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Creed responds to Students Climate Change Demonstrations By announcing up to €10m available to fund on-farm renewables

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., today announced a series of exciting new grants available for Irish farms under the TAMS on-farm investment scheme. The new measure will make €10m worth of grants available for energy efficiencies and renewable energy technologies, following a comprehensive review of the TAMS scheme designed to increase its focus on sustainability.

Speaking today Minister Creed commented “a comprehensive review of the investment items available under TAMS has been carried out by my Department. The review factored in the latest available technologies to further drive energy efficiency at farm level and reduce electricity use on farms. This is part of the wider drive to position Irish agriculture as a global leader in sustainability and these investments will further enhance those credentials”.

The new grants will be available for farmers from the next tranche of TAMS opening 5 April next. Eligible investments include:

1. Solar PV Installation on Farms – to extend current availability under the scheme to all sectors. Grant aid in this initial pilot phase of up to €9,300 or up to 60% of the overall cost will be available to fund a 6kWp solar system;

2. LED Lighting –all lighting funded under the scheme will be required to be LED lighting. LED Lighting uses a fraction of the electricity consumed by conventional lighting. The current specifications for TAMS II include lighting in all new farm structures. In future, only LED lighting only will now be grant aided.

The Minister concluded “I have listened to Irish farmers on this issue and their enthusiasm to invest in on-farm renewable technologies. I am pleased to be responding with these new grants. The TAMS scheme is already a significant investor in improving energy efficiency on Irish farms and we keep the scheme under constant review. Any new and emerging technologies will continue to be monitored with a view to their inclusion in future if feasible”.

Notes for Editors:
• TAMS II provides grant aid for a number of investments specifically aimed at improving energy efficiency in the farming sector. Examples of these include Plate coolers, Heat Transfer Units and Internal Ice Builders for the Dairy Sector. The Pigs and Poultry Scheme and the Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme provides grant aid for biomass boilers, electrical heat pads, energy efficient LED lighting, indirect heating systems, solar panels for water heating and electricity production, ventilation fans and control systems, insulation for doors, roofs and walls, air source heat pumps and heat recovery units

• Solar panels which generate DC electricity when exposed to light are known as ‘solar photovoltaic (PV) modules’. The economics for solar PV work best when all of the electricity generated is used on the farm. Energy generated will solely be for agricultural use on the farm

• A solar PV system size for a dairy farm of approx. 5.5kWp combined with a 4.5kWh of battery storage capacity. Grant aid in this initial pilot phase will be to fund a 6kWp solar system. Costs are based on the cost of installation of a 6kWp solar system; this includes a battery which is necessary to capture the energy output thereby making it economically viable. At this maximum size the grant provided at the 40% rate would be €6,200 and at 60% it would be €9,300.

• The allocated budget for TAMS II over the full course of the RDP is €395m. The budget for 2019 is €70m.

• There are a suite of seven measures for on-farm investments available under the TAMS scheme which has been opened for applications in rolling three month tranches.

o A total of over 23,750 applications have been received to date.
o Over 19,500 approvals have issued.
o Payment claims for completed approved works have been submitted and paid to over 8,000 participants.
o In value terms this has resulted in payments of over €117.5m issuing to date, over €15.5m of this issuing in 2019 to date.
o Approvals will continue to issue and payment claims submitted paid on an ongoing basis. Weekly payments currently average €1.2m.