Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (397)

Arthur Spring


411 Deputy Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the progress that has been made in communicating with Northern Ireland groups and agencies on the future co-ordination of an all-island approach to the development of bioenergy resources; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34530/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources)

The 2009 Renewable Energy Directive sets Ireland a binding 16% target for the penetration of renewable energy across the electricity, heat and transport sectors by 2020 and bioenergy will have a major role in helping to meet this target.

My Department, along with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is currently finalising a Bioenergy Strategy, which will be published in the next few months. This will set out in detail the actions required to optimise the bioenergy sector's contribution to the 2020 renewable energy targets.

The Government, through its Departments and their agencies have ongoing communication with our counterparts in Northern Ireland. In one such example of all-island cooperation, relevant to bioenergy, Teagasc, along with the Research Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) in Northern Ireland, have produced sets of guidelines for farmers in growing miscanthus and willow for use as energy crops.