Ireland has committed to moving to a low carbon economy by 2050 and the transport sector has an important role to play. In Ireland, transport is almost entirely dependent on imported oil. Reducing this dependency and shifting to alternative fuels and technologies to decarbonise the sector will require significant changes to our conventional fuel options. This National Policy Framework on Alternative Fuels Infrastructure for Transport represents the first step in communicating the Government of Ireland's long-term national vision for the decarbonisation of transport by 2050. The cornerstone is Ireland's ambition that, by 2030, all new cars and vans sold in Ireland will be zero emission.
The proximity of our major urban centers, relative to other European countries, will enable Ireland to achieve the coverage required by the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive quickly and efficiently. An initial minimal network of quickly installed CNG stations is essential for the development of a "network effect" for potential CNG vehicle operators. A CNG truck, bus or van must refuel in a time similar to that of a diesel or gasoline vehicle using a network of high-capacity rapid stations accessible in public places.
Natural gas consumption in Ireland has grown rapidly over the last three decades and today accounts for almost a quarter of the country's energy supply. Driven mainly by the industrialization of Ireland, the demand for gas has grown faster than that for oil and its use will increase further in the coming years, especially due to the introduction of CNG in Irish mobility.
The price of CNG in Ireland, like natural gas used for other purposes, is relatively stable in the long term, so it is easy to establish cost forecasts for fleets that use CNG