Biofuels at a glance
- Bioenergy is supposed to deliver almost half of our renewable energy by 2020. The targets offer the opportunity of developing our own indigenous supply chains and creating extra employment. Alternatively, we can import the feedstocks to meet our targets.
- Banks are reluctant to invest in renewables in Ireland due to the lack of profitability in the pricing structures as they currently stand.
- The recently announced REFIT lacks clarity in terms of what peat power stations will be able to offer long-term growers of biomass. Meanwhile, a REFIT for anaerobic digestion and CHP has still to be passed by the Dail.
- Even if they are passed, the rates suggested for anaerobic digestion will not be high enough to get this sector off the ground in Ireland.
- The biofuel sector remains moribund by a lack of Government support.
- There is great potential for small-scale wind, PV and hydro on Irish farms, but this will not happen if the return on investment is longer than five years. Current rates of return for small-scale wind and PV are at least 12 years.
- Ireland needs to look at ideas such as setting a minimum price for emitting greenhouse gases.