Anaerobic digestion is needed to meet Ireland’s 2030 targets under the Climate Action Plan, the Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, has said.

Similar to supports for the installation of solar PV, a market mechanism will be the key way of delivering anaerobic digestion that is needed in Ireland, according to Eamon Ryan.

Minister Ryan was speaking at a press conference of the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) following Budget 2023 yesterday (September 27).

“Not everything is announced and delivered on budget day,” Minister Ryan said, adding that supports will follow both for anaerobic digestion and solar PV.

Anaerobic digestion and solar PV

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue yesterday said he would be allocating €3 million in Budget 2023 for each of the next four years (a total of €12 million), to kick-start a farm-based anaerobic digestion sector in Ireland.

Referring to this initiative McConalogue said:

“The establishment of a renewable heat obligation will be critical to the success of this initiative, and I am working closely in partnership with [Minister Ryan] to realise the potential of this sector.”

A renewable heat obligation will be designed by the DECC over the next months, with a potential consultation in January 2023, and a final scheme by the middle of next year, a DECC spokesperson confirmed.

A Renewable Heat Obligation could require energy suppliers in the heat sector to ensure that a certain percentage of the energy supplied comes from renewables like biogas.

In terms of solar PV installation, Minister Ryan said further supports will follow, including what is understood to be a guaranteed price and an exception to the current auction system under the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

Last week, supports of up to €2,400 were announced for businesses to install solar PV panels up to a maximum of 6kWp (kilowatt peak), which equals approximately 16 solar panels over 25m2.


Funding of €1.038 billion has been allocated to the DECC in Budget 2023, which is prioritised for the National Broadband Plan, energy transformation, environment protection and the transition to a circular economy.

A total of €513 million will go towards energy transformation, including retrofitting and home energy upgrades, of which €291 million will be funded from carbon tax revenues.

While current record profits of energy companies have been addressed in yesterday’s announcements, Minister Ryan said windfall tax levies cannot be introduced prior to the European Energy Council meeting in Brussels on Friday (September 30).

The minister said he is confident an agreement will be reached at EU level to take some of the profits from the energy suppliers’ side and from the fossil-fuel industry.

Further funding allocated to the DECC in Budget 2023 includes:

  • €143 million will support initiatives to lead Ireland’s response to the climate crisis, including funding for vital research and Just Transition;
  • €110 million will support the transition to a circular economy and will protect Ireland’s environment and biodiversity;
  • €273 million will support connectivity and communications, including almost €218 million to further progress the roll-out of the National Broadband Plan.

Funding allocated to the National Broadband Plan will enable the continued roll-out of high-speed broadband, under which around 8,000 farms have been given access so far this year, with a further 18,000 farms in 2023, Minister of State with responsibility for Communications and Circular Economy, Ossian Smyth said.