The Biofuels Obligation Scheme, administered by the National Oil Reserves Agency, is the principal support for the uptake of biofuels in Ireland. The scheme was introduced in 2010 and requires suppliers of liquid road transport fuels to ensure that biofuels make up a portion of annual fuel sales. It works on the basis of tradable certificates - two certificates are awarded per litre of sustainable biofuel if that biofuel is produced from wastes or residues, or one certificate is awarded per litre for all other sustainable biofuels. For each calendar year, a fuel supplier must hold sufficient biofuel obligation certificates to demonstrate compliance. Suppliers can meet their obligation either by placing sufficient amounts of biofuel on the market themselves, or by purchasing certificates from other suppliers with a surplus. The number of certificates required is determined by the biofuel obligation rate which increased in January 2019 from 8% by volume to 10% by volume. This means that at the end of the year, a fuel supplier must hold ten biofuel certificates for every 90 litres of fossil fuel they place on the road transport fuel market this year. Earlier this year, I signed an order to increase the biofuel obligation rate to 11% by volume, or 11 certificates per 89 litres of fossil fuel, from 1 January 2020.
In 2018, in order to meet the obligation over 200 million litres of biofuels were placed on the road transport fuel market. I expect the 10% by volume obligation from 2019 and the 11% by volume obligation from 2020 to be met.