Over the past year, the Government has drip fed the farming community snippets of what is to come in terms of opportunities in renewables.
2022 will be the year for the Government to follow through and offer farmers a real chance to be part of the green energy revolution in a meaningful way.
This hasn’t been afforded to them to-date.
Later this year, farmers will, for the first time, be able to export renewable electricity back to the grid and receive a minimum of the wholesale market rate.
This will be of particular benefit to those who already have renewable energy systems installed and currently don’t get paid for excess electricity produced.
But the Government is set to go a step further in 2022.
The long awaited micro-generation support scheme will facilitate the installation of renewable electricity systems of up to 50kW in output to displace imported energy.
Larger scale projects
However, a new small-scale generation scheme is set to be developed later this year and this could finally be the game changer that farmers have been waiting on.
The scheme is expected to allow farmers, communities and businesses to develop renewable electricity projects from 50kW to 1MW in capacity.
This won’t just be an electricity import displacement scheme, but could be an actual on-farm diversification and investment opportunity.
Many details have yet to be announced on this scheme, but excitement is growing at farm level.
With a clear acknowledgement by Minister Eamon Ryan last November of the potential for anaerobic digestion (AD) to position farmers as part of the climate change solution, 2022 could be the year that we finally see tangible supports put in place to support the development of the industry.
The challenges of developing a sustainable AD industry in Ireland have long been highlighted, but Minister Ryan’s comments that the Government will have to provide support to guarantee the economics of AD means we will be expecting an announcement of supports this year.