PRESS RELEASE: IrBEA Welcomes SSRH State Aid Approval and Calls for Immediate Opening of the Scheme

16/04/2019

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) warmly welcomes the confirmation that the EU has formally approved the state aid application for the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH). This scheme needs to open immediately in response to the state aid approval.

IrBEA CEO Seán Finan said “the Irish heat sector is currently in a state of stagnation. The industry has waited for many years for the opening of a support scheme for renewable heat. The approval of the Irish state aid application by the EU Commission is a positive development and is the impetus and stimulus that the industry needs at this time. This approval needs to be followed immediately with the launch of the SSRH scheme by Minister Bruton and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). Our members demand that the scheme is launched immediately so that they can begin planning and putting the necessary arrangements in place for the upcoming projects, which will be delivered under the scheme. ”

IrBEA has lobbying for many years on behalf of its members for the full implementation of the SSRH scheme which presents many opportunities for the Irish heat sector. The SSRH will help to decarbonise the heat sector, encourage the move from fossil based to biomass based heating systems, while assisting in our obligations in terms of renewable heat targets. Farmers particularly in the pig, poultry and horticulture sector will benefit. Heat users in the non-emission trading, non-single domestic, commercial, industrial, agricultural and public sectors will also benefit from this scheme. The scheme will pay an operational aid based on eligible heat use which reduces as heat output increases.

Finan concluded “this SSRH scheme will contribute to Ireland’s heat targets under the RED II directive. The scheme needs to be properly funded and not administratively heavy which would hinder uptake. The scheme offers significant potential to decarbonise our heat sector and move away from fossil fuel sources to renewable biomass energy heating systems. IrBEA continues to play its part in the development of the biomass heating and wood fuels sector through the Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Scheme (WFQA) and also through our SEAI funded Biomass Practitioners Register project which is creating a register of competent biomass heating systems designers and installers. ” 
For further information please Contact Seán Finan IrBEA CEO on 087 4146480

The Irish Partners IrBEA & WDC visit Germany for Interreg EU RE-DIRECT Conference in Baden Baden

IrBEA and the Western Development Commissions are Irish Partners on the Interreg EU REDIRECT project. Sean Finan and Teresa O’Brien from IrBEA had 3 productive days in Baden-Baden last week, a partners meeting took place on the Monday where all partners reported on developments and work done under the RE-DIRECT project in their jurisdiction.

On the second day 80 participants including several Irish companies visited a Pyreg plant in Baden-Baden – Eigenbetrieb Umwelttechnik. This plant has heat contracts with municipal consumers of bioenergy and biofuels with public buildings such as schools and libraries. The partner is responsible for the treatment of organic waste and the waste water treatment of the city of Baden-Baden.

This plant acts as a depot for the delivery of all organic waste and storage for the town. In this facility pre-treated green waste – timber, chip, roadside cuttings, manure, and garden waste from the surrounding municipality is processed using IFBB technology, the technology is aimed to develop an environmentally-friendly biofuel production by using green cuttings and waste water. It’s a working model of a circular economy by focusing on utilising abandoned urban, natural and agricultural areas for biomass and by being processed produces fuel, electricity, heat and biochar for water filtration.

Pyreg Plant in Baden Baden  – The second picture shows the pipe feeding activated carbon

with reactor in the background.

   
       

80 attend the visit to the Pyreg Unit in Baden Baden the first picture shows the Pyreg

process with the steps mapped & outputs of activated carbon, gas, heat and electricity  shown                

    

The German partners – Eigenbetrieb Umwelttechnik have successful built this biochar plant with the support of EU Interreg projects like COMBINE and now RE-DIRECT, delegates last week had a chance to see this plant up and running with an engineer talking through the processes at work.

The goal of the RE-DIRECT project is to convert 20.000t of unused biomass into carbon products. Activated carbon and biochar can be used for many things – alternative feed-stock for products in agricultural, waste-water, health and care product industries. In this case Germany requires tight regulations in the purification water plants primarily for the reduction of pharmaceutical residue in the water, so this plant produces high grade activated carbon which is used in the water filtration system of the town’s water supply located next to the facility.

The third day was followed by a conference – Smart Use of Biomass for Alternative Carbon Products We had strong speakers from the University of Kassel, Dr Michael Wachendorf who elaborated on the RE-DIRECT project and Dr Frank Hensgen spoke about the technical feasibility and ecological sustainability of developing a market for activated carbon and biochar. Dr Nikolas Hageman from Ithaka Institute which is a centre for collaboration on all things that are carbon related spoke about finding carbon intelligent solutions, the Institute is known for its expertise in production, post-production treatment and use of biochar. The Irish Partners – Western Development Commission were represented by Clodagh Barry who spoke about the economic investment potential in the region of Ireland. The day was wrapped up with discussion groups around building markets and developing awareness, all in all it was a productive few days of knowledge sharing and network building, certainly our Irish delegates who came to the conference seemed to feel they got a lot out of the event both in terms of meeting people and understanding the market place.

 

Pictured at the recently organised Interreg NW EU REDIRECT Project 2 day Partners meeting, Conference and site visit organised by the German partners of the RE-DIRECT Project – Q2. Back Row L to R – Sean Finan (IrBEA CEO) Peter Layden (Arigna Fuels) Bernard Carey (Loughderg Charcoal) Stephen McCormack (Western Development Commission) Maria O’Connell (Mayo County Council) Robert Johnson (Arigna Fuels), Louis Ward (Ward Agricultural Consultants) Front Row L to R – Clodagh Barry (Western Development Commission) Savithri Senaratne (Hydros) Teresa O’Brien (IrBEA) Louise Ward (Ward Agricultural Consultants

IrBEA Develop Biomass Designers and Installers Register

In October 2018 IrBEA received a grant offer from Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI) to develop a Biomass Designers and Installers Register.

For a number of years, members have reported that some commercial biomass installations have not functioned correctly. This can be for a multitude of reasons including poor designs, incorrect installations or bad management of boilers. By creating a register of designers and installers who have demonstrated a level of experience, IrBEA feel this will help to professionalise the industry.

In late November, the IrBEA Management Committee recommended the creation of a sub-group of IrBEA members to start developing rules for this register and begin the project work. This sub-group has met twice to date and IrBEA members who are not currently involved are very welcome to join.

To read some of the background to this project and it’s key objectives read more HERE

IrBEA ran a successful 2 day course for Biomass Installers and Designers on the 4th and 5th of February in Dublin. The course was presented by David Palmer. David is a specialist with extensive expertise and experience in the design  and installation of biomass boiler systems. David has worked with IrBEA over the years. It is likely that attendance at this course, or subsequent similar courses (a second course may be run in June or July 2019) will be a requirement for companies to join the register. If you are interested in participating in this 2 day training course or if you have any questions on the Biomass Practitioners Register project please get in touch with Sean Finan at seanfinan@irbea.org

Pictured at the recently organised IrBEA 2 day Biomass design and installation training course organised as part of the IrBEA /  SEAI Biomass Practitioners Register Project and held at the Carlton Hotel Dubln Airport were: Back Row L to R – Simeon Walsh (Filtrex), Ryan Barker (Fichtner Consulting Engineers), Ryan Crawford (Alternative Heat) Gerry Darcy (Udarus na Gaeltachta), Ciaran Miller (Clearpower), Niall Mc Namara (Bord na Mona) Lee Kelly (Keltech Heat Services) Middle   L to R – Graham Whelan (Biomass Engineering), Kenny Mc Cauley (McCauley Wood Fuels), David Butler (Woodco Energy) Declan Crosse (Woodco Energy) Tim Ryan (Woodco Energy) Bobbie Milligan (Colloide Engineering) David Flynn (Wood2Go) Phillip Goode ( Noel Lawlor Consulting Engineering) Denis Phelan ( Noel Lawlor Consulting Engineering) Blaine Warnock (CHP Mechanical) Front  L to R – John Smyth (CHP mechanical) George Hegan (Hegan Biomass) Alan Hegan (Hegan Biomass) Sean Finan (IrBEA CEO), Denis Neary (SEAI), David Palmer (IrBEA Trainer), Denis Deering (Smart Power), Pat Durkan (Urban Biomass) Micheál Galvin (Enviroeye Engineering) Missing from Photo: Mark Kenny (Biomass Engineering) 

PRESS RELEASE: IrBEA National Bioenergy Conference – Bioenergy Future Ireland – Croke Park Dublin

Swift Government Action on Policy needed to Mobilise Bioenergy

The need for the government to immediately open the main support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) and to progress with a feed in tariff for biogas were the top priorities for delegates attending todays Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) conference held at Croke Park.

The theme of the conference sponsored by CPL Industries and DWF is Mobilising Bioenergy with Policy and Action. The conference brings together delegates from across the main bioenergy sectors of biomass, biogas, biofuels and energy crops who gather to discuss the actions needed to mobilise the bioenergy industry with a particular focus on technology, investment and the climate change agenda as we transition to more renewables and sustainable energy sources.

The potential for the bioenergy sector in Ireland is huge and swift government action on bioenergy policy can accelerate economic growth, sustain thousands of jobs especially in rural areas, improve environmental quality, drastically cut CO2 emissions, assist in meeting our international renewable energy commitments and avoiding EU fines.

Speaking in his opening address Seán Finan CEO of IrBEA stated Our immediate priority is the roll out of the full SSRH scheme. The industry has had many promised and expected launch dates of SSRH which have come and gone. The industry eagerly awaits the launch of this scheme. We call on Minister Bruton to clarify today the timelines for the scheme launch. The industry demand certainty on the scheme timelines as they are currently organising staffing and work plans for the remainder of the year 

Opening the conference, Chair of the joint Oireachtas Committee on Communication, Climate Action and Environment Hildegarde Naughton T.D.  updated all attendees on the work of her committee and the role bioenergy can play in addressing the climate change challenges facing Ireland.

In his presentation President of the Irish Bioenergy Association Des OToole and Coilltes Biomass Development Manager highlighted the potential for forestry and biomass as key elements of our bioenergy sector.

Mr OToole said The bioenergy sector is a key part of the overall forestry ecosystem and has an important part to play in its growth. As well as contributing towards Irelands ambitious renewable energy targets and Irelands transition from a fossil-fuel based economy to a low carbon economy, the expected growth in demand for biomass will be a key outlet for the increased supply of fibre projected over the next 10 years’’. 

Paddy Phelan Vice President of IrBEA said Clear and obvious economic benefits of the local energy supply chain and its natural position as a low carbon energy supply, which will future proof us within the Renewable Energy Directive II requirements of less than 60g of CO2 per unit of energy produced by 2026 on the island Ireland.

IrBEA actively promotes the huge potential for development of a meaningful biogas industry in Ireland.

Finan continued As an agriculture country, we have an abundance of feedstock. There are many benefits for biogas across many government departments. These include reducing agricultural emissions, improving water quality, economic and jobs in rural and decarbonisation of our gas network and transport fleet with green gas to name but a few

For a biogas industry to be stimulated it will need a government support in terms of a feed in tariff. A high percentage of a tariff provided would go directly back to farmers in rural Ireland for the purchase of feedstock by biogas operators.

Finan concluded This support needs to be assessed by looking at the multi benefits of biogas from a climate, emissions reduction, jobs perspective across a number of government department rather than looking at this as simply a financial cost to the exchequer.

ENDS

CONTACT:   Seán Finan, IrBEA CEO,   +353 87 4146480 or seanfinan@irbea.org

EDITORS NOTES:

Photo Attached: Des OToole IrBEA President and Coillte Business Development Manager, Chair of the joint Oireachtas Committee on Communication, Climate Action and Environment Hildegarde Naughton T.D.  Sean Finan CEO IrBEA

 

Minister Bruton to Submit Draft National Energy and Climate Plan to European Commission

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Richard Bruton T.D. yesterday the first draft of Ireland’s National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP). It will now be submitted to the European Commission. A final plan will have to be submitted in twelve months’ time. From then on, all member states will be required to outline their energy and climate policies in detail each year, for the period 2021 to 2030, and onwards to 2050. IrBEA will take time to review this document and revert back to members for feedback in the new year.
The link to draft NECP plan is available here.

Publication of CRM Supported Capacity Mandatory Status Consultation Paper

The latest news from the SEM Committee is the CRM Consultation Paper which looks at concerns raised by market participants regarding an interaction between REFIT and supported dispatchable generation capacity’s mandatory participation status in the CRM. The purpose of this consultation paper is to look at this issue and proposed possible options. Responses to the consultation paper should be sent by 17.00 on Friday, 11 January 2019.
SEM-18-176: CRM Supported Capacity Mandatory Status Consultation Paper – the document can be found here

Installation of Ireland’s first Renewable Gas Injection Facility

Installation of Ireland’s first Renewable Gas injection facility is underway this week with the Grid Injection Unit delivery from Thyson Technologies to the site at Cush, Co Kildare. NRGE are the Project Team for this installation. The installation will be capable of injecting 10 million M3 of renewable gas annually. It is a small step on the road to meeting Ireland’s carbon reduction commitments.

Seán Finan Talks to Agriland About Irish Bioenergy Association and the Potential for Biogas

Calls are mounting for a biogas industry to be rolled out nationwide in a bid to bolster farm incomes and reduce Ireland’s agricultural carbon footprint. This week sees episode 15 of Farmland, Seán Finan, the CEO of the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) urges the Government to develop policy and financial supports to bolster the sector. IrBEA believes a biogas  industry could sustain rural economies into the future. He talks in details about IRBEA role in developing the bioenergy sector in the Island of Ireland both north and south, he also focuses on the imminent launch of the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat. View this 15 minute interview covering a wide range of topics between Claire McCormack and  Seán Finan here

IrBEA Submission to National Energy and Climate Plan Consultation

Members can find the IrBEA submission to the National Energy and Climate Plan Consultation here. We would like to thank all the members who provided feedback for inclusion in the document. If any member has any queries on any aspect of the submission please feel free to contact Seán Finan at seanfinan@irbea.org

Report from Biochar & Activated Carbon Conference


The Irish BioEnergy Association (IrBEA) and the Western Development Commission (WDC) are the Irish partners in the Interreg North West European project called RE-DIRECT . This project  supports turning waste, low value or residual biomass into high value carbon products such as Biochar and Activated Carbon.
As part of the project, IrBEA and the WDC hosted a conference recently in Claremorris around the areas of biochar and activated carbon and the potential they could hold for the region. The event brought 70 attendees from around Ireland and across Europe including international experts as well as regional and national stakeholders. Sean Finan, CEO of the Irish Bioenergy Association said, ‘we want to highlight the potential that biochar holds for agriculture, how an indigenous source of activated carbon could help improve our water quality as well as how biomass can be utilised for carbon sequestration and energy purposes.’
The vision is to establish regional hubs where biomass from the surrounding areas can be converted into biochar or activated carbon. These are charcoal-like materials that are very porous with large internal surface areas and a high capacity to absorb contaminants. This makes them useful for a wide variety of applications ranging from waste water treatment to soil amendment and remediation, to gas cleaning. The innovative pyrolysis technology used can also produce a clean renewable fuel.
Press from the Event – Turning Low Value Biomass into High Value Activated Carbon
The 11 project partners from RE-DIRECT are from Belgium, UK, France, Wales, Germany and Ireland. This technology has been developed at a pilot site at the Baden-Baden City’s Environmental Division in Germany and under this project a 20,000 t/year plant will be built to assist the filtration of the municipal water. In Wales last week a IFBB (integrated generation of solid fuel and biogas from biomass) plant has arrived from Scotland and delivered to our Welsh Partners at Cwn Harry Trust to be installed on their farm site.