For Written Answer on : 21/11/2023
Question Number(s): 118 Question Reference(s): 51120/23
Department: Environment, Climate and Communications
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for the Environment; Climate and Communications to outline Government policy with respect to the development of anaerobic digesters to produce renewable energy from slurry and other such material; if he has communicated any such policy to the respective local authorities; the supports, if any, that he has put in place to encourage the construction of anaerobic digesters; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Anaerobic Digestion and the production of renewable gas will have a key role to play in the decarbonisation of our energy sector and will provide an opportunity for land use diversification and income for farmers. Government has committed to deliver up to 5.7TWh of indigenously produced biomethane by 2030. In order to deliver on this commitment, a dedicated Biomethane Working Group, chaired by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, has been established. This Group, which reports into the Heat and Built Environment Delivery Taskforce, is overseeing an all-of-government approach to developing a National Biomethane Strategy to support the achievement of the 5.7TWh target.
Development of an anaerobic digestion industry is at a nascent stage in Ireland and a primary focus of the Working Group has been the examination of the actions necessary to develop the industry. The group has carried out extensive analysis on the best end use of this biomethane, paying particular focus on production in a sustainable manner. The National Biomethane Strategy is now in its final stage of drafting, and due for publication shortly.
My Department has developed a number of schemes and initiatives designed to increase the energy generated from renewable sources, whilst also reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland. These schemes include the grid scale, auction based Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS), the Microgeneration Support Scheme (MSS), for smaller installations, up to 50 kW in size (30kWe for micro-renewable Combined Heat and Power), and the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH).