Irish fuel suppliers will have to include an average of 4% biofuels in their annual fuel sales from July next year, under new rules being introduced by Energy Minister Eamon Ryan
The biofuels used must produce 35% less in greenhouse gases than petrol and diesel.
Minister Ryan said ‘stringent conditions’ would cover the source and type of biofuels involved, which must meet EU criteria.
He said we spent more than €6 billion a year on imported fossil fuels, and this figure was set to rise. Minister Ryan said we needed an alternative, and biofuels were part of the answer.
Around 30% of the biofuels used in Ireland – mostly coming from forests and farms – are produced by Irish companies. The Minister said the Government’s move would build up the sector’s production capacity by providing a guaranteed market.
Bioenergy body has concerns about scheme
The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) said it broadly welcomed any legislation which led to increased use of biofuels, but had ‘serious concerns’ about the scheme announced by the minister.
IrBEA called on the Government to amend the proposed obligation to allow Irish biofuel producers to access the market.
‘The scheme will be very inaccessible for Irish producers of biofuel. It forces producers to sell biofuel certificates to the oil industry, and there is no confidence these certificates will be worth anything. The easy short-term option for oil companies is to import biofuels,’ according to IrBEA president Tom Bruton.
He claimed the consumer would pay for the scheme through a higher cost of about one cent a litre on petrol and diesel at the pump.