Biogas energy alternative to 'monstrous turbines' could create jobs in Laois
Laois TD and Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Climate Action, Brian Stanley has today said that if we are to take climate change seriously, and to move from fossil fuels, this State needs to use all the renewable resources it has available.
One of these resources is the potential of biogas, which can improve our environment, reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, increase security of energy supply and create much needed jobs in the Midlands according to Deputy Stanley.
The SEAI state that a Biogas industry could create 3,000 jobs.
“We have a large farming sector in the Midlands.
"Biogas is generated from waste, largely farm and animal waste, and can be combined with catering/food waste.
"The use of biogas as a renewable source of energy will work to complement the intermittent nature of wind and solar energy.
"The reliance on large wind farms with monstrous turbines has caused widespread opposition to them in Laois, Offaly and Westmeath.
"Biogas will further help reduce our greenhouse gas emissions which we know are on the rise. We have an international obligation to reduce our emissions by 20% by 2020 but we will only reach 4%-6% according to the EPA.
“In the Sinn Féin proposals we outline the potential of renewable gas derived from waste.
"It has multiple uses, in generating heat, as a transport fuel or to generate electricity.
"Germany has over 8,000 biogas plants, Britain has over 600 and we are not even out of the traps. Our first project in Co. Kildare is due to become fully operational and supply the gas grid in March/April this year.
“Alongside the environmental and security of supply benefits of biogas, it also has the potential to create jobs in rural Ireland and provide a reliable revenue stream for farmers.
"Currently we have an issue with spreading farm waste including slurry.
"Biogas plants can use this waste to produce energy by turning wate into a sustainable renewable energy source. Biogas must form part of a portfolio of renewable energy sources needed to supply this island in the future and to end our over reliance on fossil fuels.
“Government and other stakeholders need to support the creation of this industry and work toward the building of the circular economy which will bring economic and environmental benefits to local communities in the Midlands," Deputy Stanley said.