The Energy White Paper 2015 sets out a vision and framework to guide Irish energy policy and the actions that Government intends to take in the energy sector from now up to 2030, aimed at transforming Ireland's fossil-fuel based energy sector into a clean, low carbon system by 2050. As we move to a decarbonised energy system, support for renewable energy is vital from both an economic and environmental perspective. In that regard, the Government has introduced a range of policy measures and schemes to incentivise the use of renewable energy and deliver energy efficiency. While funding of the energy transition will be primarily through commercial and household investment and charges on energy use, it is being strongly supported by Government initiatives as well as EU funding. Ireland's first statutory National Mitigation Plan, which I published in July 2016, provides a framework to guide investment decisions by Government in domestic measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Decisions on the funding of particular measures will be a matter for Government consideration in the context of expenditure planning in the Estimates and Budgetary processes, and in the forthcoming National Development Plan. Individual investment or expenditure decisions will also, in the normal course, be subject to appropriate appraisal in line with the Government's Public Spending Code.
Budget 2018 marked a step change in efforts to achieve Ireland’s energy efficiency targets and renewable energy objectives. Funding this year will increase by 43% over 2017 levels, moving from a base at the formation of this government of €84 million in 2016 to €154 million in 2018, supporting energy efficiency programmes as well as schemes to incentivise renewable heat, electric vehicles and increase energy research.