pushing already rising food prices - and therefore inflation - even higher around the world.

Sigmar Gabriel, head of the opposition centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) and Röttgen's predecessor, said that instead of biofuels the government "should focus on promoting electric and hydrogen-powered cars."

Röttgen said that automakers had agreed to provide legally binding information on which cars can use the fuel that will be clearly displayed at petrol stations and made available at garages.

Story continues below…

"Around a year ago we were all witnesses on the television to the oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, with enormous damage to the environment," Röttgen said.

"Every day we see (Libyan leader) Muammar Qaddafi persecuting and bombarding his own people. Do we want to keep buying oil in order to finance states and regimes like this?"


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

18:21 March 8, 2011 by derExDeutsche
Yeah, like, either you're a supporter of Murder and Quadaffi and Oil Spills, or like, you just hand over the money, German. Who cares if it makes sense? in fact, stop asking so many questions, fascist! move along!
19:10 March 8, 2011 by The-ex-pat
"German motorists have steered clear, despite the fact that it is cheaper than regular petrol"

What petrol stations have the Local been filling up at?? The price has not changed at all.
20:34 March 8, 2011 by stux
I almost want to report derExDeutsche's comment as abuse just because it makes no sense.

After reading it three times I guess you mean that buying gas causes evil in the world and e10 makes it a little less evil?

I really need to stop bothering with the comment section. My favorite part of reading the news use to be browsing the comments and it was not until I saw so many stupid things being posted that I wanted to join in. It tends to be the same people unable to make a coherent point. I guess they are out of work writers or something and figure they have an audience for their very unclever posts.

derExDeutsche, please just read your comment again and see if it makes sense to you.

Ethanol raises the prices of food throughout the world, provides less energy than regular gas, requires quite a bit of energy to produce, and nobody would bother making it without government subsidies since it is cost prohibitive.

Don't blame the west wanting diamonds and oil for the barbarism in the Middle East and Africa. Tribalism and dictatorship are part of their culture. Until they decide they also want to be individuals it is on them. It took the West centuries to shake the Catholic Church and Monarchs off their back.
20:54 March 8, 2011 by marimay

Gas prices have gone up considerably in my area. It is quite ridiculous.
22:26 March 8, 2011 by mobiusro
@stux - derExDeutsche was being sarcastic. The politicians are trying to emotionally/politically blackmail the people into accepting the E10 and the extra costs.

They will succeed with taking more money from us anyway, but they are trying to calm the masses.
22:40 March 8, 2011 by derExDeutsche
@ Stux

my bad. mobiusro is correct, I was being sarcastic.

for example, to quote the article;

"Every day we see (Libyan leader) Muammar Qaddafi persecuting and bombarding his own people. Do we want to keep buying oil in order to finance states and regimes like this?"

this is how Germans are conditioned to accept anything. by assigning guilt to opposing ideology. It does not need to make sense. Its just like the good old days;)
23:02 March 8, 2011 by stux
My bad, I really have a hard time telling when someone is being sarcastic on here anymore. Most comments I would write off as sarcasm have turned out to be what someone really believes. I will do everyone a favor and stop posting.
23:31 March 8, 2011 by derExDeutsche
Keep posting, stux. we like to hear from you, and we like your company.

help us shine the torchlight of truth under the fea-bitten couch that is the European psyche.
06:39 March 9, 2011 by Wrench
E10 fuel has been in use in America for quite some time. You can reduce your emissions using it , however you consume more.... producing more emissions, so where is the savings to the environment.

It's like those idiots with electric cars who think they drive for free.
09:18 March 9, 2011 by BR549
I think the real reason for the push to ethanol gasoiline is TAX REVENUE.... not protecting the environment or boycotting bad dictators. I read the comment above by "Wrench" and researched a little. It seems correct that engines burn more E10 fuel than gasoline without it. Therefore, more tax is paid at the pump. Save the Koala bears, my a$$!
09:19 March 9, 2011 by Ami-in-Germany
I see a slight difference in price Ex-Pat, but the mystery surrounding E10 and long term effects on the vehicle and all the hot topic debate simply warrants caution, in my opinion. I'll have nothing to do with it for several reasons. DESPITE the affordability, I don't like the effect it has on food prices, I think it showed up here in Germany in a way that just sorta shoved it down our throats as "the new deal," and I can't say I care for that whatsoever. Nope...When we begin to tank with margaritas, let me know.
09:35 March 9, 2011 by The-ex-pat
My point was the introduction of E10 in it's self did not have an effect on the price of fuel. The present situation in the oil markets due General Graffiti was causing prices to increase, not the fact that E10 has been introduced.

However, have we now shortened the finite life of our oil stocks. E10 produces around a 10% decrease in fuel economy, how is that short fall going to be picked up?
14:10 March 9, 2011 by ARK USA
Germans are right to be wary of the E10 fuel. Here in America, we are forced to use. No choice. E10 fuel can destroy engines, as it creates water in the fuel. Guess what this does to lubrications? It also is less efficient, meaning fewer kph/mph, so you fill up more, which in the long run, costs more to use. There are no benefits to E10!
10:57 March 10, 2011 by marimay
I always think of the scene in back to the future 3, when they try to get the delorean running again with alcohol......
12:23 March 10, 2011 by tallady
stux,,common they were only joking..don't be like that....isn't that so guys?
Today's headlines
Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd