Dáil Éireann - Volume 632 - 21 February, 2007

Written Answers. - Renewable Energy.

Mr. Timmins asked the Minister for Transport if he has encouraged State public transport providers to convert to the use of renewable energy sources to fuel their vehicles; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6612/07]

  Mr. Cullen: As part of my overall objective of developing transportation in a sustainable manner I have requested CIE to move all existing fleet to 5% bio-diesel blend as quickly as possible and to plan to achieve a 30% [241] bio-diesel blend in all new buses. My Department is working with CIE to establish how these targets can be achieved in the shortest time frame possible.

In addition Dublin Bus are leasing, with financial support from my Department, a prototype hybrid electric double-decker bus in 2007 on a trial basis. It is estimated that this vehicle can achieve 34% less fuel consumption than a standard bus. Dublin Bus will consider the further acquisition of hybrid electric vehicles as part of future fleet replacement.

Both Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus have been undertaking trials on the use of biofuels. Bus Éireann announced in April 2006 its decision to pilot the use of biodiesel produced from recovered vegetable oil (RVO) in part of its Cork City tours fleet. In May 2006 Dublin Bus announced that it would use bio-diesel made from RVO on a trial basis in five open-top tour buses, which have been operating without any technical difficulties.