EU Renewable Energy Targets
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.
Biofuel Obligation Scheme
One of the main measures that Ireland introduced in order to help meet this target was the Biofuels Obligation Scheme. This scheme was introduced in 2010 and is administered by the National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA). It sets out an obligation that suppliers of road transport fuels must include a certain percentage of environmentally sustainable biofuels across their general fuel mix.
The scheme works by ensuring that each supplier fulfils their requirement by having the necessary number of biofuel certificates required. This level of obligation has increased over time from an initial rate of 4%. Now, the rate is 8.695% which means that 8% of the motor fuels, typically diesel and petrol, placed on the Irish market are produced from renewable sources.
In April 2018, in order to provide certainty to obligated parties, a Biofuel Obligation Scheme Policy Statement was published.
Currently, a consultation on the proposed increase to the biofuel obligation rate to 10% (by volume) to take place from 1st January 2019 is open for submissions.