Dáil debates

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Ceisteanna (Atógáil) - Questions (Resumed) - Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions

Haulage Industry

9:50 am

Photo of Hildegarde NaughtonHildegarde Naughton (Galway West, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

We can all acknowledge that transitioning the haulage sector to low or zero carbon will be more challenging than other road transport sectors given the size and weight of trucks and the distances they travel. Ireland’s HGV fleet is particularly reliant on fossil fuels, specifically diesel. Biofuels will help with the transition. The renewable fuels for transport policy statement which was published last month sets out a future trajectory of increase in biofuels use in land transport in line with climate action plan targets to 2030, as well as a range of measures and incentives for future supply of renewable fuels such as biomethane and green hydrogen.

As the initial investment in alternative fuel technology for HGVs is expensive at the moment, the Government is providing incentives to the sector to make the transition. The alternatively fuelled heavy-duty vehicle purchase grant scheme, which is administered by Transport Infrastructure Ireland, is intended to help to bridge some of the difference in purchase price between conventional heavy-duty vehicles and those powered by alternatively fuelled power-trains. Some €2 million was allocated to this scheme in 2021. Given the excellent response to the initiative, the Department allocated an additional €1 million in funds this year to assist the heavy-duty vehicle sector in its transition to zero-mobility. Funds for 2021 have now been fully allocated, but the scheme will continue in 2022 with further funding available.

The Department has also commissioned a number of studies to identify actions that haulage operators and companies can take to reduce carbon and other emissions. These include a road freight decarbonisation study co-funded with TII and three research projects with Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork. Collectively, these projects will form a substantial evidence base on which a longer-term decarbonisation strategy can be developed. We are also developing our ten-year haulage strategy, which will be focused on improving efficiencies and standards, and on helping the haulage sector to move to a low-carbon future.


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