Heat consumes y one-third of energy supply and is  dependent on fossil fuels. The alternatives to fossil fuels for direct heating include

  • biomass,
  • Combined Heat and Power (CHP), and
  • geothermal energy.


The target was 12 per cent renewable heat by 2020 in the Renewable Energy Action Plan 2010.


Renewables generated 6 per cent of electricity in 2008.


Bioheat and other renewable energy supports were put in place under a Bioenergy Action Plan 2007, administered by SEAI.


The Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions Act) 2006  conferred greater discretion on the Commission for Energy Regulation in licensing electricity from renewable, sustainable and alternative forms of energy such as Combined Heat and Power sources.


It implemented Directive 2004/8 on the promotion of cogeneration based on a useful heat demand in the internal energy market. It  harmonised the way in which different forms of CHP are calculated with other EU Member States. It enabled the CER to calculate y power-to-heat ratios of  CHP units.

The Department of Energy developed a plan to meet CHP targets.. Grant schemes administered by SEAI were provided for Combined Heat and Power Deployment with a percentage of costs and research on feasibility being met


This CHP Deployment sought to  increase the use of smaller scale biomass CHP systems across Ireland in accordance with the requirements of Directive 2004/8. Tthe grant schemes for the CHP deployment programme, the Energy Efficiency Retrofit Programme and the Renewable Heat Deployment programmes were withdrawn in 2011 due to the financial crisis


The installation of CHP was exempted from the requirement for  planning permissions for smaller CHP plants granted in the Planning and Development Regulations 2007 and 2008.


The Department of Agriculture and Food provided grants for planting perennial ss (willow and miscanthus) in 2007 under EC Regulation 1698/2005 on support for rural development.


All integration pollution control licences granted by the EPA must  be energy efficient. It has also facilitated the use of biomass to generate heat by its interpretation of waste legislation.


The EPA has therefore removed regulatory barriers associated with compliance with waste legislation by deeming the reuse of certain byproducts not to require regulation under the waste legislation.


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