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Minister Coveney announces 2013 Bioenergy Scheme for Willow and Miscanthus

Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, has today announced the launch of the 2013 Bioenergy Scheme to grant aid the planting of willow and miscanthus crops.  The Bioenergy Schemes have supported the planting of some 3,250 hectares of energy crops since 2007.

Announcing the 2013 Scheme, the Minister said "the early launch of the Bioenergy Scheme for 2013 will help to build on the progress made since 2007 in developing the energy crops sector in Ireland.  It will also provide an opportunity for prospective growers to make an early decision on planting energy crops in 2013 and facilitate the assessment of lands with potential for inclusion in prospective applications at a time of year that should avoid the adverse winter weather conditions experienced in recent years. The Scheme is now open for applications and interested farmers can apply for establishment grants of up to €1,300 per hectare to cover 50% of the cost of establishing these crops".

The Minister added "the allocation for the Bioenergy Scheme in 2013 will be decided in the context of the Budget and Estimates for 2013 and I am confident that the continued support through the Bioenergy Scheme, taken together with the REFIT tariffs for biomass introduced earlier this year, will result in increased interest from farmers who wish to move into energy crop production."

The closing date for submission of applications for pre-planting approval is Friday 12th October 2012. Details of the 2013 Bioenergy Scheme and application forms can be obtained from Biofuels Policy Unit, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Kea-Lew Business Park, Mountrath Road, Portlaoise, Co. Laois.  Telephone 057-8692231/8692240 or at www.agriculture.gov.ie

Note to Editors

The legal basis for the Bioenergy Scheme is Council Regulation (EC) No. 1698/2005, as amended, on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. Eligible costs include ground preparation operations, vegetation management, planting and the purchase of planting stock.

Date Released: 01 August 2012