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.
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: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, submissions in by close of business on Friday 29 September 2017.
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 www.wfqa.org
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
Bord na Móna (BNM) will offer 15-year contracts for project developers supplying biomass, Mike Quinn, the company’s CEO, announced at the Energy in Agriculture event, Quinn said this move comes as the semi-state company aims to phase out of the generation of power from peat by 2030. It is Bord na Móna(BNM) intention through a division called BNM BioEnergy to develop a secure and competitive supply of biomass from both indigenous and international sources.
Bord na Móna BioEnergy intend to handle all of the sourcing and logistics arrangements for delivery of the biomass to the project site. ‘Most importantly, these supply contracts will be backed by BNM’s balance sheet as a commercial semi-state’. They believe it will be attractive to funding sources and should act as a key enabler when raising finance on biomass projects. There will be no floor or ceiling on the size of these contracts in terms of annual tonnage demand or duration as BNM believe the supply chain can cater for the volumes required by the smallest to the largest of projects.
He added: “We’ll be importing wood pellets and wood chip from the US and other countries until our own self-sufficient sources – like the willow plantations and fast-growing eucalyptus we’re planting on farms and on BNM land, plus the private forestry sector – come on stream over the next 10-15 years.” Last year BNM sourced over 400,000t of biomass for Edenderry power station, which allowed them to co-fire at 42% of the total fuel.
Mike Quinn said they are currently working with the ESB on a project to convert their two stations to co-fire with biomass. In 2020, ‘the three power stations will have an annual requirement of over 1.2 million tonnes. This increased usage of biomass will contribute to a significant reduction in the state’s energy-related carbon emissions going forward,” he said.
Kevin O’Sullivan of the Irish Times talks in this article about some of Ireland’s leading food and drink companies who are supporting a big move into production of biogas, an emissions-free energy source from agricultural waste and energy crops. Diageo, one of the State’s biggest gas consumers – mainly through St James’s Gate brewery in Dublin – and Dairygold Co-Op are leading the way in this move. Much of Diageo’s gas needs next year are likely to be supplied by an IrBEA member Green Generation in Co Kildare, an anaerobic digester (AD) plant set up by pig farmer Billy Costello. The €5 million biogas facility is beside one of his pig farms. It is designated a demonstration facility by Gas Networks Ireland, the State-owned Ervia subsidiary supporting development of renewable energy.In 2012 Dairygold installed an AD at its Mitchelstown complex. The technology used was a first for the dairy industry and it is the largest above ground digester of its type in the world. The digester generates biogas from dairy processing waste water. The biogas is burned in boilers and supplies up to 6 per cent of the heat demand for the production site. This displaces natural gas use and saves over 3,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually. Dairygold are currently exploring ways to further reduce its processing carbon footprint through renewable fuels. This article can be read in full here
For those members interested, David Fitzgerald Sustainability Manager at Dairygold will be speaking at IrBEA Conference Bioenergy Future Ireland 2018