CKEA welcomes Budget 2017
Minister Denis Naughten of the Department of Communication, Climate Change and Environment issued a budget statement this week which identifies the interconnection between climate action and energy efficiency. The full press release from the Department is available on their website or further down this post. Carlow Kilkenny and Wexford Energy Agency Manager, Paddy Phelan, has welcomed the focus and supporting measures outlined by Minister Naughten:
“CKEA welcomes Budget 2017. It sets in train the budget allocation to deliver the much anticipated Renewable Heat Incentive programme promised since 2014. Will this be enough, if delivered, to ignite the massive challenge that lays in wait to achieve the Renewable Heat target for 2020? Only time will tell. Ireland Inc is currently set to significantly miss the target, resulting in long term fines of circa €100m per % point below the 12% Renewable Heat Target. Current reports for 2015 suggest that Ireland is circa 7.6% below that 2020 target.
The Energy Citizens role in sustainable community programmes is marked with an increase in SEAI programme funding for Better Energy Communities and the Warmer Homes Programme.
Paddy is also delighted to see the establishment of the National Dialogue on Climate Change and would be keen for CKEA to participate. Local Energy Agencies support climate change mitigation and adaption through the county based approach for Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Planning.
Budget 2017 Statement by Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten: Broadband, Energy Efficiency and Digital Economy focus areas for Budget 2017
11 October 2016
- €100 million for energy efficiency projects €15 million for National Broadband Plan
- Capital allocation to increase by €45m, , to more than €170m
- Total 2017 Budget €529 million
The Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment, Denis Naughten T.D., today announced his Department’s Budget 2017 allocation. “Climate action, energy, broadband connectivity and the digital economy are amongst the most significant strategic sectors for Ireland’s economic, employment and social recovery, and Budget 2017 demonstrates committed and ongoing support for these key areas.”
Broadband Connectivity and the Digital Economy
Broadband connectivity remains a key social, economic and political priority.
The National Broadband Plan (NBP) will play an integral role in revitalizing businesses and communities across provincial towns in rural Ireland, and additional funding of€5m has been set aside to finalise the tender process in 2017 bringing the total allocation for the National Broadband Plan in 2017 to €15 million .
A further €8m will facilitate the reallocation of the 700mhz spectrum away from TV broadcasting to support broadband and mobile telephony plans in rural areas. In freeing up a very valuable spectrum band, this crucial investment will deliver better mobile data services (including 5G), particularly in rural areas.
€3 million will be spent on the Trading Online Voucher Scheme, which helps small businesses develop their trading online capacity, as well as offering training, mentoring and support.
Energy and Climate Action
Energy and climate action are inextricably linked, and the Minister has affirmed this Government’s determination to meet the Paris Agreement targets within the next 398 months.
To this end, €500,000 will be directed to the establishment of a National Dialogue on Climate Change, while an additional €24m – an increase of 35% on last year – will target expanded energy efficiency and renewable energy programmes across the country.
In 2017, at least €100m will be invested on energy projects, saving over 116,000 tonnes in carbon emissions every year, reducing overall dependence on imported fossil fuels, and supporting around 3,000 jobs.
The transition away from carbon-based fuels remains a long-term goal; €7 million has been allocated to a new Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme to help achieve this.
A further €2 million will be allocated to the Better Energy Homes Scheme to support individual householders in making energy efficiency improvements to their homes, while an additional €4 million will be allocated to the Better Energy Communities Scheme.
The Warmth and Wellbeing pilot scheme will also be expanded and its total allocation for 2017 will be increased to €8 million.
An additional €2 million is being provided for the Environment Protection Agency to target illegal dumpers and €13 million for landfill remediation will be spent next year to clean up our landfill sites.
These measures are additional or enhanced commitments in the context of an overall budget in 2017 of €529 million.
CKEA welcomes Budget 2017