Transport sector in Ireland: can 2020 national policy targets drive indigenous biofuel production to success?


  • The authors have declared no conflicts of interest in relation to this article.


Ireland's transport sector consumes just slightly less than one third of all energy in Ireland and is heavily dependent on oil imports, especially diesel. The European Union has set targets that are to be met by 2020, in order to guarantee a sustainable future for Europe and assure security of energy supply. There is an increase of biofuel usage in the transport sector, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage indigenous production of renewable sources. Currently, Ireland has only two licensed suppliers of biodiesel. The Irish government has issued a number of policy support mechanisms, and while that has increased the use of biofuels in Ireland, it has not necessarily aided the domestic suppliers of biofuels. The aim of this paper is to detail the existing policies and support mechanisms in Ireland and to examine whether it is possible for Ireland to produce biofuels indigenously while meeting the 2020 targets and competing with the alternative conventional imports. Alternatives to the current supply scenario will be considered, including alternatives such as electric vehicles, recovered waste vegetable oils, and grass gasification for biomethane for natural gas vehicles.