ISIF boosts Ireland decarbonsation push with €68m funds

A solar farm is planned for Co Meath. Photo: Stock image

Donal O'Donovan

The State’s Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) is investing €68m in two international decarbonisation funds with US-based Energy Impact Partners.

The move aims to direct more international capital to Irish decarbonisation sector and is part of ISIF’s €1bn 5-year climate action investment plan.

Decarbonisation refers to technologies and process that reduce the creation of carbon dioxide as a result of economic activities.

ISIF’s investments are in funds managed by Energy Impact Partners (EIP), a New York-headquartered investment firm with over $3bn (€2.8bn) in assets under management.

EIP plans to invest in emerging Ireland-based decarbonisation and energy technology companies. It will also establish an office in Dublin, with climate investor and entrepreneur Arthur Pierse as its first representative based on the ground in Ireland.

ISIF’s Head of Climate Paul Saunders said the investment ”shows how we can leverage our investment capability to build a deeper, stronger network with climate investors from all over the world and ultimately attract more international capital to Ireland while supporting emerging Irish businesses in this space”.

Meanwhile, large private sector operators are continuing to back energy projects here.

Technology giant Microsoft has partnered with energy firm Statkraft for a new 34MW solar project in Co Meath, Harlockstown Solar, that can potentially power the equivalent of almost 9,000 homes.

The scheme is one of several renewable energy projects being delivered as part of a corporate power purchase agreement (CPPA) package Statkraft signed with Microsoft last year.

Under the multi-year deals, Statkraft Ireland will supply the technology firm with 366MW of clean energy from six of its wind and solar farms.

In Galway, meanwhile, global healthcare technology giant Medtronic has signed a CPPA with DCC-owned Flogas Enterprise from a local wind farm to meet 50pc of the group’s electric annual requirements for sites in Ireland.

Demand for renewable CPPAs is set to grow rapidly as companies look to reduce their carbon footprint and seek budget certainty given the last 18 months of extremely volatile energy prices.​