By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Wallace highlights potential of wood energy

Speaking at the County Clare Wood Energy Project Update Seminar today in Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co. Clare, Ms. Mary Wallace, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food with responsibility for forestry highlighted the contribution and versatility of wood biomass. Minister of State Wallace expressed her view "that wood biomass, more than any other renewable energy source, will play a major role in Ireland's climate change strategy and contribute to the creation of sustainable employment".

The County Clare Wood Energy Project is being carried out by Rural Resource Development Ltd (RRD Ltd) and Teagasc, with the financial assistance of the Department of Agriculture and Food. The project aims to develop a market for wood energy in Co. Clare by supporting and encouraging local businesses to switch to wood energy heating systems and facilitating farm forest growers in County Clare to work together to supply the wood energy, in the form of woodchip.

While acknowledging that overall energy policy rested with the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, she added that the role of her Department is to support and encourage the production and supply of raw material to the emerging wood energy sector. She added that the Government already provide very attractive grants to farmers under the Afforestation Grant and Premium Scheme and advised of the recent increases in the forestry grant rates for which she had secured agreement from the European Commission.

Noting that a number of businesses in Co. Clare, with the support of the Rural Resource Development Ltd, were exploring the feasibility of switching their heating systems to indigenous wood biomass fuels, she commented that she had visited a number of businesses throughout the country which have switched to wood energy and that it was useful for such businesses to share their experiences with others as its creates understanding of the work involved, the outlay, the payback time and the overall benefits of wood energy.

Referring to the Project, the Minister of State commented that "it is not only important for the development of wood energy resource in Ireland but also for the overall development of forestry in Ireland" and hoped that it would serve as a template for initiatives in other parts of the country.

14 December, 2006

Date Released: 14 December 2006