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John O’Leary

Managing Director, Inver Energy

If Ireland is to meet its targets by 2030, a range of renewable energy solutions will need to be brought into the mix — including biofuels.

Ireland’s target is to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 51% by 2030. To achieve this, it needs to adopt a range of renewable energy solutions. These include biofuels, explains John O’Leary, Managing Director of Inver Energy, part of the Greenergy Group. 

Environmental benefits of biofuels from waste products 

“Biofuels are made from biological materials such as food crops, agricultural waste or waste oils,” explains O’Leary. “If renewable biofuels are used instead of fossil fuel, there is immediate scope for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, which is why we have adopted biofuels in our own fleet.” 

Moreover, biofuels such as those supplied by Inver are derived from waste products and are a win-win for the environment. Take used cooking oil, a waste that can be challenging to dispose of safely and may end up in the sewer as a fatberg. However, once converted into HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil), it can be used to run everything from commercial boilers to HGVs. “Another benefit of biofuels derived from waste is that they have a lower land impact than biofuels made from crops, not competing with food chains,” explains O’Leary.  

Biofuels are made from biological materials such
as food crops, agricultural waste or waste oils.

Expanding access to new forms of biofuels 

One of the biggest barriers to increasing biofuel use is the availability of feedstock (ie. the raw material converted into biofuel). “The whole world is competing for certified and affordable biofuels,” he says. “We must ensure access to the feedstocks needed, and the setting of advanced biofuel targets in the Renewable Energy Directive will assist in that regard. It challenges the players in the market and incentivises the development of new forms of biofuels from non-food feedstocks.” 

 “We are committed to providing a mix of biofuels to our customers as this helps in reducing carbon emissions immediately and is an integral element of the transition to renewable energy sources,” says O’Leary. “This is key to achieving Ireland’s emission reduction targets.” 

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