New economy will be digital and green – Eamon Ryan

9 Jul 2010

Energy legislation passed by DCENR this session, such as the Biofuels Obligation Act and Carbon Windfall Levy, are helping to focus Ireland’s green economy.

As the Dáil rises for its summer session, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Eamon Ryan TD said today that of the 13 acts passed this session, five of them emanated from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR).

These five Acts were:

– Energy (Biofuel Obligation and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2010
– Electricity Regulation (Amendment) (Carbon Revenue Levy) Act 2010
– Communications Regulation (Premium Rate Services and Electronic Communications Infrastructure) Act 2010
– Petroleum (Exploration and Extraction) Safety Act 2010
– Inland Fisheries Act 2010

Biofuels obligation

The bill introduces a biofuel obligation that compels fuel providers to include at least 4pc of their fuel mix for biofuels.

It is expected that this bill will ensure that 220 million litres of fossil fuels will be substituted with biofuels within a year.

Carbon Windfall Levy

The Carbon Windfall Levy, introduced last week, will seek to recover some of the free carbon credits that electricity generators have been benefiting from.

The levy will aim to secure more than €70m a year which DCENR says will be used to lower electricity costs for business to protect jobs.

The levy will apply to electricity generators and recover a substantial portion of the unearned carbon windfall gains that they currently receive through the Single Electricity Market.

Speaking at last week’s announcement, Ryan said he will use the funds raised by the levy to ensure Ireland remains an attractive location for investment.

“Since the levy is emissions-based and emissions from renewable generators are zero, it will also serve to provide a boost for competitiveness of the renewable energy sector,” he said.

Communications Regulations Amendment Act

The Communications Regulations Amendment Act has important measures for the Irish communications consumer and industry.

The Premium Rate Services provisions will mean fines of up to €250,000 for any service provider found to be deliberately misleading or scamming consumers.

This act also includes measures to open up Ireland’s national roads for ducting to be installed to increase broadband services throughout the country, said Ryan.

Petroleum Safety Act

The Petroleum Safety Act confers responsibility on the independent Commission for Energy Regulation for the safety of oil and gas exploration in Ireland.

Inland Fisheries Act

The Inland Fisheries Act consolidates our governance of inland fisheries in Ireland and delivers on a Bord Snip commitment to rationalise the public service.

He concluded by saying: “Government is working to get Irish people back to work. The new economy will be digital and green and will use our natural resources properly.
“The autumn will see further work in energy, communications and natural resources to help create the new economy. I look forward to the challenge.”

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic