36. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to aid householders in the reduction of emissions in view of the fact that reports in April 2018 highlighted that emissions and energy usage is on the rise in homes here. (Question 18025/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Energy Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 36 and 60 together.
Ireland’s White Paper on Energy Policy, Ireland’s Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Future 2015-2030, National Mitigation Plan (NMP) and Long Term Renovation Strategy (LTRS) all recognise the fact that extensive renovation of our building stock will need to take place in order to meet both national and international targets for energy savings and emissions red...

60. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the steps he will take to support retrofitting across tenure and building types in view of the fact that experts estimate that Ireland must retrofit the vast majority of homes to a near zero energy standard by 2050 if the State is to meet its carbon emission reductions targets. (Question 18034/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Energy Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 36 and 60 together.
Ireland’s White Paper on Energy Policy, Ireland’s Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Future 2015-2030, National Mitigation Plan (NMP) and Long Term Renovation Strategy (LTRS) all recognise the fact that extensive renovation of our building stock will need to take place in order to meet both national and international targets for energy savings and emissions red...

241. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Finance if an energy roadmap document from a person (details supplied) will be examined; if he will relay the document to the relevant officials in his Department; if his officials will contact the person to meet and discuss the roadmap in more detail; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15473/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Energy Policy)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I wish to thank the Deputy for forwarding the above mentioned paper which has been passed onto to my officials for their consideration. The paper contains proposals in relation to vehicle and carbon taxation.  
The National Mitigation Plan sets out the Governments approach to transforming Ireland towards a low carbon society. The plan contains commitments in relation to carbon tax and vehicle taxation which my officials are currently working on. In ...

1149. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if an energy roadmap document from a person (details supplied) will be examined; if he will relay the document to the relevant officials in his Department; if his officials will contact the person to meet and discuss the roadmap in more detail; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15471/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Energy Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Following a request from the Deputy to my Office, officials from my Department met the individual referred to on 1 February last during which the energy roadmap proposals prepared by the individual were presented. In this meeting, my officials took the opportunity to set out information on the background to, current position on, and pending developments in relation to national climate and energy policy and offic...

334. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the way in which energy security for all will be provided into the future; the way in which this will be managed through State and citizen-owned public private partnership or through private ownership; if firm policies and statutory requirements will be developed in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14528/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - Energy Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Energy security is one of the three key pillars of our energy policy, along with sustainability and competitiveness. Ireland’s Energy Policy White Paper commits to radically reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. We have embarked on a firm course to sustainability, mindful of the need to balance competitiveness and security of supply through the period of transition, as fossil fuels will be curtailed and...

478. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his Department is considering carrying out an overall assessment of the environmental impacts of importing LNG gas; if so, the details of the consultation process; and the mechanisms that members of the public can utilise to appeal such a process. (Question 8618/18 asked on 20 Feb 2018 - Energy Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Natural Gas is an important transition fuel on the pathway to decarbonisation and has the potential to play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the power generation, industrial and commercial, residential and transport sectors by replacing more CO2-intensive fossil fuels.  Dispatchable power generation is also an important back-up for intermittent renewable generation, for example, as a bac...

55. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the progress which has been made on the creation of an all-Ireland energy market. (Question 7343/18 asked on 14 Feb 2018 - Energy Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The Single Electricity Market (SEM) is the wholesale electricity market for Ireland and Northern Ireland and it has operated successfully on this island since 2007. It has delivered an efficient, cost reflective, competitive market, while assuring security of supply and integrating significant volumes of renewable electricity into the generation mix.
As a result of the common EU policy of delivering the Internal...

61. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to establish a biogas industry as an indigenous source of energy and an alternative to fossil fuels. (Question 7400/18 asked on 14 Feb 2018 - Energy Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Having regard to the range of areas such as forestry, agriculture, waste, research funding and business development that have a role in the development of bioenergy, there are a wide range of Government Departments, agencies and State bodies that are critical enablers for the development of the sector.  The draft Bioenergy Plan sets out the policy areas that must be coordinated to support the development of the ...

262. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the funding he will make available towards the implementation of Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon energy future 2015 to 2030 (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4849/18 asked on 31 Jan 2018 - Energy Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The Energy White Paper 2015 sets out a vision and framework to guide Irish energy policy and the actions that Government intends to take in the energy sector from now up to 2030, aimed at transforming Ireland’s fossil-fuel based energy sector into a clean, low carbon system by 2050.  As we move to a decarbonised energy system, support for renewable energy is vital from both an economic and environmental perspect...

436. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his views on the disincentive to reducing energy consumption caused by the existence of standing charges and levies (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51970/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - Energy Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 436 and 437 together. 
Electricity and gas retail markets in Ireland are commercial, liberalised, and competitive and operate within national and European regulatory regimes. Retail electricity prices have been fully deregulated since April 2011, with price setting a commercial and operational matter for suppliers. The position of successive Governments has been that competitive...

437. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will take action to reduce the regressive nature of standing charges in energy bills in view of the fact that these charges have a greater impact for those on lower incomes than higher incomes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51971/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - Energy Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 436 and 437 together. 
Electricity and gas retail markets in Ireland are commercial, liberalised, and competitive and operate within national and European regulatory regimes. Retail electricity prices have been fully deregulated since April 2011, with price setting a commercial and operational matter for suppliers. The position of successive Governments has been that competitive...

237. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his views on a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45520/17 asked on 26 Oct 2017 - Energy Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The overarching objective of Government energy policy is to ensure a secure, sustainable supply of competitively priced energy for all consumers. As outlined in the Energy White Paper, it is Government policy to ensure policy choices impacting energy costs are evidence-based with a focus on competitiveness, cost-benefit, security and sustainability. The electricity and gas markets are commercial and deregulated ...

34. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he is conducting a review of his Department’s strategy to combat energy poverty 2016 to 2019; the way in which he plans to further reduce energy poverty in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41700/17 asked on 04 Oct 2017 - Energy Policy)

Deputy Denis Naughten: I thank the Deputy for raising this issue. The strategy to combat energy poverty published in 2016 sets out the actions that will be taken between 2016 and 2019 to alleviate the burden of energy poverty on the most vulnerable in society. It focuses on a small number of high impact actions that will make a real difference to the lives of those living in energy poverty. In 2019 my Department will undertake a public consultation process to review the strategy. This consul...

1321. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment further to parliamentary question No. 1034 of 13 July 2017, if there is a Government policy relating to the emissions of greenhouse gases from development sites on peatlands, including degraded peatlands to which planning authorities should have regard in assessing proposals for renewable energy or other developments. (Question 36670/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Energy Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): As outlined in the National Mitigation Plan, which I published on 19 July 2017, I am open to considering further work on the role of wetlands as carbon sinks in the context of the mitigation of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions. In order to build on the experience ​of research already undertaken, my Department intends to engage with a number of relevant Departments and Agencies on the development of a robust in...

492. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will set out the vision for the enhancement of the development of natural energy from solar, hydro, wind, wave or other sources over the next five years with particular reference to the need for a combination of energy sources to ensure continuity of supply; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30157/17 asked on 27 Jun 2017 - Energy Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The 2015 Energy White Paper and the 2016 Programme for Government recognise that Ireland’s long-term interests are best supported by further decreasing our dependence on foreign fossil fuels through the continued development of indigenous renewable energy.
At the national level, the 2009 EU Renewable Energy Directive sets Ireland a legally binding target of meeting 16% of our energy requirements from renewable s...

1788. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans introduce a new price support scheme in respect of renewable energy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 28606/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - Energy Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The Programme for Government sets out that Ireland’s long-term interests are best supported by further decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels through the continued development of renewable electricity generation. This is underpinned by the Energy White Paper which sets out a framework that will guide policy in the energy sector from now until 2030. It sets a vision of reducing emissions from the energy system...

267. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the position regarding the Moneypoint working group; the number of times that this group has met since its establishment; and the date by which the group will publish its findings. (Question 23611/17 asked on 18 May 2017 - Energy Policy Review)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The Energy White Paper, ‘Ireland’s Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Future 2015-2030’, published in December 2015, notes that Moneypoint, Ireland’s only coal burning power station, contributes to diversifying Ireland’s fuel mix and the provision of competitively priced electricity. The station is owned by the ESB and the White Paper recognises that key decisions on its future will have to be taken before 2020 ...

44. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the extent to which his plans have progressed to develop the alternative energy sector in view of international trends and the extent to which dependency on imported fuels is likely to increase in the absence of a robust non fossil fuel sector; the degree to which reliance on foreign imports and costs associated therewith can be reduced significantly in the next ten years by way of the development of all viable alternatives; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13925/17 asked on 21 Mar 2017 - Energy Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The overarching objective of the Government’s energy policy is to ensure secure and sustainable supplies of competitively priced electricity to all consumers. The Energy White Paper, published in December 2015, sets out a high-level framework for Ireland’s energy transition to a low carbon economy and society and identifies a range of measures and actions to support this aim.
The 2009 EU Renewable Energy Direct...

1056. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if persons who use sludge for the growth of energy crops can still qualify for quality assurance in view of the fact the crop does not enter the food chain; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13560/17 asked on 21 Mar 2017 - Energy Policy)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): The Bord Bia Quality Mark can be applied to food that has been produced to the highest Bord Bia quality standards, and provides quality assurance to the food chain and is a critical element of both our national and international marketing agenda. 
The quality assurance standards that must be complied with are drawn up by a panel of experts selected from various parts of the industry/supply chain and include independent scienti...

750. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the reason fossil fuel heating systems are continuing to be promoted with grants of up to 50% by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland through their home and community energy efficiency grant programmes, Better Energy Homes and Better Energy Communities, while there is no additional support or incentive to install renewable heat or renewable electricity alternatives. (Question 10352/17 asked on 28 Feb 2017 - Energy Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The Better Energy Programme is administered on behalf of my Department by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). Under the Better Energy Homes (BEH) scheme, the grant available for an oil or gas boiler upgrade is limited to €100, a small contribution, and is only available when the upgrade is carried out along with the installation of heating controls. Heating controls are an extremely effective wa...

80. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the reason his Department is offering MSc scholarship opportunities in petroleum-related courses in view of the fact his Department’s statement of strategy declares one of its objectives is to pursue and achieve transition to a low carbon, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy, underpinned by a secure and competitive energy supply, in the period to 2050 (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5792/17 asked on 07 Feb 2017 - Energy Policy)

Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Seán Kyne) (Deputy Seán Kyne): The Energy White Paper “Ireland’s Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Future 2015-2030” sets out a vision and framework to guide Irish energy policy and the actions that Government intends to take in the energy sector from now up to 2030, aimed at transforming Ireland’s fossil-fuel based energy sector into a clean, low carbon system by 2050. This ambitious vision for Irelan...

680. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the way in which he plans to ensure the costs incurred by households which opt to heat their properties using renewable energy sources such as renewable biofuels are no greater than those incurred by households whose heating and energy needs are met by the utilisation of non-renewable energy sources such as fossil fuels; if his attention has been drawn to the effects which market forces and price volatility have in determining energy prices, particularly with regard to oil and gas, which resultantly can cost less than renewable energy alternatives for the purpose of meeting a household’s energy and heating needs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4278/17 asked on 31 Jan 2017 - Energy Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The Energy White Paper presents a long-term strategic vision that is intended to guide the direction of Irish energy policy from now until 2030. At its heart is a commitment to transform Ireland into a low carbon society and economy by 2050 and reduce the country’s fossil fuel dependency. The Programme for Government also commits to reducing our import dependency while maintaining energy security, affordability ...

681. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the level by which CO2 emissions have been reduced in Ireland as a result of the wind energy sector. (Question 4332/17 asked on 31 Jan 2017 - Energy Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Harnessing our renewable energy resources will play a key role in the transition towards a sustainable, secure and competitive energy system.
The 2009 EU Renewable Energy Directive set Ireland a legally binding target of meeting 16% of our energy requirements from renewable sources by 2020 and in order to meet this target, Ireland is committed to meeting 40% of electricity demand from renewable sources, 12% rene...

461. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the position with respect to the introduction of feed in tariffs as they apply to electricity generation through hydro, solar, wind and biomass; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33281/16 asked on 08 Nov 2016 - Energy Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The 2015 Energy White Paper sets out a vision to promote the development and diversification of renewable energy in Ireland in a competitive and sustainable manner. A well balanced fuel mix that provides reliable and sustainable energy, minimises costs and protects against supply disruptions and price volatility, is essential to Irish consumers and businesses. The existing Renewable Electricity Feed-in Tariff ...

1713. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will outline Ireland’s obligations under EU 2030 energy targets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26436/16 asked on 16 Sep 2016 - Energy Policy)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The Paris Agreement was the major outcome of the 21st Conference of Parties held by under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from 30 November to 12 December 2015. The Agreement was negotiated by representatives of 195 countries and aims to hold the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature incre...