The 2020 pre-budget capital ceiling for my Department is €297m, an increase of €24m or nearly 9% on this year's capital allocation of €273m. Final capital provisions for 2020 will be agreed in the context of the Estimates process and will be made public on Budget Day, while detailed allocations by Programme area will be published in the Revised Estimates Volume in December next. My Department and its agencies will continue to progress capital investment programmes in areas of strategic national importance, encompassing climate action, energy efficiency, communications, environment, waste management and natural resources.
In the Communications area, the rollout of the National Broadband Plan will ensure that the opportunities presented by the digital transformation are available to every home and business in the country. There will be continued support for digital entrepreneurship and digital adoption among businesses and citizens.
Increased investment in the Energy area will deliver significant energy savings and reductions in CO2 emissions in the transition to a low carbon economy and society, in line with the all of Government Climate Action Plan. Key funding priorities include energy efficiency upgrades in the residential, commercial and public sectors, the rollout of the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat, continued incentivisation of electric vehicles, as well as funding for energy research to accelerate the diversification away from fossil fuels to green energy.
In the Environment area, my Department will continue to provide grant funding for the EPA to ensure it can deliver on its mandate, funding to Local Authorities in relation to the remediation of landfill sites, as well as supports for the transition to a circular and resource efficient economy. Ongoing investment in the INFOMAR and Tellus mapping projects will underpin the sustainable development of Ireland’s natural resources.