An open day ‘Energy in Agriculture 2016’ is set to take place next month.

The event, which will cover all aspects of energy use and generation on the farm, will be held at Gurteen Agricultural College, Co Tipperary on 23 August.

Minister for Communications, Climate Change and Natural Resources, Denis Naughten said: “Ireland is required to provide 16% of our energy needs (electricity, heating and transport) from renewables by 2020 under European energy policies. There is a further EU target to cut emissions by at least 20% compared to 2005 levels.

“On-farm energy costs are an invisible form of expense. Dairy farms have a heavy reliance on electricity, mostly for collecting and cooling milk, heating water and lighting. Energy efficiency is now more important than ever for farmers."

Opportunities for farmers

He added that the event will “raise awareness of energy conservation opportunities for farmers and motivate them to reduce waste. A cut in energy costs ultimately results in the same bottom line benefit as an increase in sales.”

The open day will be one of the largest energy events to take place in Ireland and is being run by Teagasc, Tipperary County Council, Tipperary Energy Agency and Gurteen Agriculture College.

Reducing bills

Barry Caslin, Teagasc energy specialist said: “In farming, energy costs may only represent a small percentage of turnover, but reducing them can directly increase profits and competitiveness.

“At a national level we need to improve our energy security by reducing our dependence on imported fossil fuels.

“Energy efficiency is the first step to reduce your energy bills. Carry out an energy audit on your unit to identify any savings that can be made by doing things differently. Once these savings have been made then the renewable energy options can be considered.”

Energy in Agriculture 2016 will take place at Gurteen Agricultural College on Tuesday, August 23rd from 11am. The event is free to attend and will include seminars, practical demonstrations and trade exhibitions.

Read more

Large backlog of solar applications