EU Renewable Energy Directive target
Every EU Member State has a mandatory renewable energy in transport target to achieve by 2020. For Ireland, it is set out that 10% of Ireland's energy must be renewable in the transport sector. In 2010, the Government put in place the Biofuels Obligation Scheme to assist Ireland in its effort to meet this obligation. This scheme ensures that a proportion of the transport fuel used in the State consists of environmentally sustainable biofuels. It is administered by the National Oil Reserves Agency and further details on the scheme are available on its website www.nora.ie.
The Biofuels Obligation Scheme placed a requirement on suppliers of road transport fuels that 8% (by volume) of the fuels (generally gasoline and motor diesel) they place on the market in Ireland in 2018 are produced from renewable sources, e.g. bioethanol and biodiesel.
In April 2018, the Biofuels Obligation Scheme Policy Statement was published. This policy and the actions set out within it were informed by the Biofuel Obligation Scheme public consultation which took place from December 2017 to January 2018.
The Policy Statement set out a number of actions to be implemented including increases to the biofuel obligation in 2019 and 2020.
In May 2018, the Minister published the National Oil Reserves Agency Act 2007 (Biofuel Obligation Rate) Order 2018 (S.I. No. 198 of 2018) which enacted an increase in the biofuel obligation to 10% by volume with effect from 1 January 2019.
Draft Order increasing the obligation rate
The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment published a draft order proposing that the percentage rate referred to in section 44C(3)(b) of the National Oil Reserves Agency Act 2007 (as amended) shall be 12.359 per cent with effect from 1st January 2020 in order to increase the obligation to 11% by volume from 2020. It should be noted that an obligation of 11% by volume means that for every 89 litres of fossil fuel that is placed on the road transport market, an obligated party must have 11 certificates. The legislative requirement is therefore 12.359% (11 divided by 89).
The deadline for submitting representations in regard to the proposed order was 5pm on the 23 January 2019.