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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Environmental Subsidies and Similar Transfers


Environmental Transfers by Environmental Protection/Resource Management Domain
Total transfers1622.6540.0620.9643.2771.8100
of which      
Production of energy from renewable resources55.256.491.3173.8267.435
Wastewater management176.2146.9172.1184.0210.627
Protection of biodiversity and landscape264.5217.5212.4133.1141.918
Heat/Energy saving and management68.156.990.290.088.011
1Due to rounding, totals may not correspond precisely with the sum of the categories.

Environmental subsidies increase by 20% to €772 million in 2016

Figure 1 Total Environmental Protection and Total Resource Management Transfers, 2000-2016
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In 2016, €772 million was paid in environmental subsidies and similar transfers to Irish corporations, households and public bodies, as well as to international environmental organisations under Irish government commitments (see Table 1).

This was 20% higher than the amount paid in 2015 but 37% lower than the €1.2 billion provided in 2008.

Environmental protection activities were subsidised to a value of €409 million, or 53% of the total, while €362 million, or 47%, was used to support resource management activities.

Figure 1 shows the trend in the total amount of environmental transfers allocated to environmental protection and to resource management during the period 2000-2016. The amount directed towards environmental protection peaked in 2008 and then decreased, while there has been a generally increasing trend in transfers for resource management activities.

An environmental subsidy or similar transfer is a current or capital transfer that is intended to support activities which protect the environment or reduce the use and extraction of natural resources.

Environmental protection activities aim to prevent or reduce pollution and other negative impacts on the environment. Resource management activities aim to preserve natural resources from overconsumption.

We have elaborated on the classifications used and the rationale behind the classification of transfers in the Background Notes.


Analysis by Domain

In 2016, 35% of environmental transfers went to renewable energy production, 27% to wastewater management, 18% to biodiversity protection and 11% to heat and energy saving measures. Other activities, such as climate change mitigation and waste management, accounted for the remaining 8%.

There was a large increase in subsidies to renewable energy generation from funds collected through the PSO (Public Service Obligation) Levy on electricity consumers in 2016. This was behind the increase in the proportion of subsidies to renewable energy sources from 27% in 2015 to 35% in 2016.