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Biofuels Obligation Scheme

The BOS places an obligation on suppliers of mineral oil to ensure that 12.359% (by volume) of the motor fuel (generally gasoline and motor diesel) they place on the market in Ireland is produced from renewable sources, e.g. bioethanol and biodiesel. The obligation was increased from the 1st January, 2020. It was previously 11.111%.

Under the terms of the National Oil Reserves Agency Act 2007 (Returns and Biofuel Levy) Regulations 2010, a Biofuel Levy of 0.1 cent per litre is payable on the sales of all Biofuels into the market with effect from 1st August 2020.

NORA administers compliance with the BOS, and with the requirements of SI 160, which obligates fuel suppliers to reduce the carbon instensity of transport fuels by 6% by 2020.



Article 3 of the Renewable Energy Directive (1) sets out mandatory national overall targets and measures for the use of energy from renewable sources for all EU Member States. Ireland’s target for the share of its gross final consumption of energy to come from renewable sources, by 2020, is 16%.

Although Member States may set individual targets for heat and electricity, item 4 of Article 3 places the following obligation on all Member States.

Each Member State shall ensure that the share of energy from renewable sources in all forms of transport in 2020 is at least 10 % of the final consumption of energy in transport in that Member State.

It is in the context of this obligation that Ireland has implemented the Biofuel Obligation Scheme (BOS) which was given effect in law by the Energy (Biofuel Obligation and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2010 (2). The Scheme is one aspect of a twin approach in meeting the EU target for the use of renewable energy in transport; the second is to encourage the accelerated development and usage of electric vehicles, for which the target is 10% of vehicles by 2020.

Under this legislation, The National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) is the body charged with administering the BOS. In June 2010, following an open tendering process, a consortium of Byrne Ó Cléirigh and LHM-Casey McGrath (now Smith & Williamson) (BÓC-SW) was appointed to assist NORA with implementing and administering the BOS.

For more information see “administration” under the Biofuels Obligation Scheme section of the website.

NORA has incorportated compliance with SI 160 into the BOS.  SI 160 of 2017 transposes Article 7a of the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD). This introduces a requirement on fuel suppliers to reduce the carbon intensity of the fuel supplied to road vehicles and non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) by 6% by 2020. 

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