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Minister Naughten publishes Public Consultation on the Biofuels Obligation Scheme


1st December 2017 

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten T.D., today published a public consultation on proposed increases to the biofuel obligation rate. 


Since 2010, suppliers of motor fuel have been required to ensure that biofuels make up a certain percentage of national annual fuel sales.  This is known as the biofuel obligation rate and is currently set at 8%.


Biofuels are motor fuels produced renewable sources such as bioethanol (which can be blended with petrol) and biodiesel.  Bioethanol can be produced from crops such as sugar, wheat or corn.  Materials such as plant oils and animal fats can be used to make biodiesel. 


Biofuels have a wide range of benefits from reducing Ireland's dependency on oil to lowering greenhouse gas emissions.  The biofuel obligation rate also has an important role to play in helping Ireland meet its 2020 renewable energy targets.   Ireland is committed to ensuring that by 2020, 10% of the energy consumed in the transport sector will come from renewable energy sources.  In order to meet this target, it will be necessary to increase the biofuels obligation rate to approximately 12%.


Minister Naughten stated "The Biofuel Obligation Scheme has a significant role to play in decarbonising the road transport sector in Ireland.  This consultation will allow industry and other stakeholders to submit their views on how we can build on the progress already made and address the challenges to increasing our use of sustainable biofuels."    


The consultation sets out a number of proposals including the phasing-in of the increase in the biofuel obligation rate as follows:-

  • 10% from 1 January 2019
  • c.12% from 1 January 2020

The phased implementation will allow industry time to prepare and adapt so that the increases can proceed effectively and efficiently.   The consultation seeks feedback from interested parties on these suggested increases and also for views on how the scheme could be developed in the future.  The consultation also invites feedback on the potential for a similar obligation scheme in the domestic heating sector. 

In inviting stakeholders to contribute to the consultation, Minister Naughten also said "We need to look forward to 2020 and beyond and explore how we can increase the share of renewable energy across all sectors." 


The public consultation will be open until 19 January 2018.  Details of how members of the public and interested stakeholders can have their say on this consultation are available on the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment's website here




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