The EU is not making much progress on using renewable energy in transport as shown by updated Eurostat data for 2022, which puts the EU's share of renewables in transport (RES-T) at 9.6%. 

This marks a slight increase of 0.5 percentage points from the previous year, but a decline of 0.6 percentage points compared to 2020. 

The sluggish uptake of renewables in the sector reflects the impact of caps for biofuels implemented since 2021, as well as the COVID-19 recovery where the use of fossil fuels increased disproportionately with that of renewable sources, according to the European renewable ethanol association ePURE. At the same time, the EU is far from decarbonising transport with electric vehicles as on-road renewable electricity only accounts for 0.1% of energy in transport.   

ePURE stressed on the fact that the reported renewables share includes multipliers for certain biofuels or renewable electricity, which exist only on paper and fail to contribute to emissions reduction. Removing these multipliers, the organisation calculates that the actual RES-T for road and rail in the EU-27 stood at a mere 7% in 2022.

With the EU's heavy reliance on fossil fuels for transportation persisting, and with the clock ticking on the new RES-T target of 29% renewables by 2030, there is an urgent need for a more pragmatic approach to achieving climate goals, says ePURE. Crop-based biofuels, such as renewable ethanol, offer the most immediate, cost-effective, sustainable and socially inclusive solution for reducing emissions in the EU, the organisation asserts.