The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton TD will today (Monday 22 of June) publish the National Oil Reserves Agency (Amendment) and Provision of Central Treasury Services Bill 2019.
This legislation will establish the government’s €500 million Climate Action Fund, on a statutory basis and repurpose surplus funds from the NORA levy, which is a levy on the use of fossil fuels, for use by the fund. It will ensure that the Fund can be used for measures to support climate action and just transition. The Climate Action Fund is one of four Project Ireland 2040 investment funds.
Minister Bruton said,
“The aim of the Climate Action Fund is to kick start innovative or pioneering projects in the enormous transition which we have to make. That transition presents opportunities to be seized as well as patterns to be changed. This demands that we be both agile and fair as we manage the challenges.
Work is already underway on a number of projects, in areas such as district heating and an electric vehicle charging network, which secured funding under the first round of the scheme.
This legislation will ensure we can repurpose the surplus from the NORA levy, which is a levy on the fossil fuel industry and use it to fund climate action and measures to support those who are most affected by the transition.”
Under the new law, the Climate Action Fund will be used for the following purposes:
to support projects that seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
to support projects that seek to increase the production, or use, of renewable energy
to support projects that seek to improve energy efficiency
to support initiatives involving potentially innovative solutions
to support projects and initiatives in regions in the State and within sectors of
the economy impacted by the transition to a low carbon economy.
The Minister said his Department was working hard to develop a second call under the Climate Action Fund, and he hoped that this could be published shortly.
Notes to Editor
Up to €77 million is being allocated for funding under the first tranche of the Climate Action Fund, which will leverage €300 million in further investment; existing projects include:
ESB eCars - Up to €20 million to develop a nationwide, state-of-the-art electric vehicle charging network capable of facilitating large-scale electric vehicle uptake over the next decade.
Gas Networks Ireland: GRAZE Gas - Green Renewable Agricultural Zero Emissions Gas - Up to €8.5 million provided to support the installation of the first transmission connected Central Grid Injection (CGI) facility for renewable gas and a grant scheme to support circa 74 compressed natural gas vehicles.
Irish Rail: Hybrid Drive for Inter City Railcar fleet - Up to €15 million invested to design new hybrid power-packs for intercity railcars to reduce diesel use and greenhouse gas emissions. Following the proof of concept in one three car train, the hybrid power-packs will be implemented across the wider fleet.
Dublin City Council: Dublin District Heating System - Up to €20 million invested to capture waste heat generated at industrial facilities, in particular, the Dublin Waste to Energy Plant in Ringsend and piping it into homes and businesses in the Poolbeg, Ringsend and Docklands areas of Dublin city.
South Dublin County Council: The South Dublin County Council Tallaght District Heating Scheme - Up to €4.5 million provided to establish a sustainable district heating solution in the Tallaght area to provide low carbon heat to public sector, residential and commercial customers.
Road Management Office: Local Authority Public Lighting Energy Efficiency Project - Up to €17.5 million to be invested to retrofit all remaining 326,000 non‐LED Local Authority public lights to high efficiency LED Lanterns. Public Lighting accounts for approx. 50% of total energy use and based on the application, the project could deliver emission reduction of over 40,000 tonnes of CO2 from electricity generation per annum.
3 Counties Energy Agency: Driving HGV Efficiently into Brexit Up to €1.4 million to be provided to to support the transport sector in reducing fuel consumption and emissions from vehicles by being smarter about transport use and by embracing new technologies. Over a two-year period telematic equipment will be installed in over 1,000 vehicles and appropriate training for the drivers will be provided. Through continuous monitoring and positive reinforcement of driving behaviour performance, the overall fuel efficiency is expected to increase by 10%.