In keeping with government's plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions, Ireland will seek to retrofit one-third of the country's housing stock by 2030. A move that will require a big increase in construction workers.
Ireland estimated last year that binding climate targets for key sectors of the economy to cut emissions by 51% over the next decade would require around 125 billion euros ($143 billion) of private and public investment. read more
Eight billion euros has been set aside to fund up to 50% of the cost of better insulating poorly heated homes and install more energy efficient alternatives such as heat pumps, up from the current level of 30 to 35%, the government said on Tuesday.
More than half of the funding will come from carbon tax revenues - which are set to increase year-on-year - while the government plans to use part of its EU COVID-19 recovery funding to launch a loan guarantee scheme to help cover the balance.
To hit the target of upgrading 500,000 homes and installing 400,000 heat pumps by 2030, the number of annual retrofits will need to increase to an average of 76,000 per year by the second half of the decade from 15,500 completed amid COVID-19 curbs last year.
The plan will require 17,000 workers from the construction sector alone by 2024, up from 4,000 currently. While new state-run reskilling courses will aid this, the head of the Construction Industry Federation said staffing will be a challenge when builders are also trying to scale up to meet an under-supply of new houses.
"The urgent nature of the climate crisis and the energy price crisis means that we must act to reduce our energy use and to reduce the cost of heating our homes," Climate Minister Eamon Ryan said in a statement.
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