In Ireland, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton T.D., has opened the second phase of the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH), which will provide operational support for biomass boilers and anaerobic digestion (AD) heating systems. "If we are to cut greenhouse gases, we must replace fossil fuels by renewable sources," Minister Bruton said.
The long-awaited scheme will, according to Minister Bruton, include “important protections” to ensure that the heat supported is sustainable, used for useful purposes and represents value for money for the taxpayer. Over the lifetime of the scheme, the successful delivery of this programme can reduce carbon emissions by 11 million tonnes – a significant contribution to meeting Ireland’s emissions reduction targets.
If we are to cut greenhouse gases, we must replace fossil fuels by renewable sources. This scheme is designed to replace fossil fuel heating systems by heat pumps and by heat from biomass or anaerobic digestion. These are sustainable and renewable sources, said Minister Bruton on making the launch announcement.
Applications are open as of June 4, 2019, and this round of the Scheme will support businesses and farms for up to 15 years for the installation and on-going use of biomass and anaerobic digestion (AD) heating systems. The Scheme is designed to support up to 1.3 TWh of renewable heat per annum which is equivalent to the heating needs of circa 120 000 homes.
Overall, the projects supported will increase renewable heat use in Ireland by three percentage points and decrease emissions in the non-ETS sector by approximately 300 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year.
The scheme has integrated lessons learned from other similar schemes in other jurisdictions and, as a result, includes detailed eligibility and budgetary controls.
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) will administer the scheme.
Across Europe, heating remains one of the most challenging areas in which to achieve carbon emission reductions. This scheme is a vital component part of the Government’s overall policy framework to decarbonise heat. SEAI is looking forward to delivering the scheme efficiently and effectively, mobilising the marketplace while maintaining a keen focus on value for public moneys, said Jim Gannon, CEO of SEAI.
The first phase of the SSRH, an installation grant for heat pumps, opened in September 2018 and supports ground, air, and water source electric heat pump installations with grant-aid up to 30 percent of the capital outlay. Under Project Ireland 2040, the National Development Plan sets out an allocation of EUR 300 million for the rollout of the scheme for the period up to 2027.