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The Government's New Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff will benefit Farmers and Forestry Owners' - Minister of State McEntee

"A significant number of farmers and  forestry owners will benefit from the introduction shortly of a new Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff (REFIT) to encourage the generation of electricity from biomass sources", the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Shane McEntee TD, has said.

Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, has received notification of approval from the European Commission and he will seek approval from the Government within a couple of weeks to formally open the scheme. The REFIT 3 scheme will provide a guaranteed price for fifteen years of between 8.5 cent and 15 cent per kilowatt hour for electricity generated from renewable energy sources and exported into the national grid.

Welcoming this development, Minister of State McEntee said "I have talked to quite a number of farmers throughout the country who have been waiting on the introduction of a new REFIT scheme before getting into electricity generation from renewable sources. Since I took up my job as Minister of State I have been pushing hard for this. The scheme will allow farmers to generate a new income stream or to cut their costs through building Combined Heat and Power plants or anaerobic digestion units, for example, in dairy enterprises. It will also increase the demand and therefore the price of wood thinnings for farmers who are involved in forestry and will give a boost to the production of energy crops, for which the good quality land in Meath is very suitable".

Note for Editors - REFIT 3:

REFIT 3 will pave way for the connection of an additional 310MW of renewable energy to the grid. The technologies supported will include Combined Heat and Power (CHP) from Anaerobic Digestion and Biomass as well as Biomass Combustion including the co-firing of biomass in peat powered stations. Combined heat and power (CHP) is the simultaneous generation of usable heat and electricity in a single high efficiency process which means that more energy is gained from the raw materials used in the process. Biomass CHP is generated using biomass fuels, typically wood residues from the forest industry or straw from cereal production. Anaerobic digestion CHP is fuelled by biogas which comes from animal manures and food Industry residues.

Date Released: 22 November 2011