It has been confirmed that there will be more biofuel blended into petrol and diesel from 1 January 2019, as reported by the Irish Farmers Journal last April.

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment Richard Bruton has announced his intention to increase the level from 8% to 10%.

Draft order

The Minister also published a draft order that will increase the level of biofuel used in the transport sector further to 11% from 1 January 2020.

This draft order will now be open to consultation.

The Biofuels Obligation Scheme requires suppliers of road transport fuels to include a proportion of biofuels in fuel placed on the market in Ireland.

The inclusion of biofuels in the fuel mix increases the level of renewable energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector.

The consultation will run until 23 January 2019

This would mean that all suppliers of road transport fuels would be required to increase the percentage of biofuel in their fuel from the current level of 8% to 11% by 2020.

The consultation will run until 23 January 2019.

The increased obligation from 8% to 11% by volume is expected to lead to over 70m litres of fossil fuel being replaced with biofuel and reduce Ireland’s emissions by almost 200,000t of carbon each year.

Minister Bruton said: "I am currently developing an all-of-Government plan to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change.

"This plan will have actions across all sectors of society and will have time lines, with clear lines of responsibility.

“Transitioning to cleaner fuels is an important part of delivering on that ambition.”

Technical difficulties

In the Biofuels Obligation Scheme policy statement, published in April, it said petrol in Ireland currently contains up to 5% bioethanol (E5) and all petrol-powered vehicles can operate using this blend.

However, it said that while although most petrol-powered vehicles in Ireland are compatible with petrol that contains 10% bioethanol (E10), using E10 in older vehicles may cause technical difficulties.

All diesel vehicles can operate for most of the year on a blend of 93% diesel and 7% biodiesel, it said.

Biodfuels on the Irish market

In 2017, a total of 225m litres of biofuel (167m litres biodiesel, 58m litres bioethanol) were placed on the Irish market.

All of the biodiesel placed on the Irish market was produced from feedstocks classified as wastes or residues, such as used cooking oil and tallow (waste from the meat processing industry).

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