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Ireland to increase biofuel obligation rate to 10 percent

In Ireland, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, T.D., has published a draft order increasing the Biofuel Obligation Rate to 10 percent by volume from January 1, 2019. The Minister also published a Policy Statement outlining the proposed future development of the Biofuels Obligation Scheme, which according to the Minister is intended to provide certainty to industry and stakeholders.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD speaking at the Energy in Agriculture event at Gurteen Agricultural College (photo courtesy Gurteen Agricultural College).

The Irish Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD, here seen speaking at the Energy in Agriculture event at Gurteen Agricultural College last year, has published a draft order increasing the Biofuel Obligation Rate for motor fuels to 10 percent by volume from January 1, 2019  (photo courtesy Gurteen Agricultural College).

The Biofuels Obligation Scheme was set up in 2010 and requires suppliers of motor fuel to ensure that biofuels make up a certain percentage of national annual fuel sales, known as the Biofuel Obligation Rate. The rate was initially set at 4 percent by volume and has increased progressively to the current rate of 8 percent by volume.

Following public consultation on the proposed phased increases to the Biofuel Obligation Rate, held between December 2017 and January 2018, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, T.D., published a draft order on April 20, increasing the biofuel obligation rate to 10 percent by volume from January 1, 2019.

The Minister also published a Biofuels Obligation Scheme Policy Statement outlining the proposed future development of the Scheme and is intended to provide certainty to industry and stakeholders thus facilitating the long-term planning necessary to increase the use of biofuels.

The Biofuels Obligation Scheme is a vital policy measure that increases the use of renewable energy and decreases emissions in the transport sector. Today I have published a Policy Statement setting out the increased level of obligation and future development of the scheme to 2030 and beyond. The scheme currently contributes an estimated 450 000t tonnes in carbon emission reductions each year towards our national targets. The changes I have announced today will increase this contribution to over 600 thousand tonnes annually, said Minister Naughten.

According to the Minister, biofuels have a wide range of benefits from reducing Ireland’s dependency on fossil fuels to lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The use of biofuels will continue to be the principal means by which Ireland increases the share of renewable energy in its transport sector.

In 2017, circa 225 million litres of biofuel was placed on the Irish market. All biofuels must meet strict sustainability criteria to qualify under the Scheme.

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