Despite the rain and cloud, interest in renewables shone through at this year’s Ploughing. Throughout the site, there was a notable increase in solar PV companies in particular, with those exhibitors reporting strong interest from farmers.
It’s no surprise as solar makes sense for most farms. However, delays in approving TAMS applications need to be addressed, as every day that passes costs those farmers money.
Attendees heard that the national biomethane strategy, a cross-departmental roadmap on how Ireland will develop its 2030 target, is set to be delivered within the month.
As Stephen Robb reports, anaerobic digestion (AD) is no longer theory, as we saw the launch of Nephin Renewable Gas at the event.
Nephin is the largest domestic producer of natural gas in Ireland, owning a substantial share in the Corrib field and backed by a billion-euro Canadian pension fund.
It has a target to develop upwards of 30 large-scale biomethane plants in the coming years, and sites have been secured for a third of these so far. Each plant will need upwards of 3,000 acres and 40,000 tonnes of slurry for feedstock.
They are set to become a major new force in Irish agriculture. However, farmers need to be at the centre of this movement and need to be offered the chance to own a share of these AD projects, or agriculture risks losing this opportunity.