It's 'new politics' farming style as Greens back the IFA
The Green Party and IFA rarely sing from the same hymn book not to mind the same hymn sheet; but there could be a change in our not so pure air.
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has welcomed an IFA plan that seeks to promote the involvement of farmers and communities in the production of power and energy from renewable sources.
"We support and welcome the initiative by the IFA to push microgeneration of renewable power by local communities," he said.
"The call to boost renewable energy from the farming sector is a sign that the farming community is starting to realise that going green is going to give farmers a more secure and profitable future."
The IFA has called on Energy Minister Denis Naughten to ring-fence 20pc of the energy levy paid by all homeowners, or around €100m annually, to encourage homeowners and farmers to replace fossil fuels with renewable sources.
IFA renewables chairman James Murphy said the IFA was seeking a shift in focus from Minister Naughten that targeted multi-million euro support at local players rather than powerful multinationals.
The IFA submission calls for a generation feed-in tariff for farm-scale and micro-energy projects of 17c/kWh, guaranteed for 20 years and linked to the consumer price index.
In addition, it seeks a 2.5c/kWh premium for renewable projects that include community participation.
Mr Ryan said the Republic's renewable support mechanism would have to avoid the "perverse incentives" which undermined the DUP-backed scheme in Northern Ireland.
"The old story that farmers and the Greens are at odds with each other need no longer apply, we will be making the same case when it comes to supporting community energy and that should just be the start of the co-operation that could take hold," added Mr Ryan.
For Stories Like This and More
Download the Free Farming Independent App