Energy and diversification event showcases how to maximise farm grant payments
Farmers wanting advice on the opportunities presented by newly launched Government funding through the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) and Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Schemes (TAMS) are invited to attend the Energy and Rural Business Show, taking place this October 23 and 24.
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) which operates the renewable heat scheme and is the keynote sponsor for the show, will be on hand to explain how it works. Ray Langton, SEAI programme manager, explains that the scheme is open to agricultural, commercial, industrial, district heating, public sector and other non-domestic heat users.
“This scheme is designed to replace fossil fuel heating systems with renewable heating systems including heat pumps, biomass and anaerobic digestion. SSRH offers installation grants for heat pumps and ongoing operational support for biomass or biogas,” he says.
According to Ray, applicants must demonstrate that the proposed heat use is eligible and adheres to verified energy efficiency criteria. “The agri-industry needs to show that heat generating technologies and project installations comply with building regulations, EN standards, efficiency technology standards and air quality standards in relation to emissions. Also, designers and installers must be competent to carry out the works”.
He underlines the long-term nature of the SSRH. “The Scheme will support businesses and farms for up to 15 years for the installation and on-going use of biomass and anaerobic digestion heating systems. Agriculture can benefit from both the supply chain and direct heat use and the scheme is designed to support up to 1,300 GWh of renewable heat per year – equivalent to the heating needs of circa 120,000 homes”.
“The SSRH will help agriculture to use less energy and use renewable energy at the same time and with this significant new incentive, switching to renewable heat is a good decision for financial and environmental reasons,” adds Ray.
Ray Langton will be outlining the SSRH in the keynote session on 23 October at Energy and Rural Business Show Ireland.
Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS)
TAMS II provides farmers with grant aid to improve and/or build a specific range of farm buildings or purchase equipment of relevance to their farm enterprise. The TAMS scheme, with an investment ceiling of €80,000, includes seven measures for on-farm investments incorporating dairy, tillage, organics, animal welfare, safety and nutrient storage, young farmers, pigs and poultry and low emission slurry spreading equipment (LESS).
The support will help the transition to a low carbon economy, says Michael O’Donoghue from the Nitrates, Biodiversity and Engineering Division of the Department Of Agriculture. “The scheme covers almost any farm building type or equipment in a farm yard with a few exceptions including tractors and some implements, but there are approximately 330 eligible items comprised of buildings, machines and implements which are eligible and the list can be found on the DAFM website.”
“Once the application is approved, farmers and landowners will have a year to construct any structure if its permanent (as in the case of Solar PV) and six months if it’s mobile,” adds Michael.
Michael O’Donoghue will be speaking in two sessions at Energy and Rural Business Show Ireland. He will cover the solar PV grants available under the TAMS scheme in the solar session and will be outlining the energy efficiency measures for farm buildings and the grant assistance available, in the energy and carbon management session.
Energy and Rural Business Show Ireland will feature dedicated conference sessions on opportunities in AD and biogas, biomass, heat pumps, hydropower, solar, storage and wind power. It will also feature ‘how-to’ farm diversification workshops and an exhibition, featuring cutting edge products and initiatives proving expert guidance.
Energy and Rural Business Show Ireland is run in association with the IFA and Teagasc and is supported by the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA), the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA), The Alpaca Association of Ireland, Macra Na Feirme, the Renewable Gas Forum of Ireland (RGFI), the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), Three Counties Energy Agency (3CEA) and The Irish Solar Energy Association (ISEA).
The show is free to attend and tickets can be booked today at http://www.energyandruralbusiness.co.uk/welcome-ireland.