EU approve Irish state aid request for anerobic digestion and biomass support scheme

Anaerobic digester
Anaerobic digester
Claire Fox

Claire Fox

Irish state aid for renewable heat generation from technologies including biomass and anaerobic digestion under the second phase of the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat has been approved by the EU Commission.

Delays in the opening of the second phase of the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat  had created frustrations for pig and poultry farmers who wanted to invest in the scheme.

The scheme was expected to open in late 2018/early 2019 but was delayed due to the state aid approval process.

The EU Commission found it to be proportionate as the payments granted to beneficiaries wouldn’t result to overcompensation in the market.

State aid in the EU is only allowed if it can be justified by reasons of general economic development. Guidelines concerning environmental protection were introduced in 2014 to promote a gradual move to market-based support for renewable energy.

The Commission found that the scheme would “contribute to the EU’s energy and environmental objectives without unduly distorting competition”.

The Scheme will also offer ongoing operational support (a tariff) based on useable heat output in renewable heating systems in new installations or installations that currently use a fossil fuel heating system and convert to using the following technologies:

  • Biomass boiler or biomass HE CHP heating systems; and
  • Biogas (anaerobic digestion) boiler or biogas HE CHP heating systems.

The Tariff will be made available to successful applicants for a period of up to 15 years.

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