On 28 November 2018, I announced the seven successful projects from the first call for applications under the Climate Action Fund. The projects span a range of sectors supporting the rollout of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, the development of two district heating projects, the installation of energy-efficient public lighting, the development of renewable gas infrastructure, the installation of energy-efficient hybrid-drive systems in inter-city trains, and the use of information technology to reduce emissions in heavy goods vehicles. Having completed the assessment stage, the validation process on these projects is currently underway. This includes detailed examination of the projects and agreement of project outputs and timelines. Up to €77m in support will be provided to these projects, leveraging a total investment of €300m, with the potential to reduce annual emissions by over 200 thousand tonnes of carbon. The Climate Action Fund will provide a total of €500m support to projects over the period of the National Development Plan. I expect the fund to make a significant contribution to Ireland's climate and energy targets as evidenced by the results of the first call for applications.
To assist the development of future calls, my Department held a workshop in January with all those who applied under the first call. Feedback gathered at this workshop will help shape the scope, structure and timeframe of future calls for applications which have not yet been finalised. I expect to provide more clarity on future calls in the upcoming All of Government Climate Plan.