A national show, taking place next month, will offer insights on how to reduce energy consumption on-farm and cut down on costs.
The Energy and Farm Business Show, being held at Teagasc’s Gurteen Agricultural College in Co. Tipperary on July 19, will focus on energy, farm business options and sustainable agriculture
Over 60 exhibitors representing renewable energy generation, biomass and finance business consultancy will be present in the ‘expo hall’.
Biomass for renewable heat, solar photovoltaic (PV), and anaerobic digestion (AD) will feature in the outdoor demonstration area.
For the first time, the event, which is free to attend, will also host panel debates on various energy topics.
The event was officially launched today (Thursday, June 2) by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue on the farm of Brian and Kenny McCauley, Mohill, Co. Leitrim.
The pair run a suckler and forestry farm and have diversified into supplying wood chip for the biomass heat market with McCauley Wood Fuels.
The show is a joint initiative between Teagasc, Tipperary County Council, Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), Tipperary Energy Agency, Gurteen Agricultural College and Technological University Shannon (TUS).
The event’s main sponsor is the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM).
Speaking at the launch, Minister McConalogue said:
“As government and as a sector, we are working to improve our energy security by reducing our dependence on imported fossil fuels.
“We are committed to delivering a profitable, resilient and diversified farm businesses and management of energy costs, and investment in clean technology is a key part of this,” he added.
Energy and rural development specialist with Teagasc, Barry Caslin, commented:
“The next few years will see a dramatic uptake in renewable energy generation on farms.
“Beyond the more familiar options for renewable electricity production, the requirement for large amounts of low-carbon biomethane, or bioSNG, to displace fossil gas in the network presents a great opportunity for farmers and landowners,” he said.
Chair of the IFA Environment Committee, Paul O’Brien said that farm-scale and community-based renewables must be the central part of future energy policy in Ireland.
He said that this will be crucial in the delivery of ambitions in the government’s Climate Action Plan.
“It is critically important that farmers can remain profitable and resilient through the decarbonisation transition by being supported to embrace these new business opportunities,” O’Brien stated.