Biogas: ‘Everyone is ready to go but we need Government action’

The CEO of the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA), Sean Finan, has said the renewable-energy industry in Ireland is “ready to go” on developing Irish biogas infrastructure but added that the Government must support it with a Renewable Energy Feed In Tariff (REFIT).

Speaking to AgriLand at the IrBEA National Conference held in Croke Park, Dublin, today (February 13), Finan gave an overview on how a number of departments could benefit from a biogas industry.

Finan said that by using animal slurry for biogas, Irish agriculture would be reducing its emissions while decarbonising our energy supply at the same time.

“From a Government point of view, biogas would provide multi-departmental benefits.”

He explained: “We believe that 70 – 80% of the REFIT tariff would go back to rural Ireland in terms of paying farmers for the feedstock they produce.

For biogas to be successful, everyone involved from the farmer to the producer will have to financially benefit from it or else it won’t be a viable industry.

Addressing concerns that biogas would lead to competition for silage supplies, Finan said that “there is huge capacity in certain parts of the country to grow more grass”.

The theme of today’s conference is ‘mobilising bioenergy with policy and action’.

IrBEA is the National Association representing the bioenergy industry on the island of Ireland.

According to IrBEA, the purpose of the conference is: “To bring together industry leaders and like-minded individuals to openly discuss the importance of operational excellence and sustainability of anaerobic digestion, biogas, biomass, biofuels and more.