‘Energy in Agriculture 2017′ – an event which was launched last Friday (July 21) by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten – aims to provide information on renewable energy to farmers.

The event will be held at Gurteen College, Co. Tipperary, on Tuesday, August 22.

‘Energy in Agriculture 2017’ – a joint effort by Teagasc, the Tipperary Energy Agency, Tipperary County Council, the IFA (Irish Farmers’ Association) and Gurteen College – intends to give practical information to farmers and the rural sector on renewable energy and power efficiency options available for farm enterprises.

The launch, which highlighted some of the efficiency options which are available to farmers, took place on the farm of Michael Coyne in Knockcroghery, Co. Roscommon.

Speaking at the launch of Energy in Agriculture 2017, Minister Naughten said: “I recognise the efforts being made by the industry to reduce emissions.

By working in partnership to meet the greenhouse gas challenge, we can map our own future, increase efficiency and profitability, and decrease our carbon intensity in a sustainable way.

“Options for renewable heating include biomass and biogas from waste streams and from energy crops, solar thermal and geothermal energy. The planned Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme will provide a key policy support measure for this development,” the minister added.

Energy security

Energy specialist with Teagasc, Barry Caslin, also spoke at the event. He said: “We need to improve our energy security by reducing our dependence on imported fossil fuels.

“In the longer term we need to tackle global warming by reducing the level of greenhouse gas emissions in the earth’s atmosphere.

Energy in Agriculture will improve the knowledge base for farmers on how farmers can improve efficiencies and deploy renewables, to improve the sustainability of Irish agriculture.

A series of seminars is scheduled for the event, taking place throughout the day, highlighting local case studies of the main renewable energy technologies.

The Principal of Gurteen Agricultural College, Mike Pearson, will discuss his experiences of installing a 50 kilwatt (kW) wind turbine and 300kW biomass boilers. Demonstrations of solar PV (photovoltaic), biogas, as well as wind and wood mobilisation will also take place on the day.

There will be seminars on biomass production and utilisation, and power efficiency in different types of farm businesses. The second group of seminars will focus on the majority of issues facing those considering the installation of a green power source.

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There will be the opportunity to tour the biomass boiler installation and wind turbine at Gurteen College; there will be over 50 trade stands in the trade exhibition area on the day.

The even will kick off at 10:00am on August 22, and will finish at 5:00pm. Further information, for anyone interested, can be found here.