Interested in alternative energy sources on your farm?

The event takes place on Tuesday, 21 August at Gurteen Agricultural College in Co Tipperary.
The event takes place on Tuesday, 21 August at Gurteen Agricultural College in Co Tipperary.

Next month Teagasc will host an open day on renewable energy on farms at Gurteen College, Tipperary.

Energy in Agriculture 2018 will explore the latest renewable energy opportunities to use clean technology, drive efficiency and manage business costs in Irish agriculture.

Speaking at the launch on the farm of Gerard Coyle, Athleague, Co. Roscommon, Minister Naughten said he would be announcing details shortly of a planned pilot scheme to support micro generation, which will initially target solar PV for self-consumption.

Speaking at the launch Barry Caslin from Teagasc said farmers could play a significant role in the decarbonisation of Ireland’s national heat supply, although it would be a huge challenge.

"With dramatic falls in the cost of solar photovoltaic’s, on-shore and off-shore wind, biogas AD opportunities as well as battery energy storage technology, the prospect of complete decarbonisation of Irelands electricity supply is now in sight.

"An increased supply of agricultural feedstocks will be needed to fuel such growth in the bio-based economy, including a large fleet of bio-methane plants and new processes such as synthetic gas from biomass.

Wind Energy

The Wind demonstration will take place at the Gurteen College wind turbine. A number of speakers present will discuss the installation of small scale auto producers and large scale wind turbines.

Planning, grid, the forthcoming renewable electricity support scheme, financial discussions will take place with industry experts to inform the attendees how best to proceed with their project. The experience of the Gurteen College wind turbine will also be a topic of discussion and how to maximise use of your wind energy.

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Solar PV

The PV demonstration will include an overview of the technology and a discussion about quality standards of equipment and the costs and returns of installation of the equipment.

The session will focus mainly on farm scale PV for self consumption and focus on the information that would be useful to farmers in maximizing the return on investment and the supports available.

Topics will include the installation and maintenance of the equipment and how best to use the electricity. The design attributes to maximise yield and performance in addition to the installation of battery storage and residual heat dumps to maximise the use on site will also be discussed as part of the demonstration.

Wood Mobilisation

Wood mobilisation, the sustainable harvesting and supply of timber from the forest to processors and end users, is recognised as one of most significant challenges which needs addressing.

Wood and biomass mobilisation is one of the key topics to be addressed at the Energy in Agriculture event.  Estimates by SEAI show that current policies will not deliver 12pc renewable energy in the heat sector by 2020, indicating that additional action is required.

The estimated shortfall will be in the region of 2 to 4 percentage points of the 12pc, equating to approximately 200 ktoe or 2,300 GWh. This represents about 1 to 2 percentage points in terms of the overall national target of 16% mandated to Ireland under the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive.

Anaerobic Digestion

This demo will focus on different options which could be available to make the digestion of livestock slurry more attractive for the farmer than the present systems or status quo of slurry/manure management.

It will also highlight other advantages which digestion can offer, such as reduced GHG emissions, farm energy substitution, efficient nutrient recycling, and other environmental benefits, all of which could be the source of additional financial benefits.

The event takes place on Tuesday, 21 August at Gurteen Agricultural College in Co Tipperary.

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