€1bn Renewable heat scheme approved

A new €1 billion renewable heat incentive scheme is being introduced for Irish-based businesses that generate commercially usable heat from non-fossil fuels.

The long-awaited national “Support Scheme for Renewable Heat” will allow firms who generate heat from renewable to receive substantial ongoing payments.

It is estimated the scheme will cost more than €1 billion over 15 years.

Denis Naughten, Minister for Climate Action announced the details on Thursday morning after securing Government approval.

Budgetary safeguards have been built in to prevent any risk of an open-ended support mechanism that occurred when a controversial “cash for ash” renewable heat incentive was introduced in Northern Ireland.

The Republic’s scheme is designed to support financially the replacement of fossil fuel heating systems with renewable energy for “large heat demand non-domestic users”.

It covers commercial, industrial, agricultural, district heating, public sector and other non-domestic businesses and sectors. The aviation sector, large industrial plants and power generation companies are excluded.

Mr Naughten said: “The Support Scheme for Renewable Heat is a tangible and viable measure that will kick-start the biomass and biogas sectors. Crucially, it will provide the basis to create new commercial opportunities for farmers in heat technologies, including biomass boiler installations, and new opportunities for foresters.