Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1213, 1243, 1244)

Catherine Martin

Question:

1213. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the timeline for the opening of the support scheme for renewable heat to all elements including biogas and biomass; the strategic environmental assessment that has or will be carried out on the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18585/19]

View answer

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

1243. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the second phase of the renewable heat support scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19152/19]

View answer

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

1244. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the provision of woodchip boilers under the second phase of the renewable heat support scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19153/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1213, 1243 and 1244 together.

The Support Scheme for Renewable Heat has been developed to financially support the adoption of renewable heating systems by commercial, industrial, agricultural, district heating and other non-domestic heat users not covered by the EU Emissions Trading System. Under Project Ireland 2040, the National Development Plan sets out an allocation of €300 million for the rollout of the scheme for the period up to 2027.

The Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH), which was previously known as the Renewable Heat Incentive, was included in the Strategic Environmental Assessment carried out in respect of the National Mitigation Plan. The mitigation measures identified during this assessment have been incorporated into the design of the SSRH.

The first phase of the scheme, an installation grant for heat pumps, opened for applications in September 2018. This phase of the scheme will support ground, air and water source electric heat pump installations providing grant-aid of up to 30% of the installation cost. This phase of the scheme was implemented under the State aid General Block Exemption Regulation and did not require prior approval from the European Commission.

The second phase of the scheme, an operational support for biomass boilers and anaerobic digestion heating systems followed the full State aid notification process. On 15 April, the European Commission published a notification that it had approved the scheme under State aid rules. The Terms & Conditions of the scheme are in the process of being finalised and will ensure full compliance with the requirements set out in the State aid approval.

While no date has been set, the completion of the State aid approval process is a key step and I expect to be in a position to announce the opening of the second phase of the scheme in the near future.

Further details of the scheme are available on my Department's website at the following link.