Energy White Paper Leads Way To Carbon Emissions Reductions

Minister for Energy, Alex White, has published an energy white paper, which identifies actions to reduce Ireland's energy-related carbon emissions by between 80% and 95% by 2050.

The White Paper is the first time an Irish government points the way to eventual elimination of fossil fuels with more than 90 actions laid out.

Speaking at a launch event in Dublin's Mansion House, Minister White said: "For the first time an Irish Government has set its course on the eventual elimination of fossil fuels from our energy system.

"We will only achieve this ambitious degree of decarbonisation by engaging all citizens in energy policy and its implementation. Meeting the challenge of global warming can no longer be confined to the realm of international treaties or Government decisions. It is about changing the way we heat our homes and businesses. It is about reassessing how we travel. It is about participating in decisions about the infrastructure needs of a low carbon Ireland.

"I would encourage everyone to read this White Paper and see how you can play your part in the transition to a low-carbon energy future. Over the next two to three decades, we will be changing the way we live – and changing it for the better."

The paper includes a number of directions, including:

• A National Energy Forum will be established to maximize and maintain consensus on policy measures required to achieve the energy transition.

• Citizen engagement measures will include support for local community participation in renewable energy projects; explore the scope to provide market support for micro-generation; a new framework for communities to share the benefits of new energy infrastructure; and the facilitation of national grid access for smaller-scale renewable generators.

• On energy efficiency, there will be improved domestic grant schemes and affordable financing options for energy efficiency upgrades; enhanced advice services for consumers and business; a new affordable energy strategy in 2016; strengthened building regulations; the extension of the energy efficiency obligation scheme to electricity and gas systems operators; a new public service energy efficiency plan in 2016; and enhanced energy education programmes.

• There will be a new support scheme for the development of renewable energy technologies; a policy framework for the development of combined heat and power projects; a new renewable heat incentive scheme; the development of a comprehensive heating strategy; a new policy framework for district heating; and a new regulatory framework for the development of geothermal energy.

• The planning and development of larger-scale renewable electricity infrastructure will be guided by the publication of a Renewable Electricity Policy and Development Framework.

• Transport measures will include grants and tax relief to encourage the adoption of electric and gas vehicles; a support framework for alternative transport fuel infrastructure; a scrappage scheme to replace older taxis with electric vehicles; a green bus fund; and support for rail energy efficiency.

• The transition will be supported by measures to assist the development of energy storage; and an economic assessment of biogas potential.


Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

13 January 2011
Carnegie To Explore Marine Energy Potential
Australian renewables developer Carnegie Wave Energy has agreed a deal with the Irish Government to explore potential sites for marine energy installations around the country's coastline.
01 February 2010
Wind Farm Academy To Boost Donegal
A National Wind Energy Academy is being established at Letterkenny Institute of Technology as part of a €500,000 initiative being backed by the Donegal County Development Board. The first phase will see the development of a wind turbine maintenance programme which will be delivered in conjunction with BZEE, a German centre for renewable energy.
06 July 2018
An Garda Síochána Saves Over €9m In Energy Costs
An Garda Síochána has saved more than €9 million in energy costs after becoming the first police force in the world to achieve the globally recognised international energy management standard (ISO 50001).
11 March 2015
Better Energy Homes Scheme Grants Increased
Grants awarded under the Better Energy Homes Scheme are to be increased. The value of every grant is to be increased by between 25-50%, with an additional bonus payment also being introduced for recipients who complete three or more energy efficiency improvements.
27 January 2015
Airtricity Announce Domestic Bill Cuts
The Minister for Energy, Alex White, has welcomed an announcement by energy supplier Airtricity that it will reduce its domestic energy prices by by 6%. The price reduction will see gas bills reduced by 4% and electricity by 2% and follows a similar announcement by Bord Gais Energy last week.