The Government has set out a roadmap for further research and support to encourage the development of an anaerobic digestion (AD) industry in Ireland.

The measures are contained in the annex of actions document of the climate action plan which was launched earlier this year.

The publication of the plan was the first major endorsement by the Government of the need to develop an AD industry to produce the low-carbon gas biomethane.

Under the plan, 1.6 terawatt hours (TWh) per annum of biomethane will need to be produced from agricultural feedstock by 2030. This will be injected into the gas grid in order to displace natural gas.

Research and pilot

According to the plan, in Q1 of 2022, Teagasc along with National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) will start research work into optimising biomethane yield from co-digestion of agricultural feedstocks.

In addition, the biomethane AD pilot plant in Teagasc Grange is set to be operational by Q2 of next year under a target set out in the plan.

From here, there will be further research conducted into biomass and manure feedstocks for gas production, particularly from multispecies swards. This research will be led by Teagasc with the support of the Department of Agriculture (DAFM), the Science Foundation of Ireland (SFI) and Gas Networks Ireland (GNI).

Certification and injection

In Q2 of 2022, the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications will, with the support of the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) and GNI, establish an official certification scheme for renewable gas in the gas grid.

The plan also sets a target of Q4 2023 to develop the major centralised biomethane grid injection plant project in Mitchelstown, Co Cork. This will be the first transmission-scale biomethane injection facility in Ireland and will be supported from the climate action fund.

The 1.6TWh target set for the level of biomethane in the gas grid by 2030 is also set to be reviewed in 2023.

By Q2 2024, DAFM, along with the EPA and Teagasc, will carry out a diversification review, including an assessment of further biomethane production.


In Q4 of 2024, DAFM, along with the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), will support the development of a pilot cluster of AD plants, subsequently scaling this up. The aim of this cluster is to produce biomethane to decarbonise the heat requirements of the dairy processing and drink sectors.

The plan also suggests that it will support the development of renewable gas, such as biomethane, as a fuel in the transport sector, but gives little detail about how this will be achieved.