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Minister Denis Naughten announces €647 million for Communications, Climate Action & Environment funding which is an 11% increase under Budget 2019

Wednesday, 10th October 2018

Key Points:

  • €87m to support the National Broadband Plan, cyber security and promote digital skills among small businesses and citizens
  • €112m for energy efficiency improvements in the residential, commercial and public sectors to reduce CO2 emissions from the built environment
  • €6m for Support Scheme for Renewable Heat
  • €13m for Electric Vehicles support
  • €265m to support a vibrant broadcasting sector, which includes maintaining funding for TG4, a 5% increase for RTE and an increase of €647,000 for the Broadcasting Fund
  • €10m investment in applied energy research to diversify away from fossil fuels to green energy
  • €60m sustainable development of Ireland's natural and inland fishery resources
  • €70m investment in Environment and Waste Management to support the Environmental Protection Agency, and for continued promotion of environmental protection, waste prevention and climate change initiatives, along with remediation of environmentally-degraded landfill sites.

Other Measures:

  • New €500m Climate Action Fund to encourage commercial investment in innovative climate change projects in the area of renewable energy projects, energy efficiency, district heating, electric vehicle charging networks and enhanced environmental protection.

Budget 2019 provides a 22% increase in Capital funding and a 11% increase in net Current funding, resulting in a total allocation of €647m for the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. This will allow a significant programme of investment next year, reflecting the scale of the Government's ambition and policy commitments across key areas of national strategic importance, including climate action, energy, communications, broadcasting, environment and natural resources.  

Announcing his Department's increased funding allocation of €66 million the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten T.D. said: "As a Department we remain focused on driving economic growth and innovation, while ensuring that Ireland is firmly on the road to a low carbon sustainable future.  Energy efficiency, climate change and our environment are all inter-related. We are transforming how we think about, generate and use energy and how to protect our environment to support sustainable development, growth and jobs."

"Funding of €112 million to improve energy efficiency in our homes, businesses and across the public sector, significantly lowering carbon emissions from the built environment and reducing our dependence on imported fossil fuels is a substantial investment. €6 million will promote the greater use of renewable heating systems by commercial and industrial users through the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat."

The Minister added: "Budget 2019 demonstrates the Government's strong commitment to regional and rural Ireland.  Funding of 87 million has been secured for  Communications, encompassing the National Broadband Plan, cyber security and digital inclusion among businesses and citizens. This investment will ensure innovative and secure digital communications, supporting balanced regional development and equality of opportunity in an increasingly digital world."    

"I have secured €13 million to continue to incentivise the uptake of electric vehicles. So far this year almost 1,900 new electric vehicles (of which over 1,200 are full battery electric vehicles) have been purchased in Ireland. Yesterday's Budget, which saw the extension of the benefit-in-kind relief for battery electric vehicles for three years (subject to a cap of €50,000 on the value of the vehicle) and VRT relief on hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles for one year, is welcome.  I can confirm that I intend to continue the electric vehicle purchase grant, the home charger grant and SEAI's public engagement programme in 2019.

"In addition, I would like highlight the Climate Action Fund which has funding of at least €500m at part of the National Development Plan. The first Call for Applications, which I launched in July, includes provision for supporting electric vehicle charging networks along with a range of other project types. The deadline for applications has now passed and I can confirm that almost 100 applications have been received. An assessment of these applications is currently underway. In addition, my Department, in conjunction with the SEAI, is working on how best to support the provision of greater levels of on-street public charging."

"The Budget introduces Accelerated Capital Allowances for gas-propelled vehicles and refuelling equipment. This will encourage investment in natural gas and biogas as a substitute for diesel – particularly for large vehicles such as HGVs and buses," concluded Minister Naughten.

Ends.

Notes to the Editors

Increased funding in Budget 2019 ensures progress on two key national strategic outcomes in the National Development Plan, specifically "Strengthened Rural Economies and Communities", and "Transition to a Low Carbon and Climate Resilient Society". 

 

Budget 2019 sees:

Funding of €87m in the Communications Programme area, supporting the National Broadband Plan and promoting digital adoption among small businesses and citizens, as well as growth and innovation in digital entrepreneurship 

€265m allocation under the Broadcasting Programme to support and promote the broadcasting sector, by ensuring high quality output by the State Broadcasting Companies and promoting a diverse and plural media sector  
 

Investment under the Energy Programme of over €164m in targeted measures to achieve Ireland's energy efficiency and renewable energy objectives, in line with the Government's National Mitigation Plan.  Such measures include, in the main:

  • energy efficiency upgrades in residential, public and commercial building stock in the drive to reduce CO2 emissions from the built environment
  • promotion of renewable energy in the heat sector through the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat
  • incentivisation of electric vehicles, further supporting the transition to a low carbon economy, and 
  • energy research to accelerate diversification away from fossil fuels to green energy.
     

Funding of €70m in the Environment and Waste Management Programme to underpin continued promotion of environmental protection, waste prevention and climate change initiatives, along with remediation of environmentally-degraded landfill sites 
 

Ongoing support for the sustainable development of Ireland's natural and inland fishery resource through investment of more than €60m under the Natural Resources and Inland Fisheries Programmes of the Department.

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