Ireland demands fuel suppliers include biofuels

Ireland's energy minister Eamon Ryan has announced that the Government has approved legislation forcing suppliers to include an average of 4% of biofuels.

From July of next year, fuel suppliers in Ireland will have to include an average of 4% biofuels in their annual fuel sales, the minister announced this week.

He said the biofuels used must produce 35% less greenhouse gases than their fossil fuel comparators and that ‘stringent conditions’ will also be introduced in relation to the source and type of biofuels used.

In order for biofuels to be counted towards the obligation, they must meet the European Union Sustainability Criteria for biofuels.

Mr Ryan said this week: “We do not have oil supplies of our own in Ireland but we can produce biofuels.

“Every year, we send more than Euro 6 billion a year overseas on our import fossil fuel bill.

“This figure will rise even more as oil becomes more expensive and more difficult to find.

“The oil crisis in the 70s has shown us how vulnerable we are when we rely on a supply that is not our own to run our transport system and heat our homes.

“We need an alternative to fossil fuels in order that we have a secure energy supply into the future. Biofuels can provide part of the answer. This obligation will place responsibility on fuel suppliers to move towards low-carbon fuel.

“The new laws will help fuel our transport fleet and build up the Irish biofuels production capacity, the Government is providing a guaranteed market for the bio-energy sector.

“Our forests and farms can provide the fuel of the future, helping us reduce our carbon emissions at the same time.”

The minister reassured the public they would ‘not be obliged’ to modify their vehicles in any way, the biofuels obligation will be administered by the National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) and fuel supply companies will have to meet the cost.

Luke Walsh

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie