The annual Energy in Agriculture event took place in Gurteen Agricultural College on Tuesday, August 20, with what was, according to organisers, “another good turnout and some terrific interaction between participants, exhibitors and panellists”.

Energy in Agriculture is a joint initiative between Teagasc, Tipperary County Council, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), Tipperary Energy Agency and Gurteen Agricultural College.

Meanwhile, the adverse weather conditions did little to dampen the enthusiasm of participants who were there to explore ways to reduce energy consumption and increase the use of renewables on their farms, in their homes and in their businesses.

Sean Kelly, MEP for Ireland South, officially opened proceedings on Tuesday and during his opening remarks he spoke about Ireland’s climate action targets and how now is the time “to get down to business in tackling this issue”.

We all have a role to play in reducing emissions.

He added: “My advice to farmers is firstly to look at their own carbon footprint and ask themselves how they could reduce it.

“Secondly, farmers need to look at the commercial opportunities that can be learned about at the event and applied to homes, farms and businesses.”

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Meanwhile, Barry Caslin of Teagasc pointed to the fact that “there is nothing new in renewable energy”.

He said the technologies are well proven right across Europe and explained how the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) has been a real game changer for Irish farmers.

It has created new opportunities for everyone.

He continued: “These new opportunities include the use of biomass boilers in poultry, pig and horticulture systems and also in the supply of biomass to end users”.

Tom Short, Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) renewables chair also participated in the Energy in Agriculture 2019 event.

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On the day, he pointed out that farmers in attendance were interested in hearing more about renewables opportunities, positive climate actions and meeting with the different suppliers and experts in the exhibition arena.

The exhibitors were impressed with the level of knowledge and genuine intent among attendees.

He added: “According to feedback from regular exhibitors, farmers are ready to embrace renewables opportunities and avail of schemes to increase the amount of renewable energy produced on the farm.

“A number of leads for substantial installations were agreed on the day.”