The Government has committed €300m to fund the Support for Sustainable Renewable Heat scheme over the next 10 years, which economic analysis shows should be “more than enough”, Department of Communication, Climate Action and Environment assistant principal Kevin Brady told the Irish BioEnergy Association (IrBEA) conference in Dublin on Wednesday.

He added that the Government aims to open the scheme in the second half of this year after drafting detailed terms and conditions and obtaining EU state aid approval. The scheme will pay users of large boilers, such as hotels or pig farms, a subsidy to switch to renewable sources including biomass and is expected to increase demand for energy crops. Biogas from anaerobic digestion may receive support under the scheme later, either for use in combined heat and electricity generators as a separate renewable electricity scheme opens in 2019 or for injection into the national gas grid, Brady said.