Fianna Fáil MEP, Billy Kelleher is urging farmers and the wider public to engage with a new government consultation on the development of a biogas market in Ireland.

“Last week, the Government launched a consultation on a renewable health obligation scheme whereby a proportion of all the fuel used in the heating sector in Ireland must come from renewable sources,” added Kelleher, a member of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee.

“Ireland has a ready-to-go supply of renewable gas from our agricultural sector. This opportunity must be jumped on quickly, and that is why I want to see as many people give the Government their opinions on this proposed scheme.

“However, we need to be honest with our selves. We are already trailing the rest of Europe. Many of our European colleagues have well-developed biogas markets supplied from on-farm Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facilities. In Germany, for example, there are over 9000 such AD plants.

“The Irish dairy industry is continuing to grow, and we must find a way of mitigating against the increase in methane emissions. Anaerobic digestion of dairy emissions is a proven way of reducing net carbon emissions and of providing an additional source of income for farm families.

“Growing the AD industry with a view to developing an Irish biogas market is a no-brainer in my mind. Government, industry and the farming sector must grab this opportunity quickly,” concluded Kelleher.