Ireland is set to miss out on EU funding to develop an anaerobic digestion (AD) industry, as well as other renewable energy technology.

In March, the European Commission launched a €210bn RePowerEU package in retaliation to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The package sought to ramp up the production of, among others, EU biomethane production to 30 billion cubic metres per annum.

Ambitious target

The Irish Government set an ambitious target for 5.7 terra-watt hours (Twh) of indigenously produced biomethane by 2030. This would require the construction of 150 to 200 AD plants.

The Irish Farmers Journal understands that the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications has currently not sought EU funding under RePowerEU to realise this ambition.

Instead, the Government is reviewing the use of an existing scheme - the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat - to support the development of the sector.

The Government is mandated to review supports for an AD sector under the national energy security framework.

Update: Department response

In response, a spokesperson for the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications said:

“The European Commission’s REPowerEU proposal provides the potential for funding via the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility. The Department is working with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in considering potential proposals for funding under this mechanism. This work is being carried out as part of the broader budget process. Any such funding would be in addition to what is already included in Ireland’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP).”

Updated on 19 September 2022