Welcome for the relaunch of support scheme for renewable heat

by Rachel Cunningham
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Rachel Cunningham

The Irish Bioenergy Association has welcomed the relaunch of the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) by Minister for Environment, Climate and Communication Eamon Ryan T.D. and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

Biomass heating is unique in supporting rural communities, as it can lead to cost savings to the user and also ensures that the money spent on fuel is distributed to local forest owners and a local supply chain.

In addition to the 30 biomass installations commissioned and receiving regular payments under the SSRH, there are 70 more in receipt of letters of offer to progress their projects.

The installations in receipt of payments are spread across the agriculture, industry, nursing homes, hotels and leisure centre sectors. 

Welcoming the relaunch, IrBEA CEO, Seán Finan, said: “Since the scheme opened in 2019 over 30 projects have been completed and are currently in receipt of the biomass operational aid.

“It is hoped that the relaunch and widening of the scheme will invigorate its mobilisation and the renewable heat sector in Ireland.

“With a broadened scope to include emission trading scheme (ETS) heat users, we strongly encourage non-domestic heat users to consider applying for this scheme and install a biomass heating system through the SSRH which will deliver long term environmental and economic benefits.”

He stated that the success of the SSRH scheme and broad uptake will depend on a streamlined and efficient application and administration system within SEAI. He also called for ongoing promotion of solid biomass as a business heat decarbonisation option by Minister Ryan, similar to his current strong advocacy for other technologies.

The potential for the growth and development of the solid biomass heating sector in Ireland is huge. Europe in the last two years has seen a huge growth in the deployment of solid biomass heating technology across domestic, commercial and industrial users. Solid biomass is a by-product of sustainable forest management and sustainable lumber manufacturing, it is a proven, low cost and sustainable energy source, mobilised through local supply chains, providing jobs and employment opportunities in Ireland. 

Noel Gavigan, IrBEA Technical Executive, added that there is significant potential to decarbonise non-domestic heat users from fossil fuels to renewable biomass sources through the SSRH scheme.

“We welcome the proposed widening of the SSRH to the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) sector, this is currently awaiting state aid approval from the EU and needs to be approved as quickly as possible.

“In IrBEA, we continue to promote best practice in the solid biomass heating sector by the use of quality certified wood fuel through our Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Scheme (WFQA) and best practice by IrBEA’s register of biomass heating system designers and installers,” he commented.

Click on link to read more in this weeks Digital Edition Dublin Gazette – Digital Edition – March 9, 2023 %


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