June 25th, 2019
The Government’s new climate action plan outlines an ambitious objective for retrofitting 500,000 homes and putting at least 800,000 electric cars on the road by 2030.
Developing 200 on-street public chargers per year has been suggested as an ideal strategy to supply the energy demands of over 800,000 electric vehicles.
The plan’s new objectives also includes a far-reaching reliance on renewable electricty, with 70 per cent of all electricity planned to come from clean, renewable sources by 2030.
The Government has also proposed a pilot microgeneration scheme slated to come into effect by 2021 through which homeowners can sell excess electricity generated by renewables back to the national grid.
The new green strategy also stipulates an “effectively” implemented ban on the installation of oil boilers in all new houses by 2022 followed by another embargo slated to be imposed on gas boilers by 2025.
The energy section of the new climate action roadmap places a great emphasis on retrofitting Midland counties with a significant evaluation process for “natural resources concealed by peat cover” suggested for those areas.
Under the new plan, homeowners can pay for retrofitting their homes to make them more energy efficient through higher property tax or electricity bills.
The cost of retrofitting homes “should not be unfairly borne by those who are less able to afford it”, according to the Green Party Councillor for Cobh Alan O’Connor.
Mr O’Connor told The Green News that “older homes and cheaper-built houses” often occupied by lower-income families are the ones that require retrofitting, but their owners may not be able to afford it.
Mr O’Connor welcomed the emphasis on a “just transition” to cleaner sources of energy in the new plan, adding, however, that the Government’s recent actions contradict its new climate action ambitions.
He said that recent Government moves including the expansion of Dublin Airport and issuing of fossil fuel exploration licences make it hard to believe that the State is genuine about making a radical shift to renewable energy sources.
“And in light of our abject failure to reach our 2020 targets, it’s hard to trust that even the praiseworthy elements of the plan will transpire,” Mr O’Connor said.