Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Questions (199, 200, 201, 202)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

199. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the projected contributions into the climate action fund planned for each year of the National Development Plan 2018-2027, which would see it rise to at least €500 million; and the estimated impact of each annual contribution on the general balance in each of the years concerned in tabular form. [26992/19]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

200. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if the climate action fund will be used to fund public capital projects; if not, if it will fund other public spending commitments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26994/19]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

201. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the projected use of climate action fund resources over the lifetime of the National Development Plan 2018-2027; the proportion of the funding that will be public spending or private grant aid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26995/19]

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Pearse Doherty

Question:

202. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if the climate action fund will be used to fund commitments in the Climate Action Plan 2019; and if so, the level of such funding that will be used in relation to each specific project and or commitment. [26996/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 199 to 202, inclusive, together.

The Government has established the Climate Action Fund with the objective of funding initiatives that contribute to the achievement of Ireland’s climate and energy targets in a cost effective manner. It may also support innovative interventions in these sectors.

The Climate Action Fund will be funded through non-exchequer sources and therefore not impact the exchequer balance. The sources of funding include the use of unspent monies in the Energy Efficiency Fund and the repurposing of part of the existing petroleum products levy (commonly called the National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) levy). The annual contributions to the fund from the NORA levy are projected to be circa €60 million on average per annum from 2020.

The first call for applications under the Climate Action Fund was a competitive call for grant funding that was open to the private sector and the public sector – with the exception of Government Departments. In the first round of the fund, €77 million is being allocated to 7 projects, leveraging a total investment of €300 million.

Although the scope of future calls has not yet been finalised, I expect a similarly competitive process will be employed. The outcome of these calls will determine the proportion of support provided to the public and private sectors.

The need for future calls under the Climate Action Fund to support a number of climate and energy priorities has been set out in the Climate Action Plan.

A number of the successful projects from the first call for applications that I announced last November have been included in the Climate Action Plan. These are the Dublin District Heating System (receiving support of up to €20 million), the Tallaght District Heating Scheme (receiving support of up to €4.5 million), ESB’s Electric Vehicle High Power Charging Infrastructure Development Project (receiving support of up to €10 million) and Gas Networks Ireland’s Green Renewable Agricultural Zero Emissions Gas Project (receiving support of up to €8.5 million).