Factsheet: Biofuel sustainability criteria

Biofuel sustainability criteria

Key Information
Full name of Instrument & Measure (English): 
Royal Decree 1597/2011, regulating the sustainability criteria for biofuels and bioliquids, the National Verification of Sustainability and the double value of some biofuels for purposes of computation.
Full name of Instrument & Measure (native language): 
Real Decreto 1597/2011, por el que se regulan los criterios de sostenibilidad de los biocarburantes y biolíquidos, el Sistema Nacional de Verificación de la Sostenibilidad y el doble valor de algunos biocarburantes a efectos de su cómputo.
Royal Decree 1597/2011 transposed sustainability criteria to national regulation, defined Spain’s National Scheme for verification of compliance and transposed those provisions in the Directive related to double counting for some biofuels. The Royal Decree 1597/2011 is based on the EU Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and the sustainability criteria are identical to those in Article 17 of the RED. Nevertheless, more detailed guidelines and further regulation are needed for full sustainability criteria control implementation as well as for double counting consideration. A transitory period to allow for the progressive adaptation of the verification system until the full scheme is in place was also defined. Royal Decree 1597/2011 entitled the National Energy Commission (CNE), Spain's independent regulator of the energy markets, as the supervisory body within the sustainability system during the transitory period and the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism will be the supervisory body during the definitive period. Law 3/2013, creating the National Markets and Competition Commission made changes to the system of regulatory supervision by creating a new body, the National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC), which encompasses the existing National Competition Commission and the majority of industry supervisory authorities, namely, the National Energy Commission, the Telecommunications Market Commission, the Rail Regulation Committee, the Airport Economic Regulation Commission, the National Gambling Commission, the National Audiovisual Media Council and the National Postal Sector Commission. In energy matters, the Law transfers some functions, including the supervisory activities within the sustainability system during the transitory period, to the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism. In 2013, Law 11/2013 established a sine die delay in sustainability implementation. The date for sustainability requirements will be established by a Resolution that will be provided with at least an eight months grace period prior to its enforcement, and then the transitory period will be observed until the verification system is fully in place. During the current interim period, prior to the transitory period, obliged parties are only requested to provide information regarding the type of biofuel marketed, the feedstock used, its origin and the place where the biofuel was produced. While not mandatory until the transitory period begins, GHG reduction and soil use can be optionally reported. During the transitory period, the economic agents in the supply chain can comply with sustainability by presenting a Responsible Declaration. The Responsible Declaration would assure that the mass balance, allowing product traceability and sustainability assurance throughout the chain of custody, has been observed. In case the biofuel batches are certified under an EC recognized voluntary scheme, only a reference to the name of the scheme will have to be included in the Responsible Declaration. Once the transitory period is over and the sustainability verification system is fully implemented a sustainability verification report prepared by a sustainability certification entities will be required.
Regulate sustainability criteria for biofuels and bioliquids
Responsible Authority: 
Ministerio de Industria, Energía y Turismo (MINETUR) - Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism Temporarily: Comisión Nacional de Mercados y Competencia (CNMC) - National Markets and Competition Commission


Year Instrument & Measure Started: 
Year Last Instrument & Measure was last Amended: