The fourth Energy in Agriculture conference and exhibition will take place on 20 August at Gurteen Agricultural College.
It is a joint initiative between Teagasc, Tipperary County Council, IFA, Tipperary Energy Agency and Gurteen Agricultural College. The event is free to attend and farmers can get advice on renewable energy project development as well as hear from those who have successfully made renewable energy work on their farms.
“We need to improve our energy security by reducing our dependence on imported fossil fuels,” Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said at the launch of the event on Michael Looney’s farm in Kilpatrick, Macroom, Co Cork. “At individual farm level my Department of Agriculture Food and Marine is committed through TAMS to support investment in renewable energy that will reduce the high cost of energy inputs and can also provide an additional source of income for the business.”
The next few years will see a dramatic uptake in renewable energy generation on farms
The event’s main sponsor is the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
“The next few years will see a dramatic uptake in renewable energy generation on farms,” Teagasc energy and rural development specialist Barry Caslin said. “The recently announced Support Scheme (SSRH) will see biomass boilers being deployed in our hospitals, hotels, leisure centres, pig units and poultry units etc. The battery storage sector is growing dramatically, with developers keen to secure sites with a suitable connection to the electricity grid.”
IFA renewables chair Tom Short said farm-scale and community-based renewables must be the central part of future energy policy in Ireland in order to meet the ambitions of the Government’s Climate Action Plan.
“Long-term Government investment in proven technologies including solar PV, anaerobic digestion and micro-generation is required,” Short said. “The recently introduced SSRH and TAMS solar funding are important first steps but much more is needed to allow agriculture to harness clean power and heat.”
Conference speakers will share insights on opportunities to make financial savings and reduce energy consumption on-farm. The outdoor demonstrations form a popular part of Energy in Agriculture, which will have three main focus areas including biomass for renewable heat, solar photovoltaic (PV) and on-farm energy efficiency.
The Agri-futures arena will give attendees the opportunity to look at the latest in agri technology, a chance to trial the latest electric vehicles as well as a look at the fully electric Kramer loader. The expo hall, with over 60 exhibitors, is always a hive of activity with all areas represented – PV, wind, biomass, finance and consultancy.