Irish government boost for combined heat and power

The Irish government announced its annual budget midweek and it included positive legislation dedicated to combined heat and power technology.

The government gave full relief to all fuel inputs to combined heat and power plants from carbon tax. They amount to 7 per cent of Ireland’s energy provision.
Irish minister for finance Michael Noonan - Image copyright Irish Times
Finance Minister Michael Noonan said CHP plants offered the most efficient use of energy in electricity generation and the relief announced would benefit a number of plants around the country.

The Irish Times reports that there is also a relief from carbon tax for all solid fuels that have a biomass element.

In addition Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe announced €50 million in capital spending to assist the renewable heat incentive, better energy grants as well as the electric vehicles subsidy.

The fund for the Green Low-Carbon Agri Environmental Scheme (GLAS) was also increased by €69 million to €211 million.

The issue of climate change has gone to the margins in Ireland in recent years due to the severity of recession and Minister Donohoe acknowledged the country is playing catch up.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan criticised the announcements as not going far enough, in Ireland’s bid to meet its 2050 targets. “There are many small improvements, which are of course welcome,” he said, “but there is no strategic direction.”

Some €100m will be spent next year on energy projects designed to save 116,000 tonnes of carbon and help support 3,000 jobs. Mr Naughten also revealed that €500,000 would be spent on a national dialogue on climate change, with ratification of the Paris climate agreement due to take place in the coming weeks.

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