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Ireland offers biomass support

The government of Ireland has launched new renewable energy feed-in tariffs, helping to fortify the biomass industry.

The renewable energy feed-in tariffs range from €0.15 per kilowatt hour (kWh) to €0.8.5 per kWh depending on the technology deployed, as well as a miscanthus pilot demonstration programme.

The new biomass tariffs, introduced on 24 May, support technologies including anaerobic digestion (AD), combined heat and power (CHP) and biomass combustion.

The tariffs are to be indexed and offered on a 15-year basis and include:

AD CHP equal to or less than 500 kW: 15 cents/kWh; AD CHP greater than 500 kW: 13 cents/kWh; AD (non CHP) equal to or less than 500 kW: 11 cents/kWh; AD (non CHP) greater than 500 kW: 10 cents/kWh; biomass CHP equal to or less than 1,500 kW: 14cents/kWh; Biomass CHP greater than 1,500 kW: 12 cents/kWh; and biomass combustion (including existing plants) using energy crops: 9.5 cents/kWh; for all other biomass 8.5 cents/kWh.

The legislation limits combustion to 30% of the maximum rated capacity co-firing in any plant until 2017, 40% between 2017 and 2019, and 50% thereafter.

The legislation also limits each technology in terms of eligible megawatts—AD is capped at 50MW; biomass CHP at 100MW; biomass combustion (including co-firing) at 160MW until December 2015 and no limit from January 2016 on.