Ryan announces 2009 energy budget estimates

Energy minister Eamon Ryan TD has announced his department’s supplementary budget estimates for 2009.
Energy minister Eamon Ryan TD has announced his department’s supplementary budget estimates for 2009.
Minister Ryan said that his department would make necessary savings across areas such as administrative costs and consultancy expenses. However, the minister claimed that expenditure in those areas which he called “central to our economic renewal” – energy and communications – will be maintained and in some instances increased.
In a move that the department claims to be a reflection the importance of state investment in the green economy and in broadband, the revised 2009 allocation will represent a total increase of 7 per cent on the 2008 outturn – from €486 to €520 million.
The increase relates primarily to the Home Energy Savings scheme, the €50 million home insulation scheme which has been set up with the aim of reducing energy bills and carbon emissions as well as creating thousands of jobs.
€7 million will also be allocated for the development of the prospectively lucrative ocean energy programme.
Commenting on the budget, minister Ryan said: “This is a budget, which befitting this department has a clear eye on our economic future. The government has identified the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency and broadband as those which will see major expansion in the coming years. Expansion in government activity and the attendant private spending and lending will replace the natural contractions in other areas of the economy.
“The green economy will provide the jobs and investment of the future. The knowledge economy will be nothing without broadband. I am pleased that we were able to focus government investment in these areas. Householders will see immediate benefits, the jobs market will see immediate new jobs in areas such as broadband delivery and insulation; international investors will look to Ireland as a country with a clear plan for its economic recovery. My department is central to this recovery.”
€12.675m will be established for energy research which includes €7m allocation for ocean energy research programmes. This will see progress on the establishment of a grid-connected test facility off the coast of Mayo. It will also fund grant assistance under the Ocean Energy Prototype Fund, among other measures.
The overall allocation for administrative costs is down reflecting savings for 2009 mainly in respect of consultancy, procurement and the 8 per cent reduction in professional fees.
The allocation for consultancy in the administration budget is down 27 per cent on 2008 spending reflecting cuts in consultancy expenditure.
Spend on the “Power of One” awareness campaign has been significantly reduced (from €2.5m to €897,000) to achieve savings. It is felt that initial spend was required to promote the message of energy efficiency and that there have been substantial achievements in this regard.
Construct Ireland will publish specific details regarding the funding status for additional programmes run by Sustainable Energy Ireland including the Greener Homes Scheme, Warmer Homes Scheme,Low Carbon Homes scheme, Renewable Heat Deployment (Reheat) Programme and the Combined Heat & Power Deployment Programme in the coming days.
Last modified on Thursday, 09 April 2009 10:58