Speaking at the relaunch event in Dublin, IrBEA CEO Seán Finan said: “We welcome the relaunch of the SSRH scheme for biomass and anaerobic digestion heat systems. 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.”
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.
Biomass heating is unique in supporting rural communities, delivering not only cost savings to the user but also ensuring that the money spent on fuel is distributed to local forest owners and a local supply chain.
Finan continued: “The success of the SSRH scheme and broad uptake depends on:
- A streamlined and efficient application and administration system within SEAI
- A dedicated press and promotional campaign by SEAI with assistance from stakeholders promoting solid biomass as a decarbonisation option for commercial heating requirements for Irish businesses.
- Ongoing promotion of solid biomass as a business heat decarbonisation option by Minister Ryan similar to his current strong advocacy for other technologies.
- Consideration of the potential need for an additional fifth tier of tariff payments to make it attractive to larger energy users to avail of the scheme in line with the broadening of the scope to the ETS sector.”
The potential for the growth and development of the solid biomass heating sector in Ireland is huge, said IrBEA. In the last two years, Europe has seen a huge growth in the deployment of solid biomass heating technology across domestic, commercial and industrial users.