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Administration of the RTFO

The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) came into effect on 1st July 2010. 

 

Click here to view the relevant legislation on the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation

Under this legislation, the National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) has been mandated to administer the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO). NORA has engaged Consultants (a consortium of Byrne Ó Cléirigh and Evelyn Partners – with BÓC as the lead consultant) to administer the scheme.

The legislation sets out in detail all the specific requirements of the RTFO.  Economic operators that place motor fuels and/or renewable transport fuels on the market in the Republic of Ireland should familiarise themselves fully with the legislation and the obligations that arise therefrom.

 

SI 160 of 2017, which transposes Article 7a of the Fuel Quality Directive, introduced a requirement on fuel suppliers to reduce the carbon intensity of the fuel they supply to road vehicles and non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) by 6%.  This requirement is also administered by NORA.  There is a significant overlap between the requirements of SI 160 and those of the RTFO.  Therefore, to minimise the administrative burden on the fuel suppliers and NORA, the Agency has integrated the administration of SI 160 into the RTFO.

The key requirements of the RTFO can be summarised as follows.

  1. Every oil company and oil consumer liable to pay the NORA Levy (the ‘Obligated Parties’) must, in each obligation period, ensure that not less than approximately 14.5 megajoules in every 100 megajoules of road transport fuel is renewable fuel. This is called the ‘renewable transport fuel obligation’.  This ratio equates to 16.985% of petroleum-based motor fuel placed on the market (16.985% being approximately 14.5/85.5). See Section 44C of the legislation.

  2. In the case of oil companies or oil consumers that are already subject to the NORA Levy, NORA will automatically open a ‘renewable transport fuel obligation account’; see Section 44E(1) of the legislation.

  3. Producers and suppliers of biofuels who are NOT already subject to the NORA Levy, and who wish to open RTFO accounts with NORA must apply to NORA to do so.  Such applications must be accompanied by a Tax Clearance Certificate and other information as may be prescribed - see Section 44E (4) of the BOS Act. 

  4. All RTFO accounts will be maintained in electronic form.

  5. RTFO account holders shall apply to NORA for Certificates for renewable fuels placed on the transport market.  One Certificate is issued for each megajoule of renewable fuel, provided the fuel meets the sustainability and greenhouse gases (GHG) savings criteria.  NORA maintains records of all Certificates issued and of the balance of Certificates held by each account holder.

  6. RTFO account holders may, under the provisions of Section 44(G) 1 of the BOS Act, apply for 2 Certificates per megajoule in the case of renewable fuels produced from feedstocks listed in Annex IX of the recast Renewable Energy Directive (RED II). Where a feedstock is not explicitly listed in Annex IX, prior to issuing such Certificates, NORA is obliged to consult with EPA, NSAI, SEAI and the Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government - see Sections 44G (1), 44G (11)(a) & 44G (11)(b) of the BOS Act.

  7. One of three Certificate types (Red, Orange, and Green) will be awarded to renewable fuels that satisfy the sustainability and GHG savings criteria, depending on the feedstock used to produce the fuels.  Renewable fuels produced from food and feed crops will be awarded Red Certificates.  Those produced from feedstocks listed in Annex IX Part A of RED II (or as determined by the RTFO Team to meet the descriptions contained in Annex IX Part A) will be awarded Green Certificates.  All other renewable fuels will be awarded Orange Certs.

  8. In addition to the ‘renewable transport fuel obligation’, Obligated Parties must ensure that 0.3% of the petroleum-based motor fuel placed on the market is ‘advanced’, i.e. produced from Annex IX Part A feedstocks (Green Certificates).  This is called the ‘advanced biofuel obligation’.

  9. Red Certs are limited to no more than 2 percentage points of an Obligated Party’s renewable transport fuel obligation.  This limit is referred to as the ‘crop cap’.

  10. There is also a limit on biofuel produced from high ILUC-risk feedstocks.  Only those companies that placed high ILUC-risk biofuel on the market in 2019 may do so and the amount is limited to that placed on the market in 2019.

  11. If an Account Holder does not discharge enough Certificates to meet their obligation, they will be charged a buy-out price.  The buy-out price is €0.05 per megajoule, and the advanced buy-out price is €0.08 per megajoule.

If you have a query, please consult these information sources in the first instance because it is more than likely that the question has already been answered.  If the answer is not to be found within the RTFO section of the website, you should then direct your query to bos@nora.ie.  However, as the RTFO Team receives a large volume of queries, an immediate response cannot be guaranteed, so please be patient with us.

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