The Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) has submitted its views on the Republic of Ireland’s Draft National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), expressing both recognition and support of the Government’s commitment to meeting carbon reduction targets whilst stressing the vital role liquid fuels should play in the attainment of this.
The FPS wants to work with the Government to help find ways to reduce Ireland’s carbon footprint and will provide support for Ireland’s planned pathway through ideas and suggested actions for switching the country to renewable energy sources.
Primarily, the FPS urges the creation of a single, dedicated department focused on energy, climate action and the environment, that can work together with a working group made up of representatives from across the heating oil distribution and supply sectors. This would allow for the exchange of opinions and proposals and enable the Government to interact with industry.
Nick Hayes, The FPS’ Irish Representative, comments: “The Government’s plan is ultimately good news for everyone committed to cutting carbon whilst meeting the future needs of off-grid homes in Ireland – which all our members are – although we feel it is important to highlight the part a bio or carbon neutral liquid fuel could play, and to encourage the Government to consider alternatives to total electrification of Irish homes.
“Our members currently deliver heating oil to 686,000 households in Ireland, mainly in rural and off-grid locations. Ireland is a rural country and a great deal of consideration must be given to the impact the current proposed measures will have on those in off-grid and rural areas.
“Options such as heat pumps are not suitable for many of the homes in Ireland and to retrofit them would be costly. This is especially true for those already living in or are near to being in fuel poverty. Instead, we would urge shorter-term measures such as boiler upgrades, smart metering, and better insulation in homes, as an immediate means of cutting emissions for homeowners and business owners.”
Guy Pulham, FPS Chief Executive, adds: “We welcome Ireland’s Draft NECP and hope to have the opportunity to be part of a working group, together with representatives from across the supply chain, including trade associations, refiners, importers, boiler manufacturers and installers, and tank storage, to work with the Government on its planned pathway to a low carbon footprint.
“This is something we have done in the UK and I believe that the working group has proven beneficial in helping the Government to understand what is possible in this sector.
“When you factor in that in Ireland the supply and distribution network are already good, and installation costs are low, switching to a bio or low carbon liquid fuel would mean keeping these benefits. Whilst the costs for implementing this transition are unknown at this stage, it’s positive the framework is in place to help keeps costs down. We believe that liquid fuels with declining fossil content can help achieve decarbonisation and support Government in maintaining a focus on the needs and finances of their householders.
“A tiered approach would help people to take small steps such as changing to a condensing boiler or installing smart meters so they can monitor their energy use – all these small steps can make a big difference to costs and emissions, and can be incorporated alongside the bigger, longer-term steps such as the development of a bio fuel industry by the Government which would come with added benefits such as potential for additional employment and rural development.
“Ultimately, we want to work closely with the Government and do all we can to help with Ireland’s transition to more renewable energy sources.”
4th March 2019