Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Ceisteanna (382)

Bobby Aylward


382. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding funding streams to subsidise, promote and implement storage energy units, which harness the power of solar and wind energy, within the Irish agribusiness sector; the position regarding the provision of grant funding for farmers for initial purchase of such self-sufficient renewable storage energy units for the purpose of promoting and implementing energy self-sufficiency for agribusinesses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38521/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment has lead responsibility for energy policy and activities within the renewable energy sector.

However, my Department does support energy efficiency measures and deployment of renewable technologies through the Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Scheme (TAMS II). I recently announced a €10 million energy grant through TAMS, and, in particular, I introduced grant-aid for solar PV installation of up to 6kWp that includes solar photovoltaic panels, an inverter & controller and a solar PV rechargeable battery.

In addition, a variety of energy saving measures such as; LED lighting, plate coolers, heat transfer units and ice builders are available for the Dairy sector under TAMS II. For the Pigs and Poultry sector, there is a range of grant-aid available including biomass boilers, electrical heat pads, energy efficient LED lighting, indirect heating systems, solar panels for water heating, ventilation fans and control systems, insulation for doors, roofs and walls, air source heat pumps and heat recovery units. Full details of the wide variety of investment items are available on the my Department’s website: https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/s/search.html?query=tams&collection=dafm-search.

Agri-industry are now also beginning to partner with energy suppliers to increase the renewable energy take-up at farm level. Glanbia Ireland, working in partnership with SSE Airtricity and Activ8 Solar Energies recently introduced FarmGen, a farm generated renewable energy initiative. The initiative will offer complementary support to TAMS and will include installation of a 6Kw Solar PV system and a smart metering system which will monitor energy generation and consumption in real-time and include export meters that will have the ability to potentially profit from future incentives to return electricity on to the grid.

As we transition to a low-carbon economy and society to meet our EU 2030 targets and move towards carbon neutrality for the agriculture and land use sector, partnerships in the sector have a key role to play in renewable energy as a key supplier of bioenergy feedstock and in the longer term as a renewable energy provider.