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Energy Crop Information and Demonstration Day

Irish renewable energy resources have the potential to make a positive impact to energy security, to reducing greenhouse gases and to increasing indigenous economic activity. Delegates at an energy crop information seminar and willow harvesting demonstration in Carlow on Friday, 26 November heard how Ireland's climate is favourable to growing biomass crops and has the potential to contribute to Ireland’s future energy needs, providing significant economic and environmental benefits. At local level, producers and processors are meeting consumers’ energy needs, redirecting money previously spent on fuel imports, to create sustainable jobs in rural areas.

Teagasc and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) organised the Energy Crop Information and Demonstration event which took place at the Teagasc Crops, Environment and Land Use Research Centre, Oak Park Carlow.

Teagasc Bioenergy Specialist Barry Caslin said: "Leading technology experts from Ireland shared their experiences on the potential markets and the possibilities for further developing outlets for energy crops. The impact of increasing the use of energy crops, both regionally and nationally, and the contribution this could make to local economies were outlined."

Teagasc Researcher John Finnan provided a detailed guide to planting, growing, and harvesting willow and miscanthus. Standing willow and miscanthus plantations were viewed with the latest research and information on growing the crops provided. Willow harvesting, using a Bio Baler took place. This machine was demonstrated in Ireland for the first time at this event.