Government blasted for Refit plan delay
Renewable energy companies have accused the Government of strangling progress in the bioenergy sector by delaying the introduction of critical payments.
Despite announcing Renewable Energy Feed in Tariffs (Refit) rates in May, Energy Minister Eamon Ryan confirmed this week that his department has not yet sent the plan to Brussels for approval.
The Refit tariffs, without which the biomass industry cannot develop any further, are now not likely to be implemented until 2011.
"The whole system is being put on hold by civil servants," said the IFA's renewable energy chairman, JJ Kavanagh.
The Wexford man said companies were putting their lives on the line but nothing was happening for them.
"If the minister and the Government are serious about the bioenergy sector, they must push to implement the tariffs," he urged. "If they are not serious, just tell us and we will not waste any more time or money on these projects.
"Farmers have been establishing bioenergy crops over the last number of years, expecting to supply into the renewable electricity market.
"There are sheds full of bioenergy crops around the country without a market and this must be addressed now."