A total of €21m has been secured by 53 farms to switch renewable heat sources under a Government scheme.
The Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH), first launched in 2019, saw a total of 84 businesses secure over €34m in grant aid to switch from fossil fuels to renewable fuels such as biomass and biogas.
Among the successful farm projects, 26 poultry farms secured €10.6m, 15 mushroom producers secured €5.8m, 10 pig farms secured €3.5m and two horticulture producers secured €1.1m in the form of operational aid over 15 years.
This means these farmers will be paid for every eligible unit of renewable heat used over the next 15 years.
However, the level of payment decreases each year as it is based on a tiered scale.
The SSRH was opened in June 2019 and remains open for new applications. Just 11% of the total budget of €300m has been allocated so significant opportunity remains for farmers to secure funding. As well as ongoing operational support, the scheme provides installation grants for heat pumps of up to 30%. These include air-source heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps and water-source heat pumps.
However, the scheme continues to come under criticism due to its strenuous application process and red tape. This has been a major deterrent for many in the industry to switch to renewable heat sources.