‘TAMS energy grant welcome but further action needed’ – Smith

The announcement today of an additional €10 million funding for sustainable energy infrastructure for farmers is a “significant first step”, according to a leading renewable energy group.

The Micro-Renewable Energy Federation (MREF), which advocates for Government funding for renewable energy in homes and businesses, said that the new grants are a “positive move” by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Minister Creed announced today that a new series of grants would be launched under the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS), aimed at funding efficient and renewable energy technologies.

Today’s announcement by Minister Creed of grant support for on-farm solar PV installations and LED lighting is a significant positive move by the minister and his department in helping farmers reduce both their energy costs and carbon emissions.

Pat Smith, chairman of MREF, said: “Farm families now have the opportunity to generate some of their own renewable electricity, reduce costs, and take very positive climate action.”

However, he added that this decision by the minister needed to be followed up with further action.

“The grant needs to be expanded at the earliest opportunity to facilitate more intensive and higher energy-using dairy farms so they can optimise the potential for renewable energy generation on their farms,” Smith argued.

Smith also welcomed the grant support for LED lighting and said that switching lighting made “energy efficient sense”.

The new set of grants came about after a review of the TAMS scheme by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

“The review factored in the latest available technologies to further drive energy efficiency at farm level and reduce electricity use on farms,” the minister said today.

He added: “This is part of the wider drive to position Irish agriculture as a global leader in sustainability, and these investments will further enhance those credentials.”

The new grants will be available for farmers from the next tranche of TAMS opening April 5 next.