The Government’s National Biomethane Strategy, launched this week, contains 25 measures aimed at paving the way for up to 200 anaerobic digestion (AD) plants to be built by 2030.

By then, the Government wants 5.7 terawatt-hours (TWh) of biomethane gas produced from anaerobic digestion plants, equivalent to 10% of the country’s national gas use today.

If met, this will save around 2.1m tonnes of CO2eq per year, much of which will be attributed to the energy sector.

The strategy contains a commitment to €40m in capital grants for developers, a new obligation scheme to incentivise the use of biomethane, new planning guidelines and a commitment to explore digestate upgrading and new finance schemes for small AD plants.

The strategy outlines its vision that farmers will supply the bulk of the feedstock, namely slurry and grass silage, and use the digestate from the anaerobic digestion plants.

This, in turn, will create a new market and a means to better manage nutrients and nitrates compliance. The strategy outlines that the optimal size of an agricultural AD plant in Ireland will produce 40 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of biomethane per year, enough to power 6,500 households. This will require around 2,000ac of grass silage and 25,000 to 30,000 tonnes of slurry as feedstock.

The feedstock will be sourced within a 25km radius of the plant, and the first plants will likely connect directly to the national gas grid. In total, by 2030, close to 300,000ac of silage and slurry from 1.3m cattle will be required as feedstock to supply the industry.


A 40 GWh AD plant will cost approximately €15m to build. To support the sector, the Government will introduce a new competitive €40m capital grant scheme for developers, with the aim of producing 1TWh by next year.

The capital grants will help reduce the “green premium” required to produce biomethane, the strategy outlines.

The Government will also introduce a new obligation in the heat sector later this year to incentivise the use of biomethane, creating demand for the gas.