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Wallace launches Bioenergy 2007 Exhibition

Speaking at the launch of the Bioenergy 2007 Exhibition to be held in Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow in August, Ms. Mary Wallace T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food with responsibility for Forestry, highlighted the contribution and versatility of wood biomass.

Minister of State Wallace commented "wood biomass will play a major role in Ireland's climate change strategy and contribute to the creation of sustainable employment in rural areas".

The Minister of State said that bioenergy offers a real, feasible and cost effective alternative to imported fossil fuels and added "This event provides us with an opportunity to understand and appreciate the alternatives which are available". Focussing on her own area of responsibility, Minister of State Wallace was pleased to note that "with the development of a real market for wood energy, a new and significant alternative source of income is also now emerging for farmers and other landowners."

The Minister added that there are also new market opportunities for farmers in the area of purpose grown energy crops for use as a renewable source of energy in the heat, electricity and liquid biofuels markets. "€14 million will be made available over the next three years to encourage farmers to grow energy crops. The funding includes €8 million for a new Bioenergy Scheme to encourage farmers to grow miscanthus and willow to produce heat and electricity. An additional €6 million is being provided for a new national payment of €80 per hectare, which will be paid as a top-up to the €45 EU premium available under the EU Energy Crops Scheme. I am confident that these measures will encourage farmers to consider energy crops as an alternative land use option".

She concluded by saying "I commend COFORD, Teagasc and Sustainable Energy Ireland for their collaboration in organising such a comprehensive event including an exhibition, conference, seminar and workshop sessions. This exhibition is timely and I hope it will add to people's understanding of the use and benefits of biomass".

Admittance to the event is free of charge.

6 July, 2007

Date Released: 06 July 2007