Biofuel quota (support mechanism for the use of biofuels and other renewable fuels for transport means)

Updated: 06.02.2019

Author: Moira Jimeno

Wholesale and retail operators of fuels, as well as consumers of fuels not supplied by wholesale or retail operators, are obliged to sell / consume a minimal quota of biofuels. The minimal amount is set at a general level (all biofuels) and at a specific level (minimal amount of biofuels in diesel and in gasoline).

Each obligated subject will have to present a number of certificates to the National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) to prove compliance. Certificates have a value of 1 toe. In case of non-compliance with the goals, a penalty fee applies. In case of over-compliance (some parties selling or consuming more than they are obliged to), the amounts collected from the penalty fees are redistributed by the CNMC proportionally to the subjects that sold / consumed biofuels exceeding their set quota obligation.

Eligible technologies

Several types of biofuels and biohydrogen are promoted.


The following fall under the definition of “biofuels” in the context of this obligation (Art. 2, par. 2, Order ITC/2877/2008):

  • Bioethanol,
  • Biodiesel
  • Biogas
  • DME
  • Biomethanol
  • bioETBE
  • bioMTBE
  • pure vegetable oil
  • synthetic biofuels
  • Other biomass-based fuels for transport.


Biohydrogen is also promoted and falls under the definition of biofuels (Art. 2, par. 2, Order ITC/2877/2008).


Amount of quota and period of application

Addressees must deliver to the CNE a yearly amount of certificates that allows meeting the following minimal amounts of sale or consumption of biofuels (Art. 41 L 11/2013).






Total minimal amount of sold / consumed biofuels (RD 1085/2015)






Adjustment of quotas

Quotas are set through publication of new laws / decrees.

Fees and penalty charges

Penalties and fees for non-compliance are established through the formulas of Art. 11 Order ITC/2877/2008 as amended by Order IET/2786/2015. The Order sets a value of € 763 per certificate.

Each certificate indicates that the obligated party has sold or consumed 1 toe of biofuels in one year (Art.2, par. 3, Order ITC/2877/2008).


The following subjects are required to satisfy the quota:

  • Wholesale operators for fuel for their sales in the national market, excluding their sales to other wholesale operators;
  • Retail operators for fuel in the national market, for their sales in the national market not covered by wholesale operators;
  • Consumers of fuels products, for their yearly consumption of fuels not supplied by wholesale or retail operators (Art. 41 L 11/2013).


Process flow

Sale or consumption of biofuels of year n may be accredited by the CNE up to 1 April of year n+1;

By 1 June of year n+1 the CNE will communicate to the addressees the amount of certificates they accredited, the number needed for complying with their obligation and the additional number needed to comply with their obligation, if any.

By 1 July of year n+1, all addressees that did not meet their quota will transfer the amount of their penalty to the CNE;

By 1 August of year n+1 the CNE will re-distribute the amounts received to subjects that have met a quota of biofuels beyond their goal. Re-distribution will take place in accordance with the formulas outlined on Art. 11, Order ITC/2877/2008 (Art. 12, Orden ITC/2877/2008).

Competent authority

The National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) (Art. 6, Order ITC/2877/2008).

Distribution of costs


Consumers pay the additional costs of the biofuel obligation.

Distribution mechanism

  • The State imposes an obligation on Producers 
  • Producers comply with the obligation and incur additional costs for compliance 
  • Producers cover these additional costs through higher sale prices, thus transferring the costs to consumers, as confirmed by the CNE


Further information

  • Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC) - National Commission on Markets and Competition
  • +34 914 329 600
  • CNE website
  • dre(at)

Basic information on legal sources