Report on ‘Growing the Irish Bioeconomy’ – COFORD Report September 2017

The gross output of the Irish forest sector is set to double by 2035 against a backdrop of increasing carbon constraint, this creates many opportunities for the Irish Bioeconomy. COFORD have produced a report on Growing the Irish Forest Bioeconomy which provides a vision of a healthy forest bioeconomy, creating sustainable jobs in rural Ireland and supporting national land-use carbon reduction and climate adaption objectives. It is an accessible document with plenty of infographics, key points and statistics. It includes an interesting piece on ‘12 Proposals for Growing a Vibrant Forest Bioeconomy in Ireland’, view the report here


Western Development Commission & SEAI Undertakes Biomass Survey in Ireland

The Western Development Commission (WDC) along with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) are tasked to complete a regional renewable energy analysis on the use of biomass as a local contribution to the national renewable heat target. They wish to develop a range of actions to support the development of renewable energy in the region under the Action Plan for Jobs. This will inform how we support and develop biomass use in this region. They are keen to understand more about how businesses operate their own heating systems and if they have any plans for further biomass investment or use.  They would also like to know your general views on the biomass sector.

All information provided will be treated in strict confidence, you are encouraged to participation in this on-line questionnaire and contribute to the report. Start the questionnaire here


Bord na Móna Bioenergy Plan to Invest in Wood Pellet plant in US to Secure Biomass Supply

Mark Paul reported in the Irish Times (19 September)  that Bord na Móna intend  to invest up to €60 million in a proposed new wood pellet plant in the US state of Georgia that could be operational within two years. The company wants to construct the facility to turn willow trees into pellets, which will then be shipped back to Ireland to fire power stations. It is part of Bord na Móna’s strategy to shift away from its core peat business towards more renewable energy sources, especially biomass. Bord na Móna say they are forced to invest abroad while the Irish biomass-supply industry is ramped up to meet demand. The proposed investment is currently with the government’s New Era division for approval. View the Irish Times Article here

Article in  – ‘Leo’s Approach to the RHI scheme’

As we know Ireland’s Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) is bringing its version of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) to Ireland, here the scheme is explained to the public in simple terms. It discusses the aim of the scheme which is to help Ireland reduce its 12% target in the renewable heating sector by 2020. It quotes the key figures – that 6.6% of heat demand was derived from renewable sources in 2016, which means we need to double that in the next two years to hit those all-important EU targets.

For IrBEA getting this data into the public domain is important, educating everyone as a whole on the benefits of the system are key to getting the scheme up and running. One of the points made in this article is how this scheme aims to differ from the Northern Ireland RHI scheme which failed to control costs and attracted negative publicity over the last year. Energy Minister Denis Naughten is quoted as saying “The lessons learned from the Northern Ireland scheme are being integrated into the design of the Renewable Heat Incentive,” Read the whole article here


Ger Devlin interviewed by Irish Farmers Journal – Key Issues for the RHI Scheme

Irish Bioenergy Association executives were at the Ploughing, Ger Devlin (IRBEA CEO) took part in the panel talks at the Bord na Móna stand that included Matt Cooper of TodayFM as host, as well as Patrick Madigan (Head of Biomass BNM), Mike Quinn (BNM CEO), Cormac O’ Carroll (Poyry Consulting) and Minister Naughten.The Minister commented that the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme was expected to unlock the indigenous biomass industry and will be finalised as part of Budget 2018, adding “The RHI is part of the whole budget discussion at the moment. I’m meeting with [Finance Minister] Paschal Donohoe next week”

Ger Devlin in addition to the panel talked to Thomas Hubert of the Farmers Journal and commented that the key message for the Minister when delivering the RHI is the correct price point for the tariff so that there is a positive uptake and timing to stimulate confidence back into the bioenergy industry in Ireland.

Listen to the full interview with Ger Devlin and Thomas Hubert, at the podcast link below (5 mins): Podcast link






IrBEA National Conference – Bioenergy Future Ireland 2018

‘Opportunities for Sustainable Growth’

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Croke Park, Dublin

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) are pleased to announce its 2018 National Conference – Bioenergy Future Ireland which will take place on the 21st February in Croke Park, Dublin.

The theme of 2018’s event is to develop the continuous improvement, sustainability and operational excellence within the Irish Bioenergy sector and to create opportunities for sustainable growth.

‘Bioenergy Future Ireland will bring together industry leaders and like-minded individuals to openly discuss the importance of operational excellence and sustainability of many topics. These include the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), RES (E), RED II, Sustainable Biomass, Combined Heat and Power, Biogas, Biofuels and much more,’ says Dr Ger Devlin, IrBEA CEO.

Delegates will hear presentations from the most influential people in the Irish and international bioenergy sectors. There will be multiple engagement opportunities with speakers, the IrBEA CEO and President, along with the government, industry and solution supplier representatives.

Bioenergy is the largest source of renewable energy today, providing heat and electricity, as well as transport fuels. The use of biomass power has continued to grow in recent years and can play a key role in decarbonising our economy. Biomass for heat has grown more slowly and with limited policy support but with the planned Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) launch this will start to change.

The National Mitigation Plan suggests bioenergy will be the dominant energy source by 2050. However, policy uncertainties – mostly related to the debate on appropriate sustainability criteria under RED II – plus other structural challenges have the potential to constrain the expansion of bioenergy, not just in Ireland but at EU level too. Therefore, it is imperative to successfully set out a roadmap as to how Ireland will meet its 2050 energy transition objectives.

‘Looking to the future, more needs to be done to bolster bioenergy, which has considerable potential to help drive the energy transition. IrBEA is leading this energy transition through the government and at European Commission level to contribute to policy development and regulatory details to develop sustainable bioenergy markets,’ Des O’Toole, IrBEA President.

Bioenergy Future Ireland will attract senior-level executives and decision-makers from the Irish Bioenergy community and will create an environment in which to network, do business and access frontier knowledge on the latest developments, trends, strategies and policies relating to energy consumption in Ireland.

With over 200 members, IrBEA is the national association representing the bioenergy industry on the island of Ireland. The main objectives of the association are to influence policy makers, to promote the development of bioenergy and to promote the interests of its members. Improving public awareness, networking and information sharing and liaising with similar interest groups are other key areas of work in promoting biomass as an environmental, economic and socially-sustainable energy resource.

For more information about the IrBEA Bioenergy Future Ireland Conference 2018 please contact media partner – Ronan McGlade / Telephone: 046 9773434 / Email:

Check our website for registration and live updates on speakers, agenda details and exhibition opportunities.

Follow us on Twitter @bioenergyfutureireland


Renewable Electricity Support Scheme – Design Consultation is Seeking Submissions

The Public consultation on the development and design of a new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) for Ireland has been launched. This consultation is seeking submissions to specific questions relating to the design principles and structure of the new RESS, including models and pathways to deliver increased community and citizen participation in renewable electricity projects. Feedback is sought on the emerging design options of the new scheme. Link to consultation details here. It is expected that this consultation will remain open for a period of 9 weeks until 3rd November.


Public Consultation on Development of a National Policy for the Bioeconomy

Submissions are invited on developing Ireland’s Bioeconomy, relevant submissions to the Bioeconomy Discussion Document will input into the drafting of a National Policy Statement on the bioeconomy. This will cut across a number of sectors and Departments, and the objective of the policy statement is to ensure greater policy coherence and assign responsibility to Departments for specific elements of the bioeconomy. The Bioeconomy Discussion document can be viewed here.  Written submissions should be sent to the Department of the Taoiseach before 15th September 2017 Email:

  1. The EU & the Bioeconomy
  2. Ireland & the bioeconomy
    • BioEire – Next Steps for the Irish bioeconomy: supply, demand, business and research consideration

Consultation on Medium Combustion Plant Directive

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) is seeking views on transposition of the Medium Combustion Plant (MCP) Directive. Medium combustion plants are used for a variety of purposes including electricity generation, providing heat for industrial processes, and commercial heating and cooling systems. They are plants which range in thermal input size from 1 megawatt (MWth) to 50 MWth.
Under the Directive, most medium sized combustion plants will only be allowed to operate when registered or permitted, and when complying with emission limit values for SO2, NOx and dust. More information can be found here  Contact:, submissions in by close of business on Friday 29 September 2017.


Report from Energy in Agriculture Event – Highlighting Sustainable Energy Opportunities

A lot of IrBEA members attended the Energy in Agriculture event in Tipperary last week. IrBEA had a stand which focused on promoting the forthcoming National Bioenergy Conference – Bioenergy Future Ireland 2018, together with our conference partners Box Media we talked to a lot of attendees and exhibitors who expressed a keen interest in participating at IrBEA conference, indeed many signed up.  IrBEA also had a stand promoting  the Wood Fuel Quality and Assurance scheme. The WFQA was one of the positive elements discussed in Frank Groome’s (DCCAE) talk on the mechanics of the RHI, he discussed the inclusion of fuel quality standards and sustainability criteria. Results of the consultation showed 82% in favour of the Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Scheme. IrBEA administers the WFQA which is an industry quality standard (EN 17225) used by members to deliver sustainable quality biomass and firewood to energy markets. The WFQA is also supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Check out the WFQA website for more details

Speaking at the event Minister Naughten said that there are huge opportunities out there in the energy sector for farmers and landowners. He said that proposals for a Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Scheme will be brought to government in September. He said he was determined to make sure the RHI benefits local farmers. The Minister expects to be making a series of announcements between now and the National Ploughing Championships. Further press reviews of the day can been seen at Agriland and Teagasc