Written answers

Wednesday, 17 May 2023

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Departmental Policies

Photo of Marian HarkinMarian Harkin (Sligo-Leitrim, Independent)
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20. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the provisions that will be put in place following the introduction of E10 petrol to make E5 petrol available for use in small petrol engine equipment, i.e. chain saws, strimmers, pole saws and generators, which will be negatively affected by the use of E10 petrol; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23329/23]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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The regulations establishing a minimum 5.5% ethanol in petrol placed upon the market by renewable transport fuel obligation account holders were made on 1 April 2023. In making the regulations consideration was given to the responses received through a statutory consultation on the draft regulations, the impact on fuel prices, and other economic and environmental impacts. 

Experience from jurisdictions where E10 and higher ethanol blends have been used widely for a prolonged period of time has not indicated issues of damage to petrol engines as a result of E10 use. Recent analysis published on the website of the US Department of Energy indicates no reliability or operability issues concerning E10, which has been in use in the US since the late 70s. 

I understand that the AA has recently issued guidance assuring the use of E10, with advice for the maintenance and use of some older vehicles and equipment, including for use in petrol powered small equipment such as lawnmowers.

With regards continued availability of E5 in Ireland, the regulations will not prevent any independent or specialist fuel supplier from placing an E5 blend of petrol on the market, if sufficient demand exists. Teh new regulations mean that from 1 July, E5 supply will not be eligible for renewable transport fuel obligation (RTFO) certificates. It is evident from consultation with industry that the vast majority of suppliers do not have the storage or distribution systems to supply both an E5 and an E10 petrol grade at forecourts in Ireland. 

The regulations will be kept under review within the context of the development and implementation of the Renewable Transport Fuel Policy 2023-2025 the draft of which remains open to consultation until 26 May.


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