Some 80 farmers, technology providers, engineers, regulators and academics discussed the barriers to, and potential of, an on-farm biogas industry.
Guest speakers looked at the Green Farm project, an SFI-funded collaboration between NUIG, Teagasc and WIT. The project is led by NUIG’s Professor Xinmin Zhan, Teagasc’s Peadar Lawlor and WIT’s Gillian Gardiner. It is investigating the technical and economic viability of on-farm anaerobic digestion of pig manure and food waste.
NUIG’s Prof Xinmin Zhan said: “The panel discussion yielded great insights into the impact that the introduction of a renewable heat tariff would have on the industry, the need to look critically at the potential of food waste as a substrate, and the crucial role access to finance has to play in the development of a biogas industry. The success of this event highlights the heightened interest there is in developing the biogas industry in Ireland.”
Speakers included: Denis Dineen, SEAI; Justin Byrne, Department of Agriculture; John Toner, WIS Group; and Conor McEntegart and James Brown of Gas Networks Ireland.
The workshop featured an overview of the state of play on the contribution that the biogas industry makes to Ireland’s fuel mix, and its potential to help Ireland meet its targets on renewable heat, transport and electricity.
Attendees also discussed animal by-product rules for biogas plants, and common pitfalls for developers applying for animal by-product licences.
They also discussed technology solutions for biogas plants, and the upgrading of farm-generated biogas and injection of this biomethane into the natural gas grid.