Public consultation on Alternative Fuels Infrastructure launched


The Department of Transport has launched a public consultation seeking submissions from wider transport and energy sector stakeholders to inform the development of an updated National Policy Framework for Alternative Fuels Infrastructure in Transport.

This consultation follows the recent adoption of Regulation (EU) 2023/1804 on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure (AFIR), which came into full application across all EU Member States from 13 April 2024. The Consultation is to be informed by an Issues Paper, prepared by the Department of Transport, which sets out of a range of issues for consideration and prompts a series of targeted questions.

The new Regulation replaces the previous Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive 2014/94/EU and establishes a number of mandatory minimum alternative fuels infrastructure targets and obligations for operators. This is to ensure that a sufficient and inter-operable recharging and alternative fuel refuelling infrastructure network is put in place across all EU Member States in a consistent manner.

The Regulation sets a number of challenging targets and timeframes for the deployment of such infrastructure across the main transport corridors in each Member State (i.e. the Trans-European Network-Transport network (TEN-T)), including but not limited to:

• electric vehicle recharging infrastructure for light- and heavy-duty vehicles;

• hydrogen refuelling infrastructure for land transport;

• on-shore electricity supply for vessels over 5,000 GT in our maritime ports; and

• the supply of electricity to stationary aircraft in our airports.

AFIR is an important part of a wider European policy package, Fit for 55, which aims to enable the EU to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and to achieve climate neutrality in 2050. It is also in direct alignment with the evolution in policy and climate ambition at a national level led by the Climate and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021, and the subsequential carbon budget and sectoral emissions ceiling programme.

Minister Eamonn Ryan said: “The ongoing transition away from fossil fuels in transport is being supported by an ambitious electrification strategy which is progressing in the right direction under our Zero Emission Vehicles Ireland office. However, we have to further accelerate the pace that we are putting in the necessary infrastructure.

“Our last policy framework in this space was published in 2017 at a time when we had just over 2,000 electric vehicles on our roads. We now have over 121,000 EVs on our roads and we need to make sure that the deployment of publicly accessible recharging and refuelling infrastructure will meet the ever-growing demand for alternative fuels.

“By accelerating the transition away from fossil fuels, transport users will benefit from an integrated network of publicly accessible recharging and refuelling points with more options to choose from, as well as benefitting from reduced air and noise pollution.”

Minister of State for Transport, Jack Chambers, added:

“AFIR will act as a significant enabler for Ireland to deliver on our climate ambition, but also, as part of the EU Fit for 55 package, as a unified European effort in reaching net zero in our collective fight against climate change.

“It is a milestone policy that will pave the way for a robust alternatively fuelled infrastructure network to be enabled across Ireland over the next decade.

“Meeting these targets will also be key to support the transition of our road haulage sector and heavy-duty vehicle fleets, and ensure our ports and airports are sufficiently equipped with the appropriate level of infrastructure to provide the public and transport operators with viable alternatives to fossil-fuels.

“I encourage all our industry partners and stakeholders to participate in this consultation to set out their views on barriers to deployment they have experienced, as well as any supporting measures we need to put in place to ensure that these targets are delivered.”

Submissions received on foot of this issues paper will inform the preparation of an updated National Policy Framework on Alternative Fuels Infrastructure for Transport. The Department of Transport expects to advance and publish an updated draft policy framework for further consultation in the second half of 2024, with draft policy frameworks to be submitted to the EU Commission by 31 December 2024, and final policy frameworks required to be submitted to the EU Commission by 31 December 2025.

The closing date for taking part in the public consultation is close of business on Friday, 14 June.

Details of the consultation can be viewed here .


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