Wednesday, 28 June 2023
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Fuel Oil Specifications
41. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he is aware of the concerns of owners of older cars and other motorised machinery whose machinery is not compatible with e10; the steps he is taking to mitigate the impact on them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31495/23]
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 28 day consultation on the draft regulations, the impact on fuel prices, and other economic and environmental impacts.
The policy and regulation supporting the move to E10 take into account the overriding consideration of the public good in decarbonising transport through increasing biofuels which also meet EU sustainability criteria.
Moving to E10 will bring an immediate climate-change mitigation measure using the existing vehicle fleet. Ethanol (E5) in petrol currently accounts for almost 10% of annual tailpipe carbon emission savings (8.5% in 2022).
In making these regulations, while I have noted the concerns of older vehicle and equipment owners on the move to E10, experience from jurisdictions where E10 and higher ethanol blends have been used widely for a prolonged period has not indicated issues of damage to petrol engines as a result of E10 use. A 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. The AA has also issued guidance assuring the use of E10, with advice for the maintenance and use of some older vehicles and equipment.
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. But the regulations will not prevent any independent or specialist fuel supply, if sufficient demand exists.
My Department continues to run an E10 public information and awareness campaign through advertising and the gov.ie/E10 website remains the main point of reference for further information.
The regulations will be kept under review within the context of the development and implementation of the Renewable Transport Fuel policy.