Environmental Subsidies and Similar Transfers 2021 – main findings
Climate related subsidies reached €372 million, a 50 per cent increase on 2020 and their highest value since 2000. This is mainly due to an increased level of Public Service Obligation (PSO) Levy support to electricity generation from renewable sources, which rose from €130 million in 2020 to €415 million in 2021. The schemes paying the highest amount in subsidies in 2021 were the PSO Levy support to electricity generation from renewable sources at €415 million, funding of €362 million for wastewater infrastructure under the Capital Investment Plan, and Green Low-carbon Agri-environment Scheme (GLAS) payments of €187 million.
Beneficiary, Type of Transfer, and Source of Funding
Corporations received the largest amount of environmental transfers in 2021 at €760 million. General government received €497 million in environmental transfers in 2021, and households received €178 million. Transfers to corporations mainly went to the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sectors (€294 million) and the Electricity, Gas and Air sector (€418 million).
Capital transfers such as investment grants made up 50% of environmental transfers paid in 2021 while current transfers were 49% of the total and tax abatements such as Vehicle Registration Tax relief on electric vehicles accounted for the remainder.
The two most significant sources of funding for environmental transfers in 2021 were the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage which provided funding to Irish Water (since Uisce Éireann) and local authorities for environmental protection activities, and the PSO Levy support to electricity generation from renewable sources.