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You could win some amazing prizes sponsored by our 2017 Exhibitors
• Solar Light from Feirme Lights (no wiring required)
• Mini BBQ from Calor Gas
• €50 One for All voucher from AIB
• Body Warmers from Grant Engineering
• Roberts Radio Travel Pad Portable Speaker from Glen Dimplex
• Herdwatch Subscription
• 2kg powder Extinguisher and Fire Blanket from Everard Fire
The Energy In Agriculture research poster looked for third level researchers to present projects with the highest relevance to the Energy production or efficiency in the agriculture sector. The Posters were displayed at Energy in Agriculture 2017.
In Third place is Aoife Long, a Researcher in MaREI in UCC who presents research on guarantees of origin for Biomethane and drew up a template and auditing program for Green gas in Ireland after a detailed stakeholder consultation. Certification of green gas is critical to get buy in from many of our enterprises in Ireland who are willing to pay a premium for genuine renewable energy.
In Second Place is Shane McDonagh, again from MAREI in UCC who has looked at the utilisation of excess renewable electricity to produce hydrogen for the production of methane. Shane has estimated an energy cost of 12.4c/kWh cost of energy with an energy cost of 3.5c/kWh. We currently have a small excess of electricity on windy nights, this will grow and it will be critical to be able to use technologies like this for maximisation of the value of renewable electricity.
In First place is Stephen Nolan (pictured above) from NUI Galway. Stephen analysed the destruction of pathogens from Anerobic digestion with Slurry and food production waste versus stored slurry. Stephen found that the pathogen levels of Co-mixing and Anerobic digestion were significantly lower than that of straight slurry, but still above the required Department pathogen levels. The Addition of higher energy waste products to slurrys will be critical to ensuring viability of Anerobic digestion, however we still need to get to safe pathogen levels as robustly as possible, research like this is of significant value to this debate as the parasitic energy use of pasteurisation can severly impact economic viability.
2500 people attended Energy in Agriculture 2017 in Gurteen College today. With 30 talks, 4 demos, 5 one to one clinics and 63 exhibitors, it was an action packed day at Gurteen College.
Thanks to our sponsors Gas Networks Ireland, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, Bord na Mona and the Tipperary Local Enterprise Board who made the event possible.
You can download all the presentations here
Speaking at the event Minister Naughten said that there are huge opportunities out there in the energy sector for farmers and landowners. He said that proposals for a Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme will be brought to government in September. He said he was determined to make sure the RHI benefits local farmers. The Minister expects to be making a series of announcements between now and the National Ploughing Championships.
Speaking at a panel discussion following the official opening, Barry Caslin Teagasc Energy Specialist said; “Irish farms and rural communities will be making a significant contribution to a resilient, low-carbon energy system. Despite many pioneering efforts in the past the potential of agricultural energy systems really remains largely untapped. The income provided by energy production will increase the resilience of Irish farmers. It will also provide multiple co-benefits, from increasingly rare manufacturing jobs in Ireland to carbon savings and slurry management. We need to find better ways to recognise and reward to non-energy benefits of farm scale energy systems.”
County Kilkenny farmer, James Murphy from IFA, said; “Farm-based energy provides an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between farmers and their communities through mechanisms such as shared ownership and jointly-constructed community energy plans. We need to break down the barriers that are stifling investment in sustainable farm based energy and develop a supportive regulatory, planning and financial environment.”
Paul Kenny, CEO of Tipperary Energy Agency said; “’Energy in Agriculture’ is helping farmers make informed choices about the best technologies and options for their businesses. At individual farm level an investment in renewable energy will reduce the high cost of energy inputs and also provide an additional source of income for the farm business.”
The numerous renewable energy initiatives taken by Gurteen College were on display, including a wind turbine, a biomass boiler to generate heat and recently installed solar panels on the roof of the equine arena.
The ‘Energy In Agriculture 2017’ event was jointly organised by Teagasc, Tipperary Energy Agency, Gurteen Agricultural College, Tipperary County Council and the IFA and was sponsored by SEAI, Bord na Mona, and Gas Networks Ireland.
Ahead of Energy in Agriculture 2017 on August 22, James Staines of Staines Law, talks about the Legal Considerations Concerning Renewable Energy Developments. You can book a FREE clinic with Staines Law at the event here
There has been substantial growth in renewables in particular over the last 12 – 18 months. In addition to the more established wind energy, there has been massive expansion in solar along with a renewed focus on Biomass and other forms of renewables. James has extensive experience in advising farmers and land owners on issues surrounding renewable energy to include Solar, Wind Power, Battery Storage and Biomass. These are been promoted as very attractive options for land owners. Often these projects are been promoted as a simple and straight option with no particular down side for the farmer. On the face of, it the returns from some of these projects can far exceed the return from other farm enterprises. As part of the talk, James will address issues that farmers and land owners need to be aware of when approached by solar, wind farm and other renewable companies and the range of issues they need to consider before entering into these long term agreements.
James will talk about the practical issues that these agreements will have on you and your farm business, the obligations these contracts impose on farmers and the impact on their retained lands. Exclusitivity agreements will restrict you dealing with other interested parties. Signing Grid Connection letters can again restrict your options. Option agreements restrict in many ways what you can do with your farm for extended periods of time. Solar Leases can tie you into generational length agreements. In addition, there is a range of personal issues that farmers and land owners need to consider to include farm business succession, inheritance and estate planning issues, agricultural relief/single farm payment, impact on the next generation.
Farmers also need to be aware of the many steps and hurdles that the Solar Companies have to overcome before a single penny of rent will flow. Obtaining planning, securing Grid connection, finding the large sums of finance needed to build out, awaiting the REFIT tariff from the Government allied with the issue of actual capacity on the Grid to carry all this potential electricity – all make for considerable challenges for the solar companies to fulfil their end of the agreements.
Several issues are still to be resolved to include SFP/BPS, Agricultural Relief , REFIT tariff and the use of Battery Storage which , if not addressed at the onset, can expose the farmer to substantial costs and loss of potential income.
James will also deal with issues regarding the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive scheme and potential legal issues that will arise from this new scheme and how farmers and other business can seek to benefit.
Biomass is a significant theme of the Conference and appears to be entering a more confident phase after what many felt was previously a history of false starts and disappointments. James will talk about biomass and what farmers need to consider before entering into biomass contracts and what to look for so as to ensure certainly. As part of this James will talk about how farmers should consider coming together as groups to source and supply Biomass and agree long term supply contracts with a biomass company to ensure consistent and stable fee income.
A new and exciting development at the Conference is the Legal Clinic for Energy Project advice. Organised by James Staines, the clinic will provide attendees the opportunity to talk to James, his colleague Majella Ellis from Staines Law and Owen Sweeny from Poe Kiely Hogan Lanigan Solicitors – all with experience in renewable energy projects from both the land owner and developers background.
The Legal Clinic will be running from 1.00 pm until 4.00 pm and will provide a 15 minute slot for a one to one opportunity for you to raise any questions that you may have regarding contracts for renewables, issues for your family and other items that impact upon land owners. The clinic will run from one o’clock until four o’clock. Booking is advisable through info@eneryin agriculture.ie (TBC) as there is expected to be a high demand for this though there will be some walk up slots available on the day.