Transport

Diesel-powered Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) and buses produce 30% of our road transport emissions but only account for 4% of vehicles on our roads. If we convert these vehicles to run on compressed natural gas (CNG), we can provide immediate emissions reductions and provide a pathway to renewable gas in transport.

The challenge

The transport sector is a large energy consumer and responsible for 20% of Ireland’s emissions or almost 11.9Mt CO2 per annum. While HGVs and buses only account for 4% of vehicles on the road, they are responsible for 30% of all transport emissions and electrification is not a viable option to decarbonise the fleets.

A pathway to decarbonise transport

  • 20%

    Transport accounts for 20% of Ireland's total emissions. Equal to 11.9Mt CO₂

  • 4%

    Of vehicles (HGVs and buses) produce 30% of road transport emissions

Replacing diesel with CNG

CNG can reduce well-to-wheel CO2 emissions by up to 23% (CENEX, 2019) and nitrous oxide (NOx) by up to 50% (UK Department of Transport, 2018) compared to diesel, while fuelling CNG vehicles with biomethane can deliver well-to-wheel carbon emissions reductions of over 90% depending on the mix of substrates used to produce the biomethane (Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, 2020).

  • Did you know?

    30% of transport emissions are caused by 4% of vehicles.

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  • Did you know?

    Compressed natural gas (CNG) is a proven technology with over 28 million CNG vehicles in use worldwide.

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Why Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)?

Why CNG provides a smart solution to decarbonising transport.

Cleaner

CNG can reduce well-to-wheel CO2 emissions by up to 23% (CENEX, 2019) and nitrous oxide (NOx) by up to 50% (UK Department of Transport, 2018) compared to diesel.

Affordable

Switching to CNG can generate cost savings of up to 35% for fleet operators (Cadent, 2016).

Proven

CNG is a proven technology with over 28 million CNG vehicles in use worldwide.

Renewable ready

Fuelling CNG vehicles with biomethane can deliver well-to-wheel carbon emissions reductions of over 90% depending on the mix of substrates used to produce the biomethane (Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, 2020).

Our vision to decarbonise transport

Vehicle Grant Schemes

Support fleet owners who are interested in the dual benefits of reducing emissions while saving money, through vehicle grant schemes that make it even easier to make the sustainable switch.

Develop supporting infrastructure

Develop a network of CNG fuelling stations on major routes and near urban centres across Ireland in partnership with forecourt operators and haulage companies.

Offer consumers confidence

Consumers need a guarantee that the gas they are buying is renewable and can be counted against their emission reduction targets. This will be done through a Green Gas Certification scheme.

Understand future technologies

The application of hydrogen in the transport sector is being explored and trialled in the US, Japan, Europe and other global locations. CNG and biomethane provide a pathway for hydrogen powered HGVs and buses in the future.

What we are doing

Opening CNG fuelling stations

We are building partnerships with forecourt operators and haulage companies to develop our network of CNG fuelling stations across Ireland. Four stations are now open at Circle K’s forecourts in Dublin Port, Clonshaugh, Cashel and on the Ballysimon Road in Limerick City. A fifth station is almost completed in Cavan and a further eight are in planning and development. Three private CNG stations are also in operation.

Offering CNG vehicle grants

In 2017 we launched a CNG Vehicle Fund, making up to €20,000 available to businesses towards the purchase of a new natural gas vehicle. This fund, which was oversubscribed, supported the purchase of 33 vehicles to 18 companies. In 2021 we launched a second fund that provides grants of up to €5,000 for new CNG vehicles, up to maximum of €60,000 per business.

Green Gas Certification (GGC)

A reliable method of tracing and verifying renewable gas origin is vital to provide confidence to consumers that the gas delivered is renewable and can be counted against their emission reduction targets. We have developed a GGC scheme for Ireland in partnership with other Irish and European agencies to support the growth of a renewable gas market in Ireland.

What needs to happen

Policy and supports will be needed to help transition HGVs and buses from diesel to CNG initially and ultimately renewable gas.

Policies

We recommend that the both the Accelerated Capital Allowance scheme for gas vehicles and refuelling equipment (due to expire in December 2021) and the existing excise duty treatment (due to expire December 2024) are maintained until the HGV population is 30% gas powered (circa 5,000 trucks).

Supports

The following supports will stimulate the CNG market for HGVs and buses:

  • Transition at least part of the public transport fleet to CNG from diesel
  • Provide planning support for CNG fuelling stations
  • Eliminate toll charges for gas powered HGVs and buses
  • Introduce more Government grant schemes or tax reliefs for vehicle purchase to accelerate uptake and support early adopters