Beef Industry

Ceisteanna (383)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

383. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 747 of 11 June 2019, when the report on beef grading will be published; if a comparison between the beef grading machines and the new machines was completed as part of the process of evaluation; if both sides of the carcase were analysed as part of the trial; the tolerance and accuracy levels expected of the new technology; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29016/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

My Department supervised the recent modification trial that was carried out in Slaney Meats, Bunclody to establish compliance with EU legislation, in terms of the new mechanical beef carcase classification technology being trialled.

A classification expert from the Netherlands independently monitored the two year trial and produced a detailed report. The Report will include accuracy levels relevant to the existing and to the new technology. This report will be published in the near future on the Department's website.

I can state that the trial methodology and the comparisons between grading machines and expert classifiers were fully in line with EU guidelines.

Trade Agreements

Ceisteanna (384, 385)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

384. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he has outlined clearly to the European Commission his opposition to the proposed Mercosur deal; the actions he plans to have the deal rejected; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29019/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

385. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the outcome of his most recent discussions with the EU Agriculture and Trade Commissioners in relation to the proposed Mercosur deal; if he has outlined clearly his opposition to such a deal due to the adverse impacts it will have on agriculture here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29020/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 384 and 385 together.

While as a small, open economy, Ireland is supportive of international trade deals, I am very concerned at the potential impact of elements of the EU-Mercosur political agreement on the Irish beef sector. Throughout the negotiation process, Ireland has consistently opposed any agreement that would have negative consequences for the Irish and EU agriculture sectors, and for the beef sector in particular.

We have worked closely with other Member States and the European Commission in this regard. As recently as 7 June 2019, I wrote to Commissioner Hogan reiterating our concerns. I also held a bilateral meeting with the Commissioner at the African Union-European Union Ministerial Conference in Rome on 21-22 June. Also in June, the Taoiseach, with the Heads of Government of France, Poland and Belgium, co-signed a letter to Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker expressing our deep concerns. Minister Heather Humphreys also formally wrote to Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem.

In all interactions, we have consistently highlighted Ireland's concerns, and while some evidence of these efforts appears to have been reflected in the final offer, I am, nonetheless, deeply concerned at the potential impact on the Irish beef sector.

We must acknowledge that there may be some opportunities for the Irish dairy sector and for the drinks industry, and we will, of course, examine the text carefully when it emerges in order to assess its impact on the Irish economy and on the agri-food sector generally.

It is also worth noting that this agreement will not come fully into effect for some years. It will first go through a process of legal scrubbing, which could take up to two years, before being put before the European Trade Council for ratification by Qualified Majority Vote, and the European Parliament. It may be provisionally applied but will take a further number of years before coming fully into effect. The Oireachtas and other national parliaments may also ultimately have a role in ratification.

We will also now reflect on the appropriate next steps in the context of both engaging further with Member State colleagues, and examining ways to diminish the potential impact of the agreement.

Trade Agreements

Ceisteanna (386)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

386. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the details of market access and removal of import and export tariffs or duties including the timeline for all agriculture items (details supplied) in relation to the agreement for an EU-Mercosur free trade deal by sector; if an impact assessment of the impact of the increased import quotas for all sensitive products into the EU from the deal including beef has been carried out; and if the interests of Ireland are protected and all available options considered in the ratification process to protect the livelihoods of farmers. [29033/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

We are yet to see full texts of the agreement, but the main points that have been identified at this stage from an agriculture perspective are as follows:

For the Mercosur countries, the agreement will liberalise 91% of trade overall - 72% will be liberalised in 10 years or less. On agri-food trade, duties will be gradually eliminated on 93% of tariff lines concerning EU exports, corresponding to 95% of export values. Olive oil, malt, frozen potatoes, wine (except bulk), spirits, soft drinks, fresh fruit (kiwi, apples, pears, plums), canned tomatoes, chocolates and canned peaches will be fully liberalised. In addition, there will be duty-free quotas for EU exports of cheese (30 000 tonnes), milk powders (10 000 tonnes) and infant formula (5 000 tonnes). These will be phased-in in ten equal annual instalments from entry into force.

For the EU, the agreement will liberalise 92% of trade overall, of which 66% were already Most Favoured Nation (MFN) zero. On agri-food trade, EU will liberalise 82% of imports. There will be key quota volumes for sensitive products (all phased-in in six equal annual instalments unless otherwise stated):

- 99,000 tonnes CWE of beef, equivalent to 76,154 tonnes of cuts, subdivided into 55% fresh and 45% frozen with an in-quota rate of 7.5%, and elimination at entry into force of the in-quota rate in the Hilton quotas;

- 180,000 tonnes of poultry CWE duty free, subdivided into 50% bone-in and 50% boneless (boneless sub quota of 90,000 tonnes CWE equivalent to 64,286 of cuts).

- 25,000 tonnes of pigmeat, with an in-quota duty of €83 per tonne.

- no new volume of sugar for Brazil but rather the elimination at entry into force of the in-quota rate on 180,000 tonnes of the Brazil-specific WTO quota for sugar for refining, and a new quota of 10,000 tonnes duty free at entry into force for Paraguay. Specialty sugars excluded.

- for ethanol for chemical uses, 450,000 tonnes duty free. 200,000 tonnes of ethanol for all uses (including fuel), with in-quota rate 1/3 of MFN duty, giving a total of 650,000 tonnes.

- for rice, a quota of 60,000 tonnes duty free.

- for honey, a quota of 45,000 tonnes duty free.

The EU Commission will now commence the process with Mercosur of finalising the text of the agreement. The Deputy will be aware that the Taoiseach has already confirmed that a full economic assessment of the deal will be carried out, and my Department will feed into this work, with the assistance of Teagasc.

It is also worth noting that this agreement will not come fully into effect for some years. It will first go through a process of legal scrubbing, which could take up to two years, before being put before the European Trade Council for ratification by Qualified Majority Vote, and the European Parliament. It may be provisionally applied but will take a further number of years before coming fully into effect. The Oireachtas and other national parliaments may also ultimately have a role in ratification.

We will also now reflect on the appropriate next steps in the context of both engaging further with Member State colleagues, and examining ways to diminish the potential impact of the agreement.

Trade Agreements

Ceisteanna (387)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

387. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the EU Commission has carried out an updated impact assessment following the 2016 European Commission report on the cumulative economic impact of future trade agreements on EU agriculture which was predicated on the UK remaining in the EU; if a new impact assessment will be carried out to provide for all Brexit scenarios; and the way in which 99,000 tonnes of increased Mercosur beef quota entering the EU would necessitate a new impact assessment to be completed. [29034/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The 2016 cumulative impact assessment, carried out by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, was something that Ireland, supported by France and other Member States, had called for in the context of the significant threat presented to the European agriculture sector, and particularly the beef sector, by Mercosur and other free trade negotiations. The study outlined the potentially significant negative consequences for the European beef sector, and I believe it was not adequately taken into account in the course of the Mercosur negotiations. Therefore, I believe an updated analysis is warranted, particularly against the backdrop of the potentially very negative impact of Brexit on the beef sector.

In the meantime, I welcome the fact that a comprehensive economic impact assessment from an Irish perspective will be conducted, and my Department will participate fully in this process.

Climate Change Adaptation Plans

Ceisteanna (388)

Timmy Dooley

Ceist:

388. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the reason the Climate Action Plan 2019 excludes recommendations from the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Climate Action in relation to a just transition for affected industries; and if a stand-alone and independently led task force will be established to facilitate a social dialogue with relevant stakeholders commencing with the peat industry. [28666/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I published the Government's Climate Action Plan 2019 on 17 June. The plan sets out, for the first time, how Ireland can reach its 2030 targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and also puts Ireland on the right trajectory towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Plan has been strongly informed by the ground-breaking work of the Citizens Assembly and the work of the All Party Committee on Climate Action, chaired by Deputy Hildegarde Naughton, which managed to achieve a broad cross-Party consensus on a number of difficult issues.

I welcome, in particular, the fact that the Joint Committee identified, as a central concern, the need to ensure that climate action is fair, and that vulnerable citizens, workers and communities are protected. The Committee also highlighted the importance of exploring opportunities to green existing jobs, and creating new jobs in areas such as energy retrofitting for buildings, sustainable forestry and peatland restoration. This is also a core objective of the Government’s Climate Action Plan.

The key features of the Committee’s proposal for a Just Transition Taskforce are reflected in the Climate Action Plan's proposal that a Just Transition Review Group will be established within the National Economic and Social Council as part of its working group structures. Through this Group, NESC will review the ongoing transition and identify specific transition needs among cohorts of workers, enterprises, communities and specific groups of people.

The Just Transition Review Group will collaborate and engage with a wide range of stakeholders and will interact closely with my Department’s National Dialogue on Climate Action and Sustainable Development Goals Stakeholder Forum.

The Climate Action Plan foresees that the NESC will publish a periodic review and strategic advice on the Just Transition. This will include an examination of the range of national and international funding opportunities, and how these could be used to underpin the work of this Group and the priorities identified. The first periodic review and strategic advice will be published by the end of 2020 and is intended to be a key input to the formulation and adaptation of a five year Just Transition Strategy.

Question No. 389 answered with Question No. 59.

National Broadband Plan

Ceisteanna (390)

Joe Carey

Ceist:

390. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the estimated impact the National Broadband Plan will have from a business perspective; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27104/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The purpose of the National Broadband Plan is to ensure that over 1.1 million of our citizens in rural Ireland have the same opportunity to participate in the digital society as citizens living in urban areas. The availability of ubiquitous high speed broadband will bring significant benefits in areas of enterprise, employment, e-Health, e-Education, smart farming, regional development and tourism. I recently brought a recommendation to Government to confer Preferred Bidder status on Granahan McCourt, the remaining bidder in the NBP procurement process and Government agreed to this at its meeting on 7 May.

The Government decision means that it is intended to award the State Intervention contract to National Broadband Ireland, subject to the contract close, including the finalisation of financial and legal documents. Deployment of the NBP State Intervention network will commence shortly after that.

Roll out of the National Broadband Plan State intervention to the approximately 44,000 businesses in the intervention area will take place against the backdrop of a significant and rapid transformation in the structure of global and national economies. Technology and digitisation are developing rapidly and are expected to radically change many jobs, enterprises and even entire sectors.

A growing number of businesses and industries, particularly digitally intensive enterprises, will need Gigabit connectivity to create new applications and business models to produce, distribute and sell their goods and services more competitively. From manufacturing systems to ordering and delivery processes, from data storage and analytics to internal and external communications, their future competitiveness requires cost-effective access to such connectivity. The State intervention will provide this connectivity to businesses from day one of connection.

One of the key elements of the NBP Intervention Strategy is a requirement to put forward specific speeds and connection times to meet the needs of the business community. While the initial basic product offered is 150 megabits per second, 1 Gigabit per second is available for businesses from day one of the connection, with a roadmap for higher speeds over the term of the contract.

Large service providers and multinationals are moving businesses towards a more cloud based office where data is stored and backed up centrally on a cloud based server. The remote worker will need to be able to efficiently access the cloud based office, use the office applications and upload their own content quickly and easily. In addition, high upload performance increases the usability of order placement services, secure online banking, backing up and archiving of activities and uploading content for sharing or resale. However, critical to all users is certainty of availability similar to the need to have confidence of supply of power. When working from home or running a business, it is essential that your broadband service is constantly available and where issues arise such issues are resolved quickly.

The predominantly fibre solution proposed by the Preferred Bidder in the NBP will facilitate and support these types of business services and the network to be built will provide that stability, confidence and assurance to all businesses in the Intervention Area.

Competition Law

Ceisteanna (391)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

391. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he has been in contact with a company (details supplied) regarding admissions by the company that it has developed algorithms designed to surface authorities content; and if he will reduce the power of the company by breaking up this monopoly along with others in order to allow for pluralist information sources that permit for competing ideas to exist. [28668/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment has no function in this regard. Enforcement of Competition Law in the European Union is a matter for the European Commission in the first instance.

At national level, where there is a suggestion that an entity is abusing a dominant position, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has responsibility for enforcement.

Departmental Offices

Ceisteanna (392)

John Lahart

Ceist:

392. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the availability of bike parking spaces and lockers in all buildings used by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28691/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

There are a total of 86 bike parking spaces in my Department's two Dublin offices. Staff in the Department's Wexford office share bike spaces with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government staff who are the main tenant for that office. Locker and shower facilities are available in each of these offices. The number of bike and locker spaces is kept under review and will be increased if considered necessary.

There are no similar facilities in my Department's Cavan office which is a shared office with public and non public sector tenants or in the Department's geological core store in Sandyford.

Ministerial Transport

Ceisteanna (393)

John Lahart

Ceist:

393. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the model of the car or cars used by him in the performance of his official duties; and if it is a diesel, petrol or electric engine. [28707/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The car I use in the performance of my duties is a Hyundai Ioniq, Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). This car is a private car which is not owned by the state.

Renewable Energy Generation

Ceisteanna (394, 402)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

394. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the extent to which he expects non-fossil fuel generated electricity infrastructure to develop in order to maximise the contribution of Ireland to carbon reduction in the short-term; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29056/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

402. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to accelerate investment in non-fossil fuel generated electricity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29065/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 394 and 402 together.

The renewable energy sector has undergone a considerable transformation over the last 10 years, with the share of renewable electricity generation more than doubling to 30.1% in 2017. However, we must step up the scale of our ambition even further in order to meet our climate ambitions.

In the Climate Action Plan, I have set a target of 70% for renewable electricity by 2030, to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change and to reduce carbon emissions in the sector. Reaching a 70% share of renewable electricity would require 50-55% emissions reduction by 2030 relative to pre-NDP 2030 projections.

In order to meet the 70% RES-E target, major capital investment will be needed in new generation capacity, system service infrastructure and electricity transmission and distribution networks. A review will also be needed to the policy and regulatory framework to incentivise electricity storage infrastructure, which will be critical to absorbing higher levels of renewable generation on to the system. Progressing EirGrid’s Delivering a Secure, Sustainable Electricity System (DS3) programme, as well efficient procurement of low carbon generation through the I-SEM capacity auctions, will be critical to delivering the system changes required to meet our 70% target.

As part of the transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient society, €14.2 Billion has been allocated under the National Development Plan 2018 - 2027. Of this, €500 million has been allocated to the Climate Action Fund. In excess of €13 Billion will come from Commercial State owned enterprises under my Department's aegis and will also play a crucial role in climate action initiatives. Major infrastructure projects to support the 70% renewable energy target will include the following areas:

- Enhanced electricity interconnection, including the Celtic Interconnector to France and further interconnection to the UK,

- Conversion of Moneypoint electricity generation plant to end the burning of coal by 2025,

- Conversion of peat power plants to more sustainable low-carbon technologies by 2028,

- Roll-out of the National Smart Metering programme to commence in 2019,

- On-going reinforcement of the existing power grid.

Energy Usage

Ceisteanna (395, 400)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

395. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the daily electricity requirements here; the amount generated by non-fossil fuel means; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29057/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

400. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the amount of hydrogenerated electricity available to the national grid at each hydro-electricity generating station; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29063/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 395 and 400 together.

The average daily electricity demand requirement in Ireland is approximately 79 GWh (gigawatt hours). In the period from May 2018 to April 2019 non-fossil-fuel renewables (including hydro) accounted for approximately 33% of our total electricity demand.

This information is available on EirGrid’s website and updated on a monthly basis: http://www.eirgridgroup.com. This website also lists the installed capacity of each hydro-electric station attached to the transmission grid.

Details in relation to hydro-electric stations on the distribution grid are available on the ESB Networks website at: https://www.esbnetworks.ie

The following is the latest available 12-month electricity fuel mix table for Ireland (May 2018 to April 2019):

Ireland

Fuel

GWh

%

Coal

1,027.2

3.5%

Oil

81.9

0.3%

Peat

2,339.5

8.1%

Gas

15,302.4

52.7%

Wind

8,716.4

30.0%

Hydro

615.0

2.1%

Other Renewable

193.1

0.7%

Other Non-Renewable

530.9

1.8%

Net Imports

218.4

0.8%

Total Electricity Demand

29,024.8

100.0%

Total Renewables

9,524.6

32.8%

In overall terms, according to the 2018 Energy in Ireland report published by the SEAI, the use of renewables in electricity generation in 2017 reduced C02 emissions by 3.3 Mt and avoided €278 million in fossil fuel imports.

Electricity Generation

Ceisteanna (396)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

396. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the amount of electricity generated by oil, gas or other fossil fuels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29058/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

In 2018, approximately 20,751 GWh of electricity was generated in total from fossil fuels (including non-renewable wastes) and this represented 67.5% of electricity generated.

As set out in the All of Government Climate Action Plan which I have recently launched, Ireland is committed to reducing CO2 emissions from the electricity sector by 50–55% relative to the projections under for 2030 under the NDP. We have committed to end the burning of coal in ESB’s Moneypoint generation plant by 2025, and to the replacement of coal-fired generation with low-carbon and renewable technologies. Furthermore, Bord na Móna have announced that they will transition away from peat by 2028. Delivering an early and complete phase-out of coal- and peat-fired electricity generation will create space for the entry of new renewable energy assets onto the system.

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) estimate that in 2018, 33.2% of Ireland’s electricity demand was met from renewable energy sources.

Wind Energy Generation

Ceisteanna (397)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

397. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the extent to which comparisons can be made between onshore and offshore wind generated electricity; the extent to which adequate investment will take place in the infrastructure to ensure the most expeditious transfer from fossil fuels to non-fossil fuels in the generation of electricity thereby reducing the carbon footprint; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29060/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The Climate Action Plan launched recently sets out the necessary policy measures to help meet our 2030 targets, cut our reliance on fossil fuels and put Ireland on a clear pathway to meeting our 2050 objectives. The Climate Action Plan includes a suite of actions to decarbonise the electricity sector and boost the quantity of renewable generation in order to meet our target of 70% of demand from renewable sources by 2030. The Climate Action Plan is available on my Department’s website: www.dccae.gov.ie.

Ireland has some of the best offshore renewable energy resources in Europe at 900,000 square kilometres. Because of Ireland’s location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. There is enormous potential for Ireland to utilise these resources to generate carbon free renewable electricity. While Onshore wind, currently generates a substantial proportion of the countries’ renewable electricity, comparatively, Offshore is underdeveloped. A key component of the Climate Action Plan will be the development of Offshore wind.

My Department published the Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP) in 2014 which sets out policy for the sustainable development of our abundant offshore renewable energy resources. An interim review of the OREDP was published in May and is available on my Department’s website: www.dccae.gov.ie. The Offshore Renewable Energy Steering Group, which oversees the implementation of the OREDP is progressing the recommendations of the review and continuing the work of implementing the actions and enablers set out in the Plan.

In order to realise Ireland’s ambition for large-scale development of offshore wind, significant progress is required on the three key pillars:

- Development management process

- Grid development model

- Route to market

The enduring consenting model/development management process will fall under the aegis of the Marine Planning and Development Management Bill and the National Marine Planning Framework (NMPF) as well as a revised grid connection policy for Offshore Renewable energy.

To support the delivery of the national ambition to further decrease our dependence on foreign fossil fuels my Department is developing a new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) which will assist Ireland in meeting its renewable energy contributions out to 2030 and will be designed to achieve its targets in a cost competitive way. The RESS will be characterised by a series of renewable electricity auctions, aligned with the ambition set out in the Climate Action Plan and the final National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) which is due to be submitted to the European Commission by the end of 2019. It is being designed to achieve its targets in a cost competitive way. Private sector funding through corporate contracting will also be essential for meeting higher levels of ambition to increase renewable energy supply and deliver on long term decarbonisation of the electricity sector.

Furthermore, it is my intention that corporate contracting of renewable energy sources (Power Purchase Agreements or PPAs) will provide 15% of the required generation to meet Ireland's 2030 renewable electricity target. Together, the RESS and Corporate PPAs will provide a route to market for the delivery of indicative volumes set out in the Plan of at least 3.5 GW of offshore renewable energy, up to 1.5 GW of grid-scale solar energy and up to 8.2 GW of onshore wind by 2030.

Energy Efficiency

Ceisteanna (398)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

398. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the extent to which retrofitting of domestic dwellings can directly result in carbon reduction with the maximum or minimum targets per €10,000 investment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29061/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The Climate Action Plan has identified a target carbon abatement range for each of the key sectors that contribute to Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions: Electricity, Enterprise, Built Environment, Transport, Agriculture, Forestry and Land Use, Waste and the Circular Economy, and the Public Sector. The Built Environment will reduce its carbon emissions through a range of measures including an ambitious target of 500,000 energy efficiency retrofits by 2030. Achievement of this target will be supported by the Project Ireland 2040 allocation of €3bn.

One such measure is the development of a new retrofitting delivery model, which will group retrofits together to achieve economies of scale, leverage private finance, and ensure easy pay-back methods. This will mean that homes will be warmer and produce lower levels of emissions.

On average, a home loses 20 - 30% of its heat through the walls, rising to a higher percentage if the walls are not insulated. On top of this, up to 30% of the heat can be lost through a poorly insulated attic. Reducing heat loss through a home’s walls and attic by installing or improving insulation will reduce the home’s energy consumption. Because more heat is retained after insulating the home this will also mean reduced heating needs which will reduce the home’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The extent to which investing €10,000 in retrofitting a home will directly result in carbon reduction depends on a number of factors. These include the size of the home, the starting energy performance of the home, i.e. how much insulation is already in the home; whether there is central heating installed in the home; how old the home’s heating system is; what type of fuel is used to heat the home; how the home’s water is heated; and the number of occupants.

Renewable Energy Generation

Question No. 400 answered with Question No. 395.

Ceisteanna (399)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

399. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the extent to which he has made comparisons with the development of non-fossil fuels for the generation of electricity in other jurisdictions as a means of identifying likely progress here in the future in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29062/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

In the Climate Action Plan I have set a target of 70% for renewable electricity by 2030, to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change. Analysis and modelling to underpin the Plan had regard to Marginal Abetment Cost Curve analysis and comparative international data. The Plan identifies a range of technical, regulatory, legislative and economic factors that arise in going to this figure. The impact on the costs of electricity, affordability for consumers and business competitiveness of setting higher renewable electricity targets also has to be considered.

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is being designed to deliver on our commitments to decarbonise our electricity grid, harness our natural resources and bring renewable energy into the heart of our communities. The RESS has been informed by detailed analysis of international renewable energy schemes in particular regarding technology costs, auction design and the community framework. The Community Framework that underpins the RESS design is based on international studies of community support for renewable energy covering Canada, Denmark, Scotland and Germany.

Moreover the Climate Plan sets out a suite of actions to boost renewable source of electricity generation including an augmented RESS design through the inclusion of specific support for offshore wind in the RESS design to deliver the scale of renewables required to decarbonise our electricity system as has been the case in other jurisdictions. Other key measures to foster renewable energy set out in the Plan have been informed by best practice in other jurisdictions including microgeneration, corporate power purchase agreements, hybrid grid connections and offshore grid models.

Through Ireland’s participation in EU led initiatives on renewable energy as well as the International Energy Agency, the International Renewable Energy Agency and the North Seas Energy Group, my Department and our agencies are participating in the development of policies to support renewable energy and applying international best practice in Ireland. As an example, EirGrid’s ambitious multi-year programme, Delivering a Secure, Sustainable Electricity System (DS3), has already made us a world leader in the management of intermittent forms of renewable electricity, with levels of instantaneous wind penetration reaching levels of 65% and above.

Question No. 400 answered with Question No. 395.

Renewable Energy Generation

Question No. 402 answered with Question No. 394.

Ceisteanna (401)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

401. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the amount of electricity being generated through non-fossil fuels excluding hydro but including wind, biomass, solar and or others including wave energy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29064/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) have estimated that, in 2018, approximately 9,289 GWh of electricity was generated in total from non-fossil fuels (excluding hydro) and this represented on a normalised basis 30.8% of gross final consumption of electricity. In the All of Government Climate Action Plan which I have recently launched, Ireland will be stepping up ambition in the renewable electricity sector with a target of 70% of our electricity to be generated from renewable sources by 2030. This will require significant changes to the operation and management of the electricity grid, to integrate wind and solar energy at scale. Indicative targets set out in the Climate Plan for non-fossil fuel technologies are at least 3.5 GW of offshore renewable energy, up to 1.5 GW of grid scale solar energy and up to 8.2 GW of onshore wind energy by 2030.

Question No. 402 answered with Question No. 394.

Broadband Service Provision

Ceisteanna (403)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

403. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the extent to which the provision of broadband in all areas with particular reference to County Kildare is progressing in line with expectations; if he anticipates the provision of services to the blank spaces between services within a reasonable time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29069/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The National Broadband Plan aims to ensure that every home, school and business in Ireland has access to high speed broadband.

Since December 2015, the number of premises with access to high-speed broadband in Co. Kildare has increased by 10,409. In total, the number of premises in Kildare with access to high speed broadband is now 78,421, which equates to 84% all premises in the county. Another 492 will be served by eir under that company’s ongoing rural deployment of a high speed broadband network.

The remaining 13,956 homes, schools and businesses in Kildare will receive access to high speed broadband under the Government’s National Broadband Plan.

The National Broadband Plan investment in providing high speed broadband to Kildare over the duration of the plan will be in the order of €51 million.

The Bidder has indicated that the NBP State intervention will take an estimated 7 years from the beginning of deployment. A deployment plan will be made available by the Bidder once the contract is signed.

In the first year of roll out, the Bidder will deploy approximately 300 Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) across all counties. It is anticipated that between 7 and 23 BCPs will be deployed in each county. BCPs will provide a community based high speed broadband service, enhancing online participation and allowing for the establishment of digital work hubs in these locations.

The Bidder is aiming to pass 133,000 premises by the end of the second year, with 70-100,000 passed each year thereafter until roll out is completed.

Regional Airports

Ceisteanna (404)

David Cullinane

Ceist:

404. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the funding provided to regional airports in each of the years 2009 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by airport and funding category, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28654/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Details of Exchequer support under the Regional Airports Programme, both capital and operational, for the regional airports from 2009 to 2018 and to date in 2019 are set out in the following table.

Following completion of a Value for Money Review of the Regional Airports Programme in 2011, the Government took a decision to cease funding for both Sligo and Galway Airports under that Programme from 2012 onwards.

The figures for Donegal, Knock and Kerry airports in 2019 represent the capital allocations for those airports that I announced on 11 June last. The works covered by those allocations are currently underway and the associated grant payments will be made when these works are completed later in the year.

Exchequer funding under Regional Airports Programme (Euro)

Airport

Exchequer

Funding

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

(to date)

Donegal

Capital

Operational

TOTAL

33,536

131,000

164,536

353,500

277,692

631,192

2,111,313

42,630

2,153,943

0

111,417

111,417

339,474

0

339,474

431,759

0

431,759

398,995

226,059

625,054

451,312

356,597

807,909

0

667,874

667,874

238,982

657,061

896,043

884,912

0

884,912

Knock

Capital

Operational

TOTAL

3,874,018

445,000

4,319,018

823,344

760,948

1,584,292

233,282

431,907

665,189

699,007

589,644

1,288,651

2,013,023

654,576

2,667,599

1,925,413

548,600

2,474,013

564,622

598,349

1,162,971

1,965,654

967,765

2,933,419

1,330,916

1,868,439

3,199,355

2,259,542

1,916,563

4,176,105

5,761,738

0

5,761,738

Kerry

Capital

Operational

TOTAL

45,000

0

45,000

0

0

0

399,348

950,000

1,349,348

1,633,946

550,000

2,183,946

740,958

436,918

1,177,876

133,156

507,224

640,380

402,783

311,260

714,043

310,702

626,855

937,557

582,517

1,075,474

1,657,991

1,186,847

1,198,847

2,385,694

2,208,911

0

2,208,911

Waterford

Capital

Operational

TOTAL

223,606

1,494,000

1,717,606

23,381

1,584,458

1,607,839

795,582

1,272,071

2,067,653

1,333,830

1,232,964

2,566,794

361,686

1,121,399

1,483,085

533,210

1,038,784

1,571,994

776,125

1,139,030

1,915,155

18,381

1,020,215

1,038,596

0

0

0

0

750,000

750,000

0

0

0

Galway

Capital

Operational

TOTAL

453,624

962,000

1,415,624

90,000

1,799,339

1,889,339

222,944

2,309,191

2,532,135

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Sligo

Capital

Operational

TOTAL

84,989

313,000

397,989

0

394,839

394,839

237,531

386,535

624,066

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Derry

Capital

Operational

TOTAL

2,507,008

0

2,507,008

133,698

0

133,698

751,322

0

751,322

345,590

0

345,590

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0