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Biofuels

EU and National policy documents highlight the necessity of promoting the use of renewable energy, including bioenergy, and the respective policy targets favour the production of bioenergy from agriculture sources.  The EU Directive on Renewable Energy requires Ireland to achieve targets of a 16% share of energy from renewables by 2020 and 10% in transport by the same date.  In 2009, penetration of renewable energy in final consumption in Ireland was 4.9%.

To ensure these targets are met, two interdepartmental groups, the "Renewable Energy Development Group" and the "Bioenergy Working Group", have been established by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to consider the challenges and opportunities facing the Irish renewable sector.  A 'Renewable Energy Action Plan'  for Ireland, detailing the targets, policies and measures required to give effect to the EU targets mentioned above was submitted to the EU Commission in June 2010.

A more proactive approach is needed to develop the market in Ireland and it is recognised that supply chains and end use markets need to be developed to continue to expand production. In this regard, options for the commercial use of miscanthus and willow continue to be explored.

The Biofuels Obligation Scheme will require all fuel supply companies to ensure that a certain percentage (currently proposed at 4%) of the transport fuel used in the State consists of biofuels.  This Scheme will be a key component to achieving the 10% penetration target of renewable energy in Transport by 2020 and will equally encourage the growth of the biofuels industry in Ireland by providing a long term market for the biofuel sector.