What has changed?
- Responsibility for climate change mitigation and waste policy has moved from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government to the reformed DCERN: The Department of Communications, Climate Change and Natural Resources.
Positives for business
- A commitment to additional funding for promotion of clean energy technologies in heating and transport.
- Incentives for afforestation.
Outstanding issues and missed opportunities
- The replacement of Moneypoint Power Station seems increasingly likely to be a political decision, instead of a commercial one.
- A second review of wind planning guidelines is promised – it does not bode well for renewable investment. Government needs to show leadership rather than pandering to populist views.
- Ireland’s share of the greenhouse gas target for 2030 remains to be negotiated at European Council – need to hold the line for a fairer deal. Agreeing a far tougher target would result in Ireland giving lots of money to other EU member states.
- A new round of feed-in tariffs (financial support for renewable electricity) need to be consulted on and state aid approval needs to be obtained for them.
- Revised targets for energy efficiency should not place undue burdens on energy suppliers – much of the emphasis is on alleviating fuel poverty, which should be funded by other means.
Contact Catherine Joyce-O'Caollai, Energy policy at email@example.com