Gas Networks Ireland welcomes Government’s support for gas in transport
Gas Networks Ireland has strongly welcomed the Department of Transport’s €2m “Alternatively Fuelled Heavy-Duty Vehicle (AFHDV) Purchase Grant Scheme” which was launched on Monday, 15 March.
The journey to cleaner heavy goods vehicles (HGV) and buses is challenging as the sector is responsible for a disproportionate amount of transport emissions, having contributed almost 20% of Irish land transport emissions in 2019.
Compressed natural gas (CNG) is one of the alternate fuels outlined in the Government’s grant scheme. CNG is natural gas compressed to fit into a natural gas vehicle’s tank is particularly suitable for use in commercial vehicles. Ireland’s CNG vehicle numbers growing more than 50% in 2020 as the number worldwide surpassed 28 million.
The welcomed Government announcement comes just two weeks after Gas Networks Ireland launched its own €2.9m CNG Vehicle Grant Scheme to support the purchase of up to 400 gas-powered trucks.
Gas Networks Ireland’s CNG Programme Delivery Manager, Declan O’Sullivan, said: “CNG is a cleaner, affordable and fuel alternative to diesel, and is beginning to play a major role in Ireland’s fuel mix for HDVs. It can deliver cost savings for fleet operators of up to 35%¹ and reduce HGV well-to-wheel fuel emissions by up to 23%² compared to diesel, which will reduce even further as the amount of renewable gas on the network increases.
“Carbon neutral renewable gas made from food and agricultural waste was first introduced onto the gas network in 2019. It is structurally identical to renewable gas and can be used in exactly the same way through the existing infrastructure, technology and appliances. This means that as the volume of renewable gas on the network increases, vehicles fuelled by CNG will increasingly reduce their carbon footprint without needing to change a thing. Gas, natural today and renewable tomorrow, is the best alternative for the environment and the economy.”
Gas Networks Ireland’s CNG vehicle grant will cover 20% of the difference between CNG and diesel-powered vehicles, capped at €5,000, with a maximum €60,000 available to any one applicant. Grants can be used towards the costs of vehicles registered from 2020.
The Government’s grant will cover between 40% and 60% of the price differential, with a maximum 20 vehicles or €500,000 available to any one applicant. Grants can be used towards the future purchase of vehicles.
“With both grant schemes combined, there is almost €5m available to support Irish fleet operators in choosing a cleaner fuel option. To maximise funding support, hauliers can apply for both grant schemes, albeit not for the same vehicle. Our grants can be applied for vehicles registered from 2020 onwards, and the Government grants can be put towards future vehicle purchases”, Mr O’Sullivan said.
Gas Networks Ireland is developing a CNG refuelling network in partnership with Ireland’s forecourt operators and hauliers. There are CNG refuelling stations located at Circle K’s forecourts in Dublin Port and Cashel, with two more set to open in 2021 in Dublin and Limerick, another under construction in Cavan and a further eight in planning and development. Three private CNG stations are also in operation.
Gas Networks Ireland’s CNG Vehicle Fund is co-financed by the European Union’s TEN-T Programme under the Connecting Europe Facility as part of the Green Connect Project. Applications are now being accepted at www.gasnetworks.ie/cngvehiclegrant
¹ Cadent 2016
² Cenex 2019