Commission's approval of Ireland's Support Scheme for Renewable Heat welcomed by IrBEA
The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) warmly welcomes confirmation that the European Commission (EU) has formally approved the state aid application for the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH).
"This approval needs to be followed immediately with the launch of the SSRH scheme by Minister Bruton and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)," said Seán Finan, CEO, IrBEA.
On April 15, 2019, the European Commission approved Irelands’s Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH). The approval has been warmly welcomed by the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) that has been lobbying for many years on behalf of its members for the full implementation of the SSRH scheme which it says presents many opportunities for the Irish heat sector.
The Irish heat sector is currently in a state of stagnation. The industry has waited for many years for the opening of a support scheme for renewable heat. The approval of the Irish state aid application by the EU Commission is a positive development and is the impetus and stimulus that the industry needs at this time. This approval needs to be followed immediately with the launch of the SSRH scheme by Minister Bruton and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). Our members demand that the scheme is launched immediately so that they can begin planning and putting the necessary arrangements in place for the upcoming projects, which will be delivered under the scheme, said Seán Finan, CEO, IrBEA in a statement.
Encourage transition away from fossil fuels
According to IrBEA, the SSRH will help to decarbonise the heat sector, encourage the move from fossil-based to biomass-based heating systems, while assisting in the country’s obligations in terms of renewable heat targets.
Farmers particularly in the pig, poultry and horticulture sector will benefit. Heat users in the non-emission trading, non-single domestic, commercial, industrial, agricultural and public sectors will also benefit from this scheme. The scheme will pay an operational aid based on eligible heat use which reduces as heat output increases.
This SSRH scheme will contribute to Ireland’s heat targets under the RED II directive. The scheme needs to be properly funded and not administratively heavy which would hinder uptake. The scheme offers significant potential to decarbonise our heat sector and move away from fossil fuel sources to renewable biomass energy heating systems. IrBEA continues to play its part in the development of the biomass heating and wood fuels sector through the Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Scheme (WFQA) and also through our SEAI funded Biomass Practitioners Register project which is creating a register of competent biomass heating systems designers and installers, remarked Seán Finan.