Thursday, 13 July 2023
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
221. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will report on Ireland's biofuel supply and Ireland's capacity to meet EU sustainability requirements; Ireland's current biofuel supply; the increase that will be required to meet EU sustainability requirements; the measures to increase supply that are in place; when is it estimated that supply will increase; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34947/23]
222. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will report on the engagement between his Department and the European Commission on biofuel, including verification and increasing Ireland's supply; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34948/23]
223. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will report on Ireland's biofuel supply and capacity to meet 2030 targets; what is Ireland's current biofuel supply; what increase will be required to meet our 2030 targets; what measures to increase supply are in place; when is it estimated that supply will increase; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34949/23]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 221, 222 and 223 together.
Renewable transport fuels such as biofuels are a core transitional technology relied upon for the medium-term reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the road transport sector, accounting for 1.08 MT CO2eq of the transport sector decarbonisation target to be achieved by 2030 under the Climate Action Plan. This represents 13.7% of of the total transport sector decarbonisation planned by 2030. In 2022, approximately 307m litres (9.6 PJ) of biofuel was placed on the market.
Supporting the supply of renewable energy in transport, the Renewable Transport Fuel Policy sets out the pathway to the achievement of both Climate Action Plan targets ) biofuel targets of at least B20 (biodiesel equivalent) in diesel and E10 (Ethanol) in petrol by 2030 (with an interim B12/E10 by 2025 target) and European obligations under the Renewable Energy Directive and Fuel Quality Directive concerning sustainability and GHG reduction criteria.
The policy since 2010 has been to increase renewable energy in transport by pursuing progressive increases in the renewable transport fuel supply obligation (RTFO) on fuel suppliers, as provided for under Part 5A of the National Oil Reserves Agency Act 2007. All biofuel supplied in Ireland that is encompassed within the renewable transport fuel obligation, i.e. is awarded renewable transport fuel obligation certificates, is on the basis of independent verification of compliance with EU sustainability and GHG reduction criteria.
I published the updated Renewable Transport Fuel Policy Statement 2023-2025 on 28 June. The Policy Statement sets out indicative obligation rate increase for renewable transport fuels and advanced biofuels to 2030 and outlines the steps that have to be taken over the next two years to achieve these proposed rates, in line with European requirements and national Climate Action Plan (CAP) objectives.
I made regulations on the 31 March 2023 to authorise the National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) to issue additional Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) certificates for specified renewable transport fuels, where those fuels are used for specific purposes or means of transport, to incentivise their supply. The regulations became operational from 1 April, aligned to the administrative requirements of the RTFO. This included additional certificates for FAME biodiesel, hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), biomethane and renewable fuel of non-biological origin such as green hydrogen.
Concerning availability of biofuel supply to meet projected consumption, 72-78m litres of bioethanol and between 570-730m litres of biodiesel/HVO could be required to meet the Climate Action Plan transport targets by 2030. Potential for indigenous production scale-up to between 435m and 735m litres of biodiesel/HVO in 2030 is also estimated, with recoverable feedstock supplies of potentially 70m litres of biodiesel from indigenous feedstock, indicating a continued reliance on biofuels from imported feedstocks.
Concerning sustainability of future supply, the supply of biofuel feedstocks such as used cooking oil is limited and additional demand for it will impact on its cost and may heighten the risk of fuel fraud in global supply chains. To combat this the EU is introducing more rigorous verification requirements including an EU database for all biofuel supply, and supervision by Member States authorities of certification bodies responsible for ensuring economic operators compliance with EU sustainability rules.
At an official level the Department engages with the European Commission on an ongoing basis through the working group on sustainability established under the Renewable Energy Directive.