Tuesday, 20 May 2008
Dáil Eireann Debate
602. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the percentage of total fuel consumption comprised of bio-fuels; the percentage of Irish bio-fuels production that is waste based; the percentage that is crop based; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19859/08]
603. Deputy Liz McManus asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the amount of bioethanol produced here in percentage terms and tonnes; the way this compares to the target for bio-fuels in the Programme for Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19861/08]
Definitive figures on bio-fuel production for 2007 have not yet been finalised and it is likely that the figures included here will increase when all the data is available. Based on provisional figures currently available bio-fuels represented 0.60% of the total fuel consumption in Ireland in 2007. The provisional figures for 2007 are a significant increase on figures for 2005 and 2006 which were 0.04% and 0.09% respectively of the total fuel consumption in Ireland. Following the introduction of the Mineral Oil Tax Relief Scheme, there have been increases in production towards year end 2007, despite increases in input prices. While there is no specific information available relating to the percentage of Irish bio-fuel production, which is waste based and crop based, I can advise the Deputy that bio-fuels being produced here rely on a range of feedstocks which include soya oil, waste recovered vegetable oils, tallow and whey along with energy crops such as oil seed rape and wheat.
Provisional figures for the production of bioethanol in 2007 indicate that over 5500 tonnes was produced which represents 0.07% of the total road transport fuel consumption in Ireland in 2007. The nature of ethanol production is such that large scale investment is required with significant lead in time for production start up. There are currently two producers of bioethanol in Ireland and a number of other operators have plans in that direction. We have committed to the overall EU bio-fuels target as set out in the EU Commission presentation on the 23 January last which includes a commitment to insuring the environmental sustainability of any new bio-fuel supplier. In order to meet these EU targets we are preparing for our own national bio-fuel obligation scheme which will be going out for public consultation in a matter of weeks.
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