McKinsey & Co, consultants to the Irish government, have recently placed AD biomethane in the top 25 recommendations to reduce carbon emissions in agriculture – at a pricing of €85 per tonne of CO2 abated. RGFI welcomed the McKinsey figures which are in line with the 2019 KPMG Integrated Business Case for Biomethane in Ireland – which shows an overall positive benefit-cost ratio of 1.26 through to 2050, for producing biomethane from agricultural feedstocks.
Across Europe renewable gas production is seen as an essential part of a greener future for agriculture, food production, energy production and consumption. It is recognised as being sustainable in terms of the environment, climate action and also the rural economy.
Over the past 30 years, over 17,500 AD plants have been developed across Europe. There are around 60 plants in operation in Northern Ireland. These plants have created an additional income for farming enterprise for many farmers, as well as creating a new market for organic wastes and slurries.
Ireland has the potential to be a leader in renewable gas (biomethane) production, primarily due to our grass-based agriculture. With its unique environmental and circular economy attributes, renewable gas produced by the AD process represents a significant opportunity for the Irish Government to move in line with the European Commission’s Green Deal strategy and embrace a low carbon future.
IFA president Tim Cullinane said in the Irish Farmers Journal (9May) that many farmers were enthusiastic about getting involved in renewables. There is a real opportunity for the Irish government to address the need to support farm scale and larger anaerobic digester plants.