Renewable Fuel Use To Rise In Transport Sector

The level of biofuels used in the transport sector is set to increase to 11% over the next year, according to Richard Bruton, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment.

The one percent rise is in response to a recent public consultation and will be fully implemented by 01 January 2020.

Biofuels are renewable transport fuels produced from biomass material that can be manufactured from a wide range of materials including sugarcane, wheat and corn, and also from waste materials such as plant oils and animals fats. Types of biofuels available include bioethanol (which can be blended with petrol) and biodiesel. 

The Biofuel Obligation Scheme was established in 2010 and has become a key pillar of Ireland's energy policy. The scheme operates by placing a mandatory obligation which is termed the biofuel 'obligation rate' on suppliers of road transport fuels to ensure that a proportion of the fuels they place on the Irish market are produced from renewable sources.  

Minister Bruton is currently developing an all of government plan to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change. The plan will have actions across all areas such as heat, electricity, transport and agriculture according to strict timelines. 

"Transitioning to cleaner fuels is an integral part of delivering on our ambition," he commented.

Since 01 January 2019, the level of the biofuel obligation increased from a previous rate of 8% to the current rate of 10% by volume. The signing of the Statutory Instrument today means that all suppliers of road transport fuels will be required to increase the percentage of biofuel in their fuel.

This is expected to lead to over 70 million litres of fossil fuel being replaced with biofuel and reducing 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 8% to now 11%, 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."


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