‘Energy in Agriculture 2018‘ is set to take place on Tuesday, 21 August at Gurteen College and the timing is just right for farmers trying to reduce costs in what has been a difficult year as well as those considering diversification into renewable energy projects and boosting profitability on their farm.
Experts are on hand to give advice on reducing energy costs, switching & minimising fuel, achieving energy efficient lighting and improving margins through sustainability.
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), who are headline sponsors of this event, will be available all day to answer questions on the new roof-top solar PV grant scheme recently announced by Denis Naughten, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment. They will also offer advice and help for dairy farmers interested in availing of grants for installation of Variable Speed Drive vacuum pumps & milk pumps.
Many farmers will now also be interested in on-farm renewable energy projects. With the prospect of attractive returns on investment, boosted by the long-awaited Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) and the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS), this is now a viable consideration. Structured and predictable income streams from renewable energy generation can allow diversification projects to be explored, which may otherwise have sapped too much capital or time from day-to-day operations.
SEAI have just published draft terms and conditions for the SSRH. The levels of support for biomass heating and for biogas appear unchanged from those indicated last year. It is hoped that SSRH will be available for all commercial applications – with no lower limit. The budget for the scheme is €18m per year for 15 years. SEAI plan to have the online portal for applications open from later this year, to allow people to become familiar with the requirements contained therein. The SSRH and supply opportunities for farmers will be discussed in depth at the conference.
The recently published framework document for the RESS places a welcome emphasis on community participation in future renewable projects although additional supports may be required for categories such as farm-scale projects. Community co-ownership, the importance of public consultation, planning issues & understanding grid connections will all be explored throughout the day in Gurteen College on Tuesday 21st August.
Energy in Agriculture 2018 is a free to attend, DAFM approved KT national event open to all who are interested in the energy and agri sectors. The event, which is in its third year, is jointly organised by Teagasc, Tipperary Co Council, IFA, Tipperary Energy Agency and Gurteen College. Also supporting the event are SEAI as headline sponsor, the Irish Farmers Journal as media partner and Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, AIB, CPL Fuels and LEO, Tipperary as gold sponsors. The programme for the day is full and varied and includes discussion panels, seminar talks, large EXPO arena, 1:1 advice clinics, practical demonstrations on renewable technologies, Innovation Showcase & more.