Ireland’s first large-scale biomethane injection facility in Cork is big step to green transition

Cork Chamber, the voice of business in Cork, welcomes Gas Networks Ireland’s announcement to invest €30million in Ireland’s first large-scale co-operative farm-based renewable gas injection facility in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork.
“The investment by Gas Networks Ireland in the Mitchelstown renewable gas injection facility is hugely significant and could not have come at a more pressing time as climate action and energy independence have been pushed to the forefront of our members’, but also society’s priorities,” said Rory Kelleher, Director of Sustainability at Cork Chamber. 
“The production of biomethane through anaerobic digestion is the very embodiment of a circular bioeconomy solution and is a critical component in decarbonising energy, agriculture, transport and heat in Cork and nationally. There are many economic, societal and environmental benefits, including the valuable by-product, a nutrient rich organic fertiliser, digestate.”
“This could support Cork’s recent designation to be carbon-neutral by 2030 as biomethane can be used as transport fuel for suburban buses. This large-scale production model will also provide an additional revenue stream for farmers, enhancing the sustainability of Irish agriculture and supporting rural development through the creation of 6,500 new jobs,” he said.
“In the context of the war in Ukraine and the consequential rising energy prices, increasing Ireland’s energy security and independence through an indigenous and diverse supply of renewable energy has never been more critical. It also leverages Ireland’s exemplary cooperative model to provide secure sustainable feedstocks.”
“It is vital that we keep this momentum going. To enable the accelerated wide-scale deployment of anaerobic digestion, the next RESS auction must include a specific category to support co-operative-led biomethane initiatives along with developer, community and farm-led projects. A clear national strategy for anaerobic digestion and biomethane production is required.”
“For renewables, it is critical that investor confidence be backed by supportive regulatory actions and the timely processing of applications. The private sector is ready to work with Government to provide a clean, cost-effective, indigenous energy supply for all of society.”