Written answers

Thursday, 13 July 2023

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Renewable Energy Generation

Photo of Ruairi Ó MurchúRuairi Ó Murchú (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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35. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the interaction there has been with his Department and other Departments about the schemes currently under way and in the pipeline for renewable electricity production; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34672/23]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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While overall national energy policy formation is the direct responsibility of the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC), my Department works closely with DECC on energy related matters from an agricultural perspective, as well with a wide range of industry and other stakeholder groupings.

The importance of increasing renewable energy generation across all sectors of the economy has been highlighted through the inclusion of ambitious targets for this area in the recently released Climate Action Plan 2021 - Securing Our Future.

I see the role of Irish farmers in renewable energy systems as three-fold :

  • Establishing energy efficiencies on-farm,
  • Through deployment of renewable energy at farm level; and
  • As a supplier of biomass/ bio-energy feedstocks.
The main support for farmers provided by my Department wishing to invest in renewable energy is the TAMS 3 Solar Capital Investment scheme. This launched on 22nd February 2023 and is proving to be a hugely successful scheme. The new TAMS is closely aligned to our climate and sustainability needs through continued and enhanced support for renewable energy.
  • To help encourage on-farm renewable technology uptake and usage, grant aid is provided through TAMS to assist farmers in maximising their contribution to the production of renewable energy through the installation of Solar PV technology along with battery storage on Irish farms. There is an overall budget of €370 million for the TAMS 3 scheme over its lifetime to end-2027. The solar scheme is ring fenced with its own investment ceiling of €90,000 and will be grant aided at the enhanced rate of 60%.
  • Applicants under TAMS 3 can receive the Clean Export Guarantee payment for any electricity spill-over that may occur on a given day as this is funded directly by the electricity companies. However, they are not eligible for any other payment, such as the Clean Export Premium, as it would be double funding of the investment.
  • Adoption of sustainable energy practices at farm level, including energy efficiency, deployment of renewables at farm level and the provision of agriculture feedstocks for renewable energy generation is a key climate pillar for the agriculture sector.
The on-farm renewable energy generation activities of our farmers will contribute in a positive way to the de-carbonisation of the energy system, providing a diversification opportunity for farmers who remain committed to playing their part in achieving our national climate change emission reduction goals.


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