The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment Richard Bruton T.D. has signed a Statutory Instrument (S.I.) which will increase the level of biofuel in the fuel mix.
The obligation will increase to 11 per cent by volume with effect from January 1, 2020. This follows a public consultation on the proposed increase which closed on January 23, 2019.
Biofuels are renewable transport fuels produced from biomass material. Types of biofuels available include bioethanol (which can be blended with petrol) and biodiesel.
The Minister is currently developing an all of government plan to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change. The Minister recently held a public consultation on the Plan, which will have actions across all areas such as heat, electricity, transport and agriculture according to strict timelines.
The Biofuels Obligation Scheme requires suppliers of road transport fuels to include a percentage of biofuels in fuel placed on the market in Ireland. The inclusion of biofuels in the fuel mix increases the level of renewable energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector.
Since January 1, 2019 the level of the biofuel obligation increased from a previous rate of eight per cent to the current rate of 10 per cent by volume. The signing of the S.I. today means that all suppliers of road transport fuels will be required to increase the percentage of biofuel in their fuel with the obligation level increasing from 10 per cent to 11 per cent by 2020.
The increased obligation from the previous rate of eight per cent to 11 per cent is expected to lead to over 70 million litres of fossil fuel being replaced with biofuel and reduce Ireland’s emissions by almost 200 thousand tonnes of carbon each year.
A public consultation in relation to increasing the level of biofuel further post 2020 will be carried out later this year. This will provide stakeholders and the public further opportunity to input into biofuel policy development.
Minister Bruton stated: “Today’s announcement will have a real impact on the level of greenhouse gas emissions coming from our transport sector. By increasing the level of biofuel in the fuel mix from an obligation level of eight per cent to now 11 per cent, we will save 200,000 tonnes of carbon every year. Transitioning to cleaner fuels is an integral part of our ambition of being a leader in responding to climate change. Today’s announcement is a very positive step forward and I look forward to consulting later in the year and stretching our delivery in this area even further.”