I propose to take Questions Nos. 293 to 295, inclusive, together.
The Government has established the Climate Action Fund with the objective of funding initiatives that contribute to the achievement of Ireland’s climate and energy targets in a cost effective manner. It may also support innovative interventions in these sectors.
In November 2018, I announced seven successful projects from the first Call for Applications under the Climate Action Fund. Up to €77m in grant aid will be provided to these projects leveraging a total investment, including grant aid, of €300m. Effectively the Fund is leveraging €3 for every €1 it provides.
As the support provided to these projects is in the form of grant aid, as opposed to a financial investment that will be repaid, these is no associated rate of return for the Climate Action Fund.
The Climate Action Fund will provide €500 million support to projects over the period of the National Development Plan. The sources of funding include the use of unspent monies in the Energy Efficiency Fund and the excess of receipts over costs from the existing petroleum products levy (commonly called the National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) levy).
There is a total of €15 million funding from the Energy Efficiency Fund which is available for use from 2019. The annual contributions to the fund from the NORA levy are projected to be circa €60 million on average per annum from 2020. The exact level of funding in each year has yet to be determined. Legislative proposals are currently being designed for the repurposing of the NORA levy to include meeting NORA’s expenses, and to provide future financing to the Climate Action Fund.