EU sets target of 32% for renewable energy use by 2030
Following overnight negotiations, MEP Seán Kelly has secured a binding renewable energy target of 32% for EU countries as they move away from their dependency on fossil fuels.

The agreement made at European Parliament and Council will replace the proposed target of 27% set out by the European Council and the European Commission.

Transport

The transport sector accounts for nearly one-quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU but by using a mix of renewable energy this can be greatly reduced, MEP Kelly said.

“Member states will now aim for a target of 14% renewable energy in the transport sector, which includes incentives for electric vehicles and advanced biofuels.”

The deal will secure investment for the production of biofuels, which has been thrown into doubt recently following the European Commission's proposed phasing out of such fuels.

“Our agreement puts an obligation on member states to get levels of advanced bio-fuels in the mix to 0.2% in 2022, 1% in 2025 and 3.5% in 2030.”

Incentives for consumers

The agreement will encourage consumers to not only switch to renewables but generate and sell their own electricity with the support of their government and by participating in renewable energy communities.

These communities will aim to “put the ownership and control of wind farms, for example, into the hands of the local population,” MEP Sean Kelly said.

These targets will be reviewed in 2023 and adjustments will be made to see if the union can enhance its renewable energy ambitions at the set date.

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Nearly 300 agricultural science students hit top Leaving Cert marks
Nearly 8,000 students sat agricultural science in the Leaving Cert this year, with a third of students at higher level achieving 70% or greater.

Of the 6,543 students who sat higher-level agricultural science, 295 (4.5%) have achieved the highest possible grade of one, which has replaced an A1. Since 2017, Leaving Certificate students are graded from one to eight, with one equalling 90% to 100%, two equalling 80% to 90% and so on.

Results

In total, 57,149 students sat the Leaving Certificate, down 2.4% on the year before. Of this, 7,780 students sat agricultural science with nearly 80% of students opting to sit the higher level paper.

A grade of three was the most common result in the higher-level exam, with nearly 19% of candidates achieving this result. Over a third of students received a grade three or greater.

A grade of six was the most common at ordinary level, with 28% of students receiving this mark. It was closely followed by a grade five at 24%.

Appeals

The State Examinations Commission (SEC) has said that this year’s results are broadly in line with those obtained in 2017. They have reminded all candidates that detailed information about viewing their scripts and appealing their results can be found in the 2018 candidate information booklet.

A helpline will be operating from early on 15 August to provide information and advice to students and parents. The helpline number operated by the National Parents’ Council is 1800 265 165

The farmer’s daily wrap: UK short on fodder too and calls for import scheme
Read all about the top five farming stories and check out the weather outlook for Wednesday 14 August.

Weather forecast

Tonight will be cloudy and misty, with rain and drizzle extending gradually to most areas, according to Met Éireann. It will be mild and humid, with hill and coastal fog.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, will be mostly cloudy in Munster and Leinster, with scattered outbreaks of rain and drizzle. Drier conditions will develop in much of Connacht and Ulster, with a few bright spells for a time. Outbreaks of showery rain will develop in the west and northwest later. Maximum temperatures will range from 17°C to 22°C.

In the news

  • UK breeders say that fodder shortages are also a major concern for them.
  • Fianna Fáil has called for the a fodder import subsidy to be up and running immediately.
  • The first shipment of Northern Irish beef has landed in the Philippines.
  • Kerry has set the price for its forward milk price scheme.
  • Calls have been made for signs warning motorists to watch out for cyclists to be placed on rural roads.
  • Coming up this Wednesday

  • See the latest Tullamore Farm update.