The Plan clearly identifies the nature and scale of the challenge. It outlines the current state of play across key sectors including Electricity, Transport, Built Environment, Industry and Agriculture and charts a course towards ambitious decarbonisation targets. Reflecting the central priority climate change will have in our political and administrative systems into the future, the Plan sets out governance arrangements including carbon-proofing our policies, establishment of carbon budgets, a strengthened Climate Change Advisory Council and greater accountability to the Oireachtas.
This Plan clearly recognises that Ireland must significantly step up its commitments to tackle climate disruption. The leadership role both the Government and public bodies can play in taking early action on climate is fundamental to achieving our decarbonisation goals.
Taking decisive action to confront climate disruption will be a major challenge to every dimension of our society, but the benefits are huge – warmer homes, cleaner air, a sustainable use of the world’s scarce resources, more connected communities, authentic values, and quality jobs in enterprises which can compete in a decarbonised world.
This is everyone’s journey. From Government to businesses, communities to householders, climate action is collective action. The Climate Action Plan sets out the Government agenda; see what you can do to play your part.
The plan includes major policy shifts to enable a rapid decarbonisation of the State within 12 years, including targets for putting 1 million electric vehicles on Irish roads; retrofitting of 500,000 homes and achieving 70 per cent renewable energy in power generation.
The Government strongly supports enabling people to sell excess electricity they have produced back to the grid. To enable this, we will have to make a number of changes.
• We have established a pilot micro-generation grant scheme for solar PV, targeting self consumption, which provides a grant of circa 30% of the installation costs for individual homes. Building on the pilot, we will put an ongoing support scheme in place for micro-generation by 2021 at the latest, focusing on a number of key pillars, including: equity and accessibility for all, ongoing technology cost and remuneration analysis, addressing technical barriers and planning constraints, a clear grid connection policy, and supporting community participation in micro-generation. This will be further supported further supported by measures in building regulations.
• Mechanical electricity meters will be replaced in every house by 2024 under the Smart Metering Programme. This will facilitate better demand management and cost savings for consumers, particularly when closely aligned with the ambitious roll-out of retrofitting programmes and micro-generation capacity for homes and small enterprises.
• Change the electricity market rules in early 2020 in order to enable micro-generated electricity to be sold to the grid. This should include provision for a feed-in tariff for micro-generation to be set at least at the wholesale price point.
• Design market mechanisms, network tariffs, competitive auctions for renewables and the public service obligation in a way that distributes costs fairly, including in terms of competiveness.
• Continue promoting closer working with community and enterprise by Energy Obligated Entities to ensure wider community gain.
To read the full press release of Ireland’s Climate Action Plan click here.