First National Bio-Energy Conference

TEAGASC and the Department of Agriculture and Food have come together to organise the first National Bio-Energy Conference.

It will be held at Dunboyne Castle, Co Meath, on March 6 and on the following day at the Park Hotel, Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

Agri-Vision for Bio-Energy is the theme of the conference which aims to explore the commercial opportunities for biofuel and biomass production in Ireland. It will take place against a background of a growing level of interest in this exciting new industry.

Forestry Minister Mary Wallace said the conference is timely, given the bio-energy initiatives which are being introduced to stimulate the production of energy crops.

These include the introduction of grants for farmers for up to 50% of the cost of establishing miscanthus and willow.

Teagasc senior researcher Bernard Rice will outline the biofuel options for Ireland.

A review of Government policy on renewable energy will be presented by Martin Finucane, principal officer, Sustainable and Renewable Energy Division, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources.

British Biomass Task Force chairman Sir Ben Gill will outline the potential for second generation biofuels.

Raymond O’Malley, the well-known beef and tillage farmer from Ardee, Co Louth, will give both a farmer’s and a processor’s perspective of the opportunities that oilseed rape offers as a fuel crop.

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