National Bioenergy Conference Webinar Special 1:  COP26 Goal 1 – Securing global net zero by mid-century & keep 1.5 degrees within reach

For all those who took part in this webinar or those who would like to catch up.

You can view the live recording here

Topic Overview
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have recognised that bioenergy represents the largest current contributor to renewable energy across the world and is likely to remain that way for at least the first half of this century. They also highlight the role that bioenergy can play in carbon removal as well as in the development of bioenergy-based fuel alternatives for fossil fuels as biorefinery technologies mature. The IPPC also reports on the complimentary role bioenergy can play alongside the food, fibre, and forestry products sector but this is a sector that will require investment, support and the right policy measures in place to ensure the continued sustainability of the sector.

Speakers at this webinar explored the following areas:
• The potential for bioenergy in Ireland is significantly lagging behind Europe.
• Bioenergy is part of a suite of emissions reduction measures required.
• The scale of the challenge to decarbonise heat, transport, electricity and agriculture.
• The blinds spot that exist in Irish policy and supports towards bioenergy.
• Recognising the role of bioenergy in achieving 51% emissions reduction by 2030. 

Paddy Phelan – IrBEA President & CEO of 3 Counties Energy Agency (3cea)
Dr Paul Deane – Research Fellow at University College Cork MaREI
Christian Rakos – President World Bioenergy Association
Harmen Dekker – Director European Biogas Association
Seán Finan – CEO Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) (Chair)

National Bioenergy Conference Webinar Special 2: COP26 Goal 2 – Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats

For all participants who took part in this webinar or those who would like to catch up, you can view the live recording here

Bioenergy offers Ireland multi-sectoral benefits. Discussions are mostly focused on the provision of energy and emissions reduction. At this webinar the panel broadened the conversation to the wider benefits of bioenergy including rural development, indigenous generated energy, enhancing biodiversity and community involvement. The sustainability of bioenergy is governed by strict criteria in the RED II directive and plays a key role in sustainable forest management.
Speakers at this webinar explored the following areas:

  • Enhancing the natural environment, rural communities and creating jobs in rural areas.
  • Why is Ireland a laggard in Bioenergy deployment.
  • Replacing fossil fuels imports with indigenous resources such as biogas, energy crops, woodchip & firewood.
  • Sustainability and REDII – Protecting forest and hedgerow habitats.
  • Biogas reducing chemical fertiliser input and enhancing biodiversity.
  • Developing sustainable communities through Bioenergy projects.

Speakers Include:

  • Senator Pippa Hackett,  Minister  of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
  • Michael Kottner – IBBK & German Biogas Association
  • Maurice Ryan – IrBEA Vice President & Director of Green Belt
  • Chris Johnston – Project Leader in Environment & Renewable Energy Research at AFBI Hillsborough

National Bioenergy Conference Webinar Special 3: COP26 Goal 3 – Mobilising Finance

For all participants who took part in this webinar or those who would like to catch up, you can view the live recording here

To grow the Bioenergy sector mobilising finance is a key enabler. International financial institutions and funders must play their part by providing private and public sector finance to secure global net zero. Many stakeholders say that there is an abundance of capital available but that the Irish policy and regulatory landscape is seen as an impediment to the development of large scale projects. Speakers at this webinar explored the following areas:

  • Developing the Bioenergy project pipeline and encouraging investment
  • The role of market and other supports mechanisms in deploying Bioenergy.
  • The drivers of investment in Bioenergy and the Bioeconomy.
  • Focus on a company that has successfully developed Bioenergy and the rural Bioeconomy and the challenges they faced.
  • Creating the environment for the development of innovative products and solutions.


Mary Cronin
UpThink Innovation Agency

James Cogan
ClonBio Group

Stephen McCormack
Project Manager  IrBEA

National Bioenergy Conference Webinar Special 4: COP26 Goal 4 – Work together to deliver

For all those who took part in this webinar or those who would like to catch up. You can view the live recording of the Presentation here


This was the final webinar in the IrBEA National Bioenergy Conference Series, we will discuss the enormous scale of the challenge in meeting emissions reduction targets. No one solution proposed today will get us to where we need to be. This challenge will require all stakeholders working together and every option, solution and technology playing its part.  This webinar heard speakers discuss what positive developments have occurred over COP26. Kiara Zennaro also discussed developments in the UK with Paddy Phelan focusing on the newly publicised Climate Action Plan 2021 for Ireland. James Cogan discussed the difficulties of translating pledges made at COP26 into a reality on the ground. As an expert in biofuels he also reviewed the current challenges facing the biofuels sector.


Kiara Zennaro The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology

James CoganClonBio Group

Paddy PhelanCEO of 3cea & IrBEA President

Seán Finan (Chair) – CEO IrBEA