15 December 2017

Ireland Kick-Starts Biomass Sector with Renewable Heat Announcement…

Ireland's Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD, has announced details of a new support scheme for renewable heat including four bands of payments for biomass produced heat, after securing Government approval. 

This includes 300/MWh being paid at €56.60/MWh, 700MWh being paid €30.20/MWh, 9,000/MWh at €5.00/MWh and a final 40,000/MWh at €3.70/MWh. There are no payments above 50,000/MWh. 

The Scheme is designed to financially support the replacement of fossil fuel heating systems with renewable energy for large heat demand non-domestic users.  This covers commercial, industrial, agricultural, district heating, public sector and other non-domestic businesses and sectors (in the non-emissions trading sector). 

Minister Naughten said, "The Support Scheme for Renewable Heat is a tangible and viable measure that will kick-start the biomass and biogas sectors.  Crucially it will provide the basis to create new commercial opportunities for farmers in heat technologies including biomass boiler installations and new opportunities for foresters.  It will also contribute to meeting Ireland's 2020 renewable energy and emission reduction targets".

Under the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive, Ireland has a target of 12% of energy consumed in the heat sector to come from renewable energy sources by 2020.  Currently 6.8% of energy consumed in the heat sector in renewable. Budget 2018 allocated €7 million to fund the initial phase of the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat next year.

The Scheme is designed to ensure that air quality impacts will be addressed to support sustainable biomass use in installations, using best available technology and emission abatement.

The development of the Support Scheme involved detailed economic analysis, extensive engagement with industry and the publication of two public consultations on the design and implementation of the scheme. It will consist of two types of support mechanism:

The maximum tariffs paid will be 5.66 cents per kilowatt hour of energy produced from biomass heating systems and 2.95 cents per kilowatt hour of energy produced from anaerobic digestion heating systems. The tariffs paid will reduce with increasing output reflecting the economy of scale associated with larger systems.

Minister Naughten added, "The economic analysis shows that biomass and anaerobic digestion have a significant role to play in Ireland's renewable energy future. Securing Cabinet approval this week was a key milestone in order to move to the next stage of the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat which will provide an opportunity for growth in the domestic biomass sector."  

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) will administer the Scheme and develop the detailed Terms and Conditions, including eligibility and sustainability criteria and these must be approved by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

Read the full announcement here:


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