REFIT policy

To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources further to Parliamentary Question No 30 of 1 June 2010 if he will report on the progress of the REFIT policy document; if this document has gone to the EU; if he still supports his statement of the 26 of April 2010 that miscanthus is a possible option for farmers to become part of the renewable energy cycle here; If he will give full support to this industry. – Dan Neville.

* For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 29th September, 2010.

Ref No: 32212/10

REPLY

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Mr. E. Ryan)

The Renewable Energy Feed In Tariffs (REFIT) for bioenergy, which I announced earlier this year, require State Aid clearance from the European Commission before they can be implemented. My Department is currently finalising the State Aid application for submission to the Commission.

Miscanthus remains a realistic option for consideration as an energy crop, together with other energy crops, for co-firing at the peat power plants as well as for renewable heat. There are technical issues in relation to Miscanthus to be resolved, and there are likely to be limitations on the overall amount of miscanthus that can be used. Allthough the volume already present in the market can be utilised fully. The extent to which further expansion of Miscanthus production can be achieved remains under assessment.