Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (1486)

Michael Healy-Rae


1486. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding anaerobic digesters; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34987/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

The Support Scheme for Renewable Heat has been developed to financially support the adoption of renewable heating systems by commercial, industrial, agricultural, district heating and other non-domestic heat users not covered by the EU Emissions Trading System.

The first phase of the scheme, an installation grant for heat pumps, opened for applications in September 2018. Following EU State aid approval, I opened the second phase of the SSRH, an operational support for biomass boilers and anaerobic digestion heating systems, in June of this year. Under this phase of the scheme, eligible renewable energy technologies will be supported through a multi-annual payment, for a period of up to 15 years, on the basis of prescribed tariffs. Under Project Ireland 2040, the National Development Plan sets out an allocation of €300 million for the roll-out of the scheme for the period up to 2027.

Renewable electricity output from anaerobic digesters will also be eligible for support under the forthcoming Renewable Electricity Support Scheme. The high level design of this scheme was approved by Government in July 2018 and the scheme will require State aid approval.

In November 2018, I announced the seven successful projects from the first Call for Applications under the Climate Action Fund. One of the successful projects, the Gas Networks Ireland GRAZE Gas project, involves the installation of a Central Grid Injection facility for renewable gas produced from the anaerobic digestion of wastes, including agriculture wastes such as slurry.

My Department is also examining potential options to support the production of biomethane from anaerobic digestion and its injection into the gas grid.