Renewable energy contributes two percent to total primary energy requirement in Ireland. At present, energy crops are not produced at a commercial level.
A. INSTITUTIONAL ASPECTS
Irish RE policy is outlined in a document "RE Strategy for the future" launched in April 1996. It set a target of 10 percent electricity generating capacity from renewables by 2000. There is no a specific national policy for the development of biomass, however the Government has promoted the use of bioenergy through several initiatives. Among them are set targets for electricity generation from biomass and supports for biomass-fuelled power plants.
B. LEGAL ASPECTS
_ FINANCIAL REGULATION
FINANCIAL INCENTIVES FOR THE PRODUCTION OF ENERGY CROPS
Set-aside regulation exists in Ireland. In Northern Ireland the Woodland scheme provides financial aid for the establishment of SRC.
FINANCIAL INCENTIVES FOR THE CONVERSION OF ENERGY CROPS
There are no financial incentives. Energy crops in Ireland do not receive the financial support to become economically viable even though they are officially supported by Irish Government policy.
FINANCIAL INCENTIVES FOR THE UTILISATION OF ENERGY CROPS
The National Abatement Strategy provides capital grants and subsidies unit cost for electricity sales.
The Alternative Energy Requirement (AER) acts through price support, an average of four percent for renewables and three percent for CHP.
No standards are identified for woodfuels.