Farmers set to 'cash in' on renewable heat scheme
The big switch from fossil fuels to renewable heat systems is set to provide financial opportunities for farmers, a rural TD has claimed.
As the final consultation for the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme — aimed at encouraging industrial and commercial heat users to switch to greener technologies — gets under way, Denis Naughten, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, says the move will provide commercial opportunities to farmers nationwide.
“It will bring new markets. As these convert, it will create a demand for more biomass supply and fresh opportunities for local farmers for biomass and potentially biogas producers,” he said.
The scheme, which is required if Ireland is to meet its energy and climate change obligations, will cover additional costs of generating heat from renewable sources by providing a payment on a ‘per unit of energy produced’ basis.
The Roscommon-Galway East TD asked the public to provide feedback to his department on the design options for the scheme before March 3.
To date, farmers have been reluctant to pursue potential opportunities in the bioenergy space until the market developed further.
The rural-based TD is confident that the RHI scheme will encourage farmers to take the next step.
“For this intervention to be successful, it is critical that supply-side policies must be aligned with the demand-side measure that my department is developing,” he said.