Renewable Heat Incentive – Closer Than Ever Before

Press Release 2017/12

The Irish Bioenergy Association welcomes the introduction of the long awaited Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) today by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD. An RHI scheme was first officially conceived as part of the Bioenergy strategy consultation in May 2013, and formally announced in the October 2014 Draft Bioenergy Plan but was never delivered. After much lobbying activities and design consultations by IrBEA and other players in the bioenergy sector in the interim, the biomass industry will now see an RHI scheme live in 2018.
“This is a very welcome development for the bioenergy sector in Ireland, one that has been stagnant for almost 5 years since 2013 whereby many Irish companies have subsequently gone out of business. There will be new opportunities now to stimulate growth for those businesses in the biomass supply side and indeed the biomass technology provider of which we have many as members of the Irish Bioenergy Association. As well as helping to meet the EU heat targets of 12% (currently 6.8%) by 2020 it will play a role in reducing potential fines come 2020. It is perhaps disappointing not see any support for biomethane gas grid injection from AD in this phase but there are still supports for AD heating technologies and of course biomass heating technologies which is a positive. Certainly the ambition to have a scheme open to applicants in 2018 is welcome, but this Government approval is still subject to EU state aid approval. The tiered rates are generally positive but they do not favour the larger type installations offering a subsidy of only 0.05 c/kWh which is where the biggest opportunity exists to close the gap in the renewable heat target” says Ger Devlin IrBEA CEO.
The scheme will support the adoption of renewable heating systems by commercial, industrial, district heating and other non-domestic heat users at sites not covered by the emissions trading scheme. There are also installation grants available up to 30% for the installation of heat pumps. A separate budget would be favoured for such a grant scheme.

About the Irish Bioenergy Association

Dr Ger Devlin is CEO of the Irish Bioenergy Association. 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. and

DCCAE Press Release on RHI (7 December) here
New €1bn Renewable Heat Scheme Unveiled for Irish firms – Irish Times  (7 December) here


An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar Visits the Clonroche Biomass Processing Hub in Co. Wexford

Photo: IrBEA President Des O’Toole with An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, Paul Kehoe TD, Andrew Doyle TD and Michael D’Arcy TD visiting a Biomass Processing Hub in Wexford
An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar visited the Clonroche biomass processing hub in Co. Wexford on Sunday 5th November. This hub, operated by T&A Byrne Renewables, services a range of commercial and industrial scale biomass energy clients for both Coillte and Clearpower in the South East and uses predominantly Coillte and the gradually emerging private sector log resource for its supply of biomass. Coillte and Clearpower are both longstanding members of IrBEA.
An Taoiseach, along with his colleagues, Paul Kehoe TD, Andrew Doyle TD and Michael D’Arcy TD saw first-hand the contribution a regional processing hub of this scale makes to the local economy as well as hearing the many benefits in terms of displacing imported fossil fuel, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mobilising Ireland’s forestry resources. The hub comprises of a large secure log storage yard and fuel storage sheds. Coillte logs are sourced and delivered on a pre-planned basis several months in advance. The logs are systematically stacked for open air drying down to the target moisture content. The processing hub, established by T&A Byrne is one of the largest supply hubs of its kind in the country.
One of the processing hub’s major Coillte clients is Glaxosmithkline (GSK) and their use of woody biomass displaces millions of litres of oil annually. GSK is a science-led global healthcare company that develops a range of medicines, vaccines and consumer healthcare products. For GSK, investing in a biomass plant supports their global carbon reduction objectives and a long term commitment to the Dungarvan site and the local employment it underpins. With Coillte as an exemplar energy supply partner for this project, GSK are further committed to protecting resources and safeguarding the environment.

Biogas and Anaerobic Digestion Trade Mission at the German Irish Chamber

Ger Devlin (IrBEA CEO) gave the opening address at the Biogas and Anaerobic Digestion Trade Mission at the German Irish Chamber of Commerce and Industry 2 weeks ago. There were over 100 participants, many Irish companies took the opportunity to organise formal meeting with visiting German companies working in the Biogas sector. The presentations can be accessed here