Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (50)

Carol Nolan

Question:

50. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the reason projects applying for funding as part of the just transition must now provide 50% in matching funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6598/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The objective of the Just Transition Fund is to support innovative projects that contribute to the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the Midlands region, and which have employment and enterprise potential.

My Department held a competitive call for applications to this Fund, which closed on 17 July 2020, in response to which over 100 applications were received. Provisional offers have now been made to 63 projects, of which 16 have already concluded funding agreements with my Department. Further information on these projects is available on https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/ed10d-just-transition-fund.

Of the remaining projects, for which funding agreements are being finalised, a number have been subject to a further state aid assessment to finalise the level of funding that may be granted. These projects have been informed of the outcome of this assessment and have been requested to provide further financial information to my Department.

Subject to satisfactory verification of this additional information and the provision of additional relevant material, such as proof of planning permission, my Department intends to issue final letters of offer and funding agreements to all provisionally approved projects. No formal funding commitments will be entered into by my Department unless and until a final letter of offer and funding agreement has been concluded by both the Department and the relevant project.

As set out in the Department’s information booklet for its call for applications, all projects must include a minimum of 15% match funding from sources other than the Just Transition Fund; that is the Fund will provide support up to a maximum of 85% of the project costs, subject to project compliance with state-aid rules. Where state aid rules apply, the Department is working directly with all affected projects to support them in fulfilling the relevant requirements.