Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Ceisteanna (382, 383)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

382. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of compressed natural gas public fuelling stations open and operational; the location in which they are based; the number that was originally planned and scheduled to open in 2019; the location in which the scheduled stations are based; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48601/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

383. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the way in which the State will ensure EU targets for the deployment of alternative fuel refuelling infrastructure and recharging points will be met within the set deadlines to support the commercial fleet here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48602/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 382 and 383 together.

The delivery of 14 public Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) refuelling stations, as part of the Causeway Project co-funded by the EU Connecting Europe Facility, is an operational matter for Gas Networks Ireland. However, I have been provided with an update on the current status of these refuelling stations by Gas Networks Ireland. There is one operational public CNG refuelling station which is located in Dublin port. The next public refuelling station will be located at Cashel, Co. Tipperary. Construction of this station has been completed and commissioning is planned for January 2020. A further eight stations have been contracted in 2019 and it is forecast that six of these will be delivered in 2020. There are also three private CNG refuelling stations which are located in Dublin, Cork and Shannon Co. Clare.

The Green Connect project, which is also being developed by Gas Networks Ireland, has been approved for funding from the Connecting Europe Facility Transport Fund. The project spans a five year period from 2019 to 2024. It is a follow on project from the Causeway Programme to complete a national network of CNG refuelling stations along the core road network in Ireland. The project includes the delivery of 21 additional CNG refuelling stations. Two further CNG refuelling stations are to be provided by Gas Networks Ireland's GRAZE project supported by the Climate Action Fund.

The development of electric vehicle recharging points is being supported through a grant of up to €600 for the installation of a home charge point, a grant of up to €5,000 for Local Authorities to install on-street charge points and accelerated capital allowances to support businesses installing charge points.

Budget 2020 provided €6 million in funding to my Department to support the development of this charging infrastructure with €4 million allocated to the home charge point grant and €2 million to the on-street charge point grant. The Climate Action Plan, which was published in June, also sets out a range of actions to support the delivery of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. These actions include expanding the home charger grant to include locations with shared parking such as apartments.

Funding of €10 million from the Climate Action Fund is supporting the ESB to develop a nationwide, state-of-the-art electric vehicle fast charging network, with the ESB also investing €10 million. This project includes the installation of 140 fast chargers consisting of 90 150kW chargers (each of which will be capable of charging two vehicles simultaneously) and upgrading 50 existing standard chargers to 50kW chargers The project will also involve replacing over 500 existing standard charge points with next generation high reliability models. This is a multi-annual project and is expected to be fully completed by 2022.

In addition, new regulations being developed by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government will require provision to be made for charge points in new domestic and non-domestic buildings with over 10 car parking spaces and those undergoing major refurbishments. The regulations will also require non-domestic buildings with over 20 car parking spaces to install charging facilities.