Thursday, 10 May 2018

Ceisteanna (248, 249)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

248. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of anaerobic digesters producing biogas in operation nationally by county, in tabular form; his plans to increase the uptake of farm waste to convert into biogas; and the steps he is taking to increase the production of biogas from farm waste. [20775/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

249. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his officials have examined the 2017 SEAI report, Assessment of Costs and Benefits of Biogas and Biomethane in Ireland. [20776/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 248 and 249 together.

The agriculture and forest sector has a critical role to play in contributing to our national climate change ambitions, and bioenergy represents a key component of that contribution.

The EU report entitled the ‘Optimal use of biogas from waste streams’ indicated 31 AD biogas plants for Ireland in 2014. There were 3 agricultural, 14 sewage plant facilities and 7 industrial landfills (18.4 MW) and 7 waste/industrial waste biogas plants. Their cumulative capacity amounted to 47 MW, generating 206 GWh of electricity in 2014, while 8.1 ktoe of thermal energy were generated respectively.

Of this number, nine facilities are licensed by my Department as utilising Animal By Products as a feedstock. The details of these are set out in the table:

GLENMORE   LIVESTOCK LTD

GLENMORE   ESTATE

BALLYBOFEY

 

CO. DONEGAL

ASHLEIGH   FARMS MILLING LTD

BALLINAMEELA

CAPPAGH

 

CO.WATERFORD

BALLYSHANNON   RECYCLING LTD

BALLYSHANNON   RECYCLING LTD

ADAMSTOWN

ENNISCORTHY

CO.WEXFORD

KILGREANY   AD FACILITY

TOORACURRAGH

BALLYMACARBRY

 

CO.WATERFORD

GREEN   GENERATION LTD

GORTEEN   LOWER

NURNEY

 

CO.KILDARE

KILLOWEN   BIOGAS LTD

KILLOWEN   BIOGAS LTD

KILLOWEN

PORTLAW

CO.WATERFORD

DAVID MC   DONNELL

MCDONNELL   FARMS BIOGAS LTD

T/A   GREENGAS AD PLANT

DUNMOYLAN,   SHANAGOLDEN

CO.LIMERICK

CAMPHILL   COMMUNITY

T/A   BEOFS LTD

BALLYTOBIN

CALLAN

CO.KILKENNY

ROUGHTY   VALLEY CO-OP

ROUGHTY   VALLEY COOP SOCIETY

MEELICK

KILGARVAN

CO.KERRY

The report that the Deputy is referring to - The Assessment of Cost and Benefits of Biogas and Biomethane in Ireland (SEAI, 2017) - investigates a number of methods for producing biogas and biomethane. The report says that these gases can be produced and used in a variety of ways.  

Overall, my Department recognises that there is an opportunity to encourage the utilisation of agricultural waste as an alternative source of energy. I have noted that while it is possible to produce and utilise methane through AD of stored manure (which accounts for only 10% of agricultural methane), academic and industry research suggests that there is the potential for a significant role in the heat and transport sectors for biogas produced by anaerobic digestion. However, as outlined above, analysis to date would suggest that costs are a significant factor.

Notwithstanding this, my Department and the Government recognises that indigenous renewable energy plays a vital role in our domestic fuel mix and will become even more important in the context of reducing our reliance on imported fuels and in meeting our challenging renewable energy targets. I am committed to working closely with the Department for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) which is the lead Department in this area, to ensure that the supply of domestic biomass and residues available in the forest and agriculture sectors are mobilised to support energy generation from a range of bioenergy technologies.