Only 10% of €70m renewable energy fund invested

Just 10% of the funding earmarked to help business transition to renewable energy has been invested in the last 12 months.

The €70m National Energy Efficiency Fund (NEEF) was launched last May by then-energy minister Pat Rabbitte to act as a catalyst to develop energy-efficient projects in the Irish market.

Despite being available for a year, just €7m has been invested in two deals with Louth County Council availing of €5m to fund the installation of 2,000 heating control units while €2m was invested in Tesco’s LED panel project.

With a three-year investment time frame, the pick-up appears to have been somewhat muted in the opening year — something Amarenco chief John Mullins said at the International Energy Research Centre (IERC) conference may be partly due to a lack of awareness.

Mr Mullins, the IERC chair, was among those highlighting the work the Tyndall Institute-based national centre is undertaking in developing renewable energy technology.

The technologies could improve energy efficiency by up to 30% with one product already in the process of securing a patent and attracting significant interest from a range of businesses.

Half of the €70m was put up by the Government while private companies Glen Dimplex and UK property company London & Regional weighed in with €35m.

The fund which operates on a commercial basis is confident of being fully invested on schedule over the next two years given the pipeline of investments it has.

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