First Successful Climate Action Fund Projects Announced

The government has announced the first successful projects under the €500 million Climate Action Fund.

Seven projects will share some €77m in round one of the government scheme, announced by the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton and the Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe.

The government is committed to making Ireland a leader in responding to climate change. Minister Bruton is currently developing an all of government plan to achieve this objective and deliver on Ireland's climate and energy targets. The government's Climate Action Fund, under Project Ireland 2040, will provide at least €500 million in government funding to support initiatives that provide for the kind of step change that is needed.

The announcement presents the successful projects for the first round of the Fund. Nearly 100 applications were received and €77 million is being allocated to 7 projects, leveraging a total investment of €300 million.

The following seven projects have been approved by Minister Bruton:

• ESB eCars – Up to €10 million is being provided 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 is being 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 is being 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 is being 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 is being 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 will 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 will be provided to to support the transport sector in reducing reduce 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%.

Making the announcement, the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D. said: "Project Ireland 2040 provides for an unprecedented investment of €22 billion in climate action over the next decade; the largest single package within the Plan. Our commitment and determination to climate action is evident; we are working to take peat and coal off the grid by the middle of the next decade and to have 500,000 electric vehicles on our roads by 2030. From next July, no new diesel-only buses will be bought by Dublin Bus and from 2030, no new diesel or petrol cars will be sold in Ireland.

"We know that the challenge presented by climate change requires more than investment. The transition to a low carbon world will require profound changes in how we live our lives. And that will only be possible with the buy-in of communities and individuals. So we want the Climate Action Fund to empower communities, industry, researchers, the public sector, and citizens to take ownership of climate action efforts. The projects being announced today have the potential to make a real difference in the area of climate action and, most importantly, they will hit the ground running."

Announcing the successful projects, Minister Bruton said: "The decisions we make now in tackling climate change will define the next century. I want to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change, not a follower. That will require a significant step change right across our society.

"The projects we are supporting under the Fund, will support decarbonisation across the transport, heat, electricity and agriculture sectors and demonstrate the types of investments we need to make. For example, the investment we are making in the ESB to develop a nationwide, state-of-the-art electric vehicle charging network, will be crucial to reducing range anxiety and supporting individuals to move to electric vehicles.

"This investment by the Government will leverage additional investment from the project promoters and marks significant step towards achieving our ambitions."

Minister for Finance & Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D. stated: "The Climate Action Fund is one of the four new funds provided for under the National Development Plan, as a new innovative funding model for the allocation of resources in support of key priorities of Government. The projects announced today represent the first in a series of announcements over the period of the NDP that will see €500 million invested in innovative projects that will help us achieve Ireland's climate and energy targets in a cost effective manner. The principal source of funding for the Climate Action Fund will be through the repurposing of part of the existing petroleum products levy collected by the National Oil Reserves Agency, and so this particular Fund will therefore be able to support projects without any additional cost to the Exchequer."

These projects will now proceed to the validation stage which will include a more detailed examination of the projects, agreement of project outputs and payment timelines.


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