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National Development Plan

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 12 October 2021

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Questions (40)

Bernard Durkan


40. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the extent to which projects that fall within the aegis of his Department and are within the revised National Development Plan are at an advanced stage at present or are in course thereof; the extent to which preliminary work has taken place or on-site works are in hand or proposed; the expected delivery date of each; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49252/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The National Development Plan 2021-2030 sets out a €12.9 billion indicative allocation for my Department which underpins our commitment to achieving a climate neutral, sustainable, and digitally connected Ireland. The trebling of the Department’s budget reflects the significant scale of ambition and pace set for delivery of Ireland’s response to climate change. In addition State Owned Entities will play a central role in decarbonising the energy sector and the collective spend by the SOEs in energy related projects is projected to be in excess of €16bn.NSO 8 - Transition to a Climate Neutral and Climate Resilient Society - sets out the investment priorities which must be delivered if Ireland is to meet its climate objectives. The commitments include unprecedented levels of funding in energy efficiency to support our residential retrofitting targets. A new National Retrofit Plan, designed to address barriers to energy efficiency investments, and a new National Retrofit Scheme will be published later this year.Over the next 10 years, we will increase the share of renewable electricity generation up to 80%. Our offshore wind target of 5GW by 2030 requires private investment of tens of billions of euros and the NDP outlines our approach to unlock this  private investment, including an enhanced regulatory regime, specific offshore Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) auctions and a second Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan. My Department is developing the first of a series of RESS auctions specific to offshore wind, the terms and conditions of which will be published shortly. Regular RESS onshore auctions will also deliver competitive levels of up to 8GW of onshore wind and up to 2.5GW of solar electricity generation by 2030. The second RESS auction, RESS 2, is planned to be held next year. My officials are working to finalise the auction design and my aim is to accelerate the current auction timetable and deliver a second onshore RESS auction. Under NSO 3 - Strengthened Rural Economies and Communities - the commitment to the National Broadband Plan (NBP) is underpinned with an investment of €2.7 billion that will bring high-speed broadband to every home, school, and business in Ireland, within the Intervention Area. This project is advancing, with over 257,000 premises across all counties surveyed and over 108,000 premises under construction. In addition, primary schools with no high-speed broadband have been prioritised, an acceleration which will see 679 primary schools connected to high-speed broadband by the end of 2022, well ahead of the original target delivery timeframe of 2026. 379 Broadband Connection Points have also been installed by National Broadband Ireland (NBI) and the high-speed broadband service will be switched on in these locations through service provider contracts managed by the Department of Rural and Community Development for publicly accessible sites and the Department of Education for school BCPs.Finally, the wider NDP investment will underpin the transition to a Circular Economy and support initiatives such as the introduction of a Deposit and Return Scheme to be introduced in 2022, creating a cleaner, healthier environment and a more sustainable society.