Under the EU Renewable Energy Directive, all Member States are obliged to achieve a minimum target of 10% renewable energy in the transport sector by 2020.
Supports - Biofuels Obligation Scheme
To meet our EU obligations the Government has introduced a biofuel obligation scheme to ensure that a proportion of the transport fuel used in the state consists of environmentally sustainable biofuels. Details of the sustainability criteria are available on SI 483 of 2014 European Union (Renewable Energy) Regulations 2014 (PDF 0.7MB)
The scheme is administered by the National Oil Reserves Agency and further details in relation to the scheme are available on its website at www.nora.ie.
The scheme places an obligation on suppliers of mineral oil to ensure that 6% (by volume) of the motor fuels (generally Gasoline and Motor Diesel) they place on the market in Ireland is produced from renewable sources, e.g. Ethanol and Biodiesel. The obligation was increased from the 1st January, 2013. It was previously 4%.
This means that at the end of each year an obligated road transport fuel supplier must hold six biofuel obligation certificates for every 94 litres of petroleum based fuel it has placed on the market. Certificates are issued for biofuels that have been demonstrated to have complied with the sustainability criteria of the Directive. Biofuels must not be made from feedstock's sourced from certain categories of land, and must achieve certain greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
It is intended that the biofuel obligation will be incrementally increased on a sustainable basis to 2020 to meet the renewable transport target of 10% in 2020. The incremental increases will have to take cognisance of technical and other developments.
Increase to the Biofuels Obligation Rate from 2017
Following consultations in October 2015 and February 2016, on 3 May 2016 Minister Alex White signed the National Oil Reserves Agency Act 2007 (Biofuel Obligation Rate) Order 2016 to increase the rate of biofuel obligation to 8.695 per cent from 1 January 2017. From 2017, an obligated party will be required to hold eight biofuel obligation certificates for every 92 litres of petroleum based fuel it has placed on the market, which equates to an 8% obligation in volume terms.