I propose to take Questions Nos. 212 to 214, inclusive, together.
Detailed capital allocations for my Department, broken down by programme area and subhead, were published in the Revised Estimates Volume on 19th December 2018. The 2019 capital allocations (including €15m capital carryover) for the Communications, Energy and Environment & Waste Management Programme areas of my Department are €84.4m, €142.6m and €46.5m respectively.
During 2019, my Department will continue to progress capital projects in areas of strategic national importance across its 6 Programme areas. Key investment measures within the 3 Programme areas specified in the Question are set out below.
In the Communications Programme area, I have allocated €75m for the National Broadband Plan and a further €6.3m to provide continued support for digital entrepreneurship and digital adoption among businesses and citizens.
In the Energy Programme area, focus will be maintained on advancing the critical climate action agenda. My Department has allocated €85m for investment in residential energy efficiency upgrades under the Better Energy Grant Schemes and a further €23m for energy efficiency upgrades in the commercial and public sectors. Other key energy measures include an investment of €5m in the roll-out of the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat to promote the replacement of fossil fuel heating systems with renewable energy technologies. Funding of €18m is available to incentivise the uptake of electric vehicles through a range of supports and measures. In addition, €8.7m will be invested in energy research to accelerate diversification away from fossil fuels to green energy. These measures will deliver significant energy savings and reductions in CO2 emissions in the transition to a low carbon economy and society.
In the Environment and Waste Management Programme area, I have allocated €11.8m in capital funding to the EPA to deliver on its legislative mandate and research commitments in areas including air quality, climate mitigation and adaptation. My Department will provide €9m in grant funding to Local Authorities for the continued remediation of landfill sites. Funding of some €25m is allocated to progress the climate change agenda, including an amount of €15m for the Climate Action Fund to leverage additional investment by public or private bodies in initiatives that contribute to the achievement of Ireland’s climate and energy targets in a cost effective manner.