The Irish government delivered its budget for the coming year, which included €858M to support the transition to a “climate-neutral, circular and connected economy and society”.
The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, said: “Budget 2022 is about supporting our citizens as we begin the transition to a climate neutral, circular and connected economy and society. The increased funding for retrofitting and energy efficiency will build a multi-billion euro industry that will create jobs, cut emissions and make our homes warmer and healthier.”
Unveiled on 12 October the 2022 Budget set out a number of key measures impacting the energy sector. These included:
- €858M – an increase of 19% over 2021 – to the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications
- €368M – up 17% on 2021 levels – has been allocated for Energy Transformation. This includes €202M from carbon tax revenue for residential and community retrofit schemes. €10M is earmarked for the Solar PV scheme; €31M is for energy efficiency and renewable energy schemes in businesses and the public sector.
- €152M – an increase of 21% on 2021 – will support Just Transition, fund vital research and build capacity across the department and its agencies to lead and support Ireland’s response to the climate crisis and ensure delivery of climate target of a 51% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and net zero emissions no later than 2050.
- €98M will support the transition to a Circular Economy and will protect natural resources
A new income tax break, announced at the budget, will be made available to households who sell surplus electricity back to the grid that they produce via microgeneration, such as rooftop solar PV. The government will also increase vehicle registration tax rates for the most polluting vehicles, and extend the €5,000 relief available on the purchase of an electric vehicle until the end of 2023.
Changes were also announced to the accelerated capital allowance (ACA) scheme for energy efficient equipment. The scheme will be extended to cover hydrogen-powered vehicles and refuelling equipment, while equipment directly operated by fossil fuels will no longer qualify. Gas-powered vehicles and refuelling equipment will be covered by the scheme for a further three years.
Mark Davis, GridBeyond’s Managing Director UK & Ireland, said:
“Ireland has an opportunity to be a world leader in the energy transition, but policy certainty is required to attract the private sector investment needed to deliver on the country’s clean energy and climate change targets.
“The 2022 budget is marked by a strong carbon thread, and in introducing a carbon tax and related provisions, the Irish government is being consistent with its wider energy transition agenda. But the government needs to demonstrate that the carbon tax revenues will be deployed in line with the recent significant policy and legislative moves to deliver unprecedented amounts of new renewable and gas-fired generation, energy storage and grid infrastructure”.