Question to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources ( Mr. Pat Rabbitte, TD)
To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the supports in place for companies that install their own renewable electricity generating facilities on their manufacturing facilities; his views on these initiatives which are taking place in the harbour region of Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter- Jerry Buttimer.
For WRITTEN response on Wednesday, 15th January, 2014
I am aware that there are a number of renewable energy projects which are proposed for the Cork Harbour area and I understand that four wind energy developments have received planning permission. I also understand that a pre-planning application has been made to An Bord Pleanála in relation to the development of a waste-to-energy facility in the area.
Under the Renewable Energy Directive Ireland must ensure that 16% of its energy comes from renewable sources by 2020 and there are a number of Government supports for renewable energy generation.The Renewable Electricity Feed-in Tariff (REFIT) schemes are the principal means of supporting renewable electricity generators for renewable energy exported to the grid. The schemes operate by guaranteeing a minimum price for renewable energy generation over a 15 year period. The technologies supported include onshore wind energy, hydroelectricity, landfill gas, waste-to-energy and biomass technologies, including anaerobic digestion. Further information is available on my Department’s website, .There is also tax relief available, under Section 486B of the 1998 Finance Act, on capital directly invested in renewable energy generation assets. All renewable electricity generating technologies can avail of Section 486B of the Tax Consolidation Act (TCA) 1997 which allows an investor to claim the lesser of 50% of all capital expenditure (excluding lands) or €9.525 million for a single project. Investment by a company or group under this scheme is capped at €12.7 million per annum.Other tax-based support measures include the Employment and Investment Incentive (EII) Scheme which allows individual investors to obtain income tax relief on investments in renewable energy in each tax year. This scheme supersedes the previous Business Expansion Scheme. It provides a minimum tax relief of 30% with an additional 11% accruing at the end of the third and final year if the business has expanded to employ a designated number of people (or if the investment was used for R&D). The scheme has an investment cap of €750,000 and may thus be suited to small industrial renewable energy projects. A number of financial services companies offer EII Funds or portfolios to investors.An Accelerated Capital Allowance scheme also allows companies to offset the cost of investment in qualifying renewable energy generation technologies, against their tax liabilities in year 1 rather than over a more prolonged period, thus aiding their cash flow.Renewable energy may also qualify for EU rural development funding identified in the European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development and rural enterprises may thus apply for funding, under the regional Leader Partnerships, to develop renewable energy projects.Finally, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) continues to provide grant support for companies investing in renewable energy installations as a component of coordinated programmes of energy efficiency measures under the Better Energy Workplaces and Better Energy Communities schemes. The SEAI Renewable Energy Information Office also provides support and information to companies requiring advice on adopting renewable energy technologies.