Policy implementation in Ireland

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Note: This page is part of the EU biofuel policy tracker, created with content provided by the International Council on Clean Transportation

Implementation of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) in the Republic of Ireland.

Policy implementation in EU countries
This page was developed with information supplied by ICCT, the International Council on Clean Transportation (http://www.theicct.org/).
EU biofuel policy tracker:
Implementation of the EU's Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and
Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) in
AustriaBelgiumBulgariaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkEstoniaFinlandFranceGermanyGreeceHungaryIrelandItalyLatviaLithuaniaLuxembourgMaltaThe NetherlandsPolandPortugalRomaniaSlovakiaSloveniaSpainSwedenUnited Kingdom
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  • Note: Information believed to be current as of 1 October 2011.


Overview of the EU Directives

Overview of the two European Union Directives.
Renewable Energy Directive (RED)

  • The Renewable Energy Directive sets mandates for the use of renewable energy in the European Union. This includes a mandatory target for European Member States that 10% of energy in land transport should be from renewable sources by 2020. This renewable energy could be in any form, such as hydrogen or electricity, but it is widely expected that the bulk of the target will be met by the use of biofuels. The Directive includes sustainability criteria (mirrored in the Fuel Quality Directive) that put a minimum threshold on the direct emissions savings from biofuels based on a lifecycle analysis methodology described in the directive, and define categories of high biodiversity and high carbon land that must not be converted for biofuels production. The Directive puts an obligation on European Member States to enforce both the overall targets and the sustainability conditions, and so the legal requirements on economic operators may vary from Member State to Member State. See Renewable Energy Directive.

Fuel Quality Directive

  • The Fuel Quality Directive includes a mandatory target that the carbon intensity of transport fuel supplied in Europe should be reduced by 6% in 2020 compared to the baseline. It is anticipated that the bulk of this saving will be achieved with biofuels, but electric vehicles and other low carbon vehicle technologies may also be important. There may also be recognition available for reduced emissions intensity from fossil fuel supply, such as by reduced flaring emissions. The 6% target is intended to be achievable by any economic operator supplying all of its mandated 10% renewable energy under the Renewable Energy Directive as biofuel with an average carbon saving of 60%. See Fuel Quality Directive.


  • The Republic of Ireland began implementation of the Biofuel Obligation Scheme on July 1, 2010. This policy is a biofuel volume mandate, requiring road transport fuels to be 4.166% biofuel at the time of implementation. Compliant participants will receive tradable certificates, while suppliers of road transport fuels who fail to comply must pay a buy-out price. Fuel suppliers must also demonstrate compliance with the environmental and social sustainability requirements of the Renewable Energy Directive.

Policy name(s)

  • The policy is The Biofuel Obligation Scheme. The main legislation supporting this policy is the Energy (Biofuel Obligation and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2010.

Type of policy

  • This policy is a volume mandate on biofuels.

Implementing authority

  • This policy is implemented by the National Oil Reserves Agency.

Year introduced

  • The law passed in 2010 and came into effect July 1, 2010.


  • In effect since July 1, 2010.

Scheme website


  • Road transport fuels must be 4.166% biofuel by volume as of the time the law was put into effect. Ireland’s overall targets for the use of renewable energy in the transport sector are 7% in 2015, 9% in 2017, and 10% by 2019.

Legally obligated parties, opt-in parties and compliance pathways

  • Legally obligated parties include oil companies and oil consumers. Each legally obligated party must create a biofuel obligation account and must pay a levy of 2 cents per litre (as of July, 2010).
  • If legally obligated parties fail to meet the biofuel volume requirement, they must pay to the National Oil Reserves Agency an amount equal to the volume of obligated biofuel that was not discharged multiplied by the “buy-out price” (45 cents per litre as of July, 2010). Failure to pay this amount results in an interest-accruing debt to the National Oil Reserves Agency as well as a late payment fee.


Greenhouse gas emissions

  • The Biofuels Obligation Scheme requires account holders to comply with the carbon intensity criteria laid out in Article 17 of the Renewable Energy Directive, i.e. the greenhouse gas emission savings from biofuels should be at least 35% relative to conventional fuels (50% in 2017, and 60% in 2018 for facilities beginning production in 2017 or thereafter).

Life-cycle analysis (LCA)

  • In line with the Renewable Energy Directive.


  • Presumably in line with the Renewable Energy Directive.

GHG emissions from ILUC

  • Not included at this time.

Mandatory environmental criteria on land types

  • Biofuel production must comply with paragraphs 2 to 6 of Article 17 of the Renewable Energy Directive. Namely, biofuels for the purpose of RED cannot be made from raw materials taken from lands with high biodiversity, high carbon stock, or peat.

Additional environmental and social reporting requirements

  • Support schemes for farmers must be established in accordance with part A and point 9 of Annex II to Council Regulation (EC) No 73/2009.

System for verifying carbon and sustainability claims

  • Obligated parties must demonstrate compliance with the sustainability criteria in Article 18 of the Renewable Energy Directive.

Reporting system

  • Reporting will be completed using written returns. These returns must include the following information: biofuel stocks, purchases, sales, imports, exports, and consumption. The return must be certified by a director or secretary of the biofuel obligation account holder making the return.

Double reward for cellulosic biofuels, use of wastes and residues

  • Double certificates are issued for biofuels made from biodegradable waste, residue, non-food cellulosic material, lingo-cellulosic material, or algae.

Eligible feedstocks

  • Eligible feedstocks include the biodegradable fraction of products, waste and residues from biological origin from agriculture, forestry and related industries including fisheries and aquaculture, as well as the biodegradable fraction of industrial and municipal waste.

Credit trading

  • Trading of biofuel certificates is allowed, currently with no restrictions on the quantity of certificates traded.

Aviation and shipping

  • Not included.
Policy implementation in EU countries edit
European Union policy - European Biofuels Directive | EU member states biofuel targets
EU biofuel policy tracker -- Implementation of the EU's Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) in:
AustriaBelgiumBulgariaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkEstoniaFinlandFranceGermanyGreeceHungaryIrelandItalyLatviaLithuaniaLuxembourgMaltaThe NetherlandsPolandPortugalRomaniaSlovakiaSloveniaSpainSwedenUnited Kingdom
Template for country information


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