Extra funds on way for on-street electric car chargers

Pilot scheme on way to allow homeowners sell solar-panel electricity to national grid

Non-residential buildings with more than 20 car spaces will be required to install a minimum number of recharging points  by 2025. Photograph: Getty Images

Non-residential buildings with more than 20 car spaces will be required to install a minimum number of recharging points by 2025. Photograph: Getty Images

 

All councils will be provided with greater capital investment by the end of the year to develop up to 200 on-street chargers for electric vehicles annually.

A new Government report, Climate Action Plan to Tackle Climate Breakdown, to be published today, sets out measures aimed at improving the take-up of electric vehicles (EVs), such as the introduction of a car scrappage scheme.

A draft of the climate plan, dated last week and seen by The Irish Times, commits the State to developing “the electronic vehicle charging network necessary to support the growth of EVs to at least 800,000 by 2030, and set a target for the supply of infrastructure to stay sufficiently ahead of demand”.

Measures include expanding grants for home vehicle charging to apartment blocks, and also stipulating that non-residential buildings with more than 20 car spaces will be required to install a minimum number of recharging points – although this is not specified – by 2025.

The plan says that 70 per cent of all electricity will come from renewable sources by 2030. A pilot scheme to allow homeowners sell electricity generated through solar panels back to the national grid will be introduced, with the scheme rolled out across the country by 2021.

The Commission for Energy Regulation will progress a smart metering programme and billing for electricity, which will “go live” by the final quarter of 2020, the plan says.

This will be followed the next year by the “roll out of smart metering services... new products and services to enable consumer to shift some of consumption to off peak times when electricity is cheaper”.

The installation of oil boilers will be banned from 2022 – and gas boilers from 2025 – in all new homes. The required regulation for this will be enacted this year.

A review on how to replace all oil and gas boilers in existing buildings – domestic and commercial – will be completed this year, although no new regulation would come into force before 2026.

A major push to promote alternatives to fossil fuel boilers is also envisaged, such as developing national standards for heat pumps and introducing - by the end of 2023 - a training programme to “upskill approximately 300-500 heat pump installers”.

By the end of this year all buildings undergoing major renovation – defined as more than 25 per cent of the “building envelope” – must bring the rest of the building up to a minimum Ber B2 rating.

“We will keep the 25 per cent limit under review, with a view to reducing this over time,” the report says.

District heating

A policy framework will be developed for district heating in Ireland, with two district heating projects – in Dublin City and Tallaght – starting by the end of the year. These schemes will provide “low carbon heat to businesses and homes in Dublin city” and “low carbon heat to buildings in Tallaght”.

District heating is a method of delivering thermal energy in the form of hot water through a network of highly insulated pipelines.

A new requirement could be “placed on pension providers to disclose what portion of any fund is made up of fossil fuel assets, and to provide an option to pension holders to opt for a fund which does not include fossil fuel”.

In agriculture and land use, measures on improving livestock management, improving the efficient use of nitrogen and land use, such as increased afforestation, and the better management of peatlands and soils are included.