Webinar 40: An update on the Midlands Bioenergy Development Project Supported by the National Just Transition Fund

A live recording of webinar 40 is available here.

Topic Overview
The Midlands Bioenergy Development Project is supported by the National Just Transition Fund, covering the wider Midlands area of East Galway, North Tipperary, Kildare, Offaly, Laois, Roscommon, Longford, and Westmeath.

Pádraic Ó hUiginn, IrBEA’s lead on the project, outlined the project’s role and discussed developments to date, he reviewed the next phase of engagement and support for key stakeholders. Seán Finan, IrBEA CEO participated in the panel discussion and offered valuable insight on the sectors development in Ireland and the potential for future growth, with the right policy support.

The project has a focus on providing information, training and technical advice, guidance and mentoring to bioenergy business development and start-up enterprises.

The webinar was also an opportunity to launch the online form for expressions of interest from potential new bioenergy businesses and start-ups in the National Just Transition Fund’s wider Midlands region which is now open on the IrBEA website:

WEBINAR 39: NNFCC’s 2023 Irish anaerobic digestion report explores current deployment ahead of expected biogas and biomethane market growth

A live recording of webinar 39 is available here.

Topic Overview
In this webinar NNFCC’s discussed their report on Irish anaerobic digestion deployment and they looked ahead to the expected biogas and biomethane market growth potential. As strategic business consultants, NNFCC are monitoring the state and growth of the Irish AD market, and are well positioned to support new business opportunities and new entrants as activity ramps up. This webinar shared the current policy and market position and intended to set the baseline for the intended growth.

Andrea Muñoz García
Senior Consultant Andrea has a PhD in Green and Sustainable Chemistry and she has a special interest in carbon capture. She carries out market and technology research and writes project proposals for a range of public and private sector clients. She is the NNFCC contact for the H2020 project Shikifactory100.

IrBEA’s Biochar Conference highlights the potential for growth in the sector

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) were delighted to run a successful National Biochar and Carbon Products Conference last Wednesday on the 3rd of May in the Landmark Hotel, Carrick-On-Shannon, Co Leitrim. 122 enthusiastic participants attended, representing a cross section of stakeholders and businesses from this emerging sector. This event brought together experts, innovators, and entrepreneurs to discuss the potential of biochar and the development of carbon products.

We were delighted to welcome Bernard Harris from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine who gave the keynote address and Colm Markey MEP for Midlands North West who reported on the critical contribution of carbon farming from a European perspective.

This event was run by Stephen McCormack IrBEA Executive, through the Interreg North West Europe (NWE) THREE C project of which IrBEA is an Irish partner. All the THREE C partners travelled to Ireland for this key event.

We are thankful to all our speakers who came from across Europe and Ireland to share their knowledge and insights on the day.

Photo: Speakers on the day.
Back row (L to R) Maurice Deasy, Dan Hayes, Philip Masterson, Alex Wilcox Brooke, Tim Scholze, Sander Lubberhuizen, Cordner Peacocke, Robert Johnson, Maurice Ryan, Moritz Kormann.
Middle row (L to R)
Gary Lyons, Teresa O’Brien, David Robinson, Noel Gavigan, James MacPhail, Stephen McCormack
Front row (L to R)
Colin Keyse, Seán Finan, Luned Roberts, Geraldine McLoughlin
Speakers not in this picture include Bernard Dunne, Colm Markey, Kim McCall and Bernard Carey.
Photo credit: John Ohle Photography

Press Release: Biomethane strategy must include medium- to long-term market supports. – IrBEA

For immediate release

9 May 2023

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) highlights that it is essential that there be meaningful engagement with key stakeholders and anaerobic digestion (AD) facility operators in the development of the Government’s promised biomethane strategy.

CEO of IrBEA, Mr Seán Finan, on behalf of its members is also emphasising that:

“The promised biomethane strategy must include medium- to long-term market supports, similar to what has been demonstrated to work in other renewable energy sectors in Ireland and across Europe.”


Last week, IrBEA highlighted to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Oireachtas Agriculture Committee) that the promised biomethane strategy needs to:

  • “be developed in association with key stakeholders and AD facility operators who understand the cost of production and economic models to develop these facilities.
  • contain details of what medium- to long-term supports, incentives and measures are going to mobilise the Government target by 2030. The gap between cost of production and the market return has closed in recent times with the increased fossil energy prices, but still exists. This cost-gap must be bridged through long-term policy, support, incentives, and measures.
  • the support introduced needs to be adequate to give market certainty and ensure that it is enough to be able to develop, operate and maintain facilities and pay for feedstocks over the long-term.
  • recognise that a fair return is required along the supply chain for all stakeholders, from the farmer growing grass silage as a feedstock to the operator who is running the plant and all those involved in between.
  • deliver the Government target on a phased basis where lessons can be learned with all phases and amendments made as required; and
  • ensure that the biomethane sector is complementary to our agricultural and farming systems rather than compete with them.”

A range of invited speakers at the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee, including from IrBEA, and its members Biocore Environmental and Gas Networks Ireland, pointed out that there is both an energy opportunity and a nutrient recovery or transition opportunity, diversifying from imported chemical farm fertiliser produced from fossil gas, for Ireland in developing a biogas/biomethane sector.

In reflecting on the Oireachtas Committee meeting and looking ahead to IrBEA’s biogas/biomethane webinar this week, Pádraic Ó hUiginn, Project Executive at IrBEA said:

“Digestate from a biogas/biomethane industry is a circular economy, bioeconomy, and environmental opportunity, in terms of potentially enabling a transition from imported chemical fertilisers, and land-spreading of slurry, to this locally-recovered and more nutrient-available fertiliser. It offers a better pathway for fertilising farm-land, reducing the potential impact of run-off, as well as the broader energy and environmental benefits. AD offers more than just sustainable and renewable energy. However, it will require policy and regulatory understanding and support to enable it to happen.”

This week, IrBEA maintains a spotlight on the biogas/biomethane sector, with one of its Wednesday webinars, on a new report produced by bioeconomy consultants NNFCC on current deployment of AD in Ireland.

“We look forward to tomorrow’s webinar: ‘NNFCC’s 2023 Irish anaerobic digestion report explores current deployment ahead of expected biogas and biomethane market growth’, with guest presenter Andrea Muñoz García. NNFCC has worked with Irish project partners for over a decade, particularly in supporting innovation and business development for anaerobic digestion technologies for biogas, biomethane and digestate, through EU-funded projects like Bio Base NWE and BioBase4SME. I have been fortunate to have been part of international teams with NNFCC on those projects. It’s important in a post-Brexit environment that the biogas/biomethane sector can continue to find ways to work alongside UK-based organisations such as NNFCC, including in an island of Ireland context,” commented Mr Pádraic Ó hUiginn, Project Executive at IrBEA.

To register for tomorrow’s IrBEA webinar (Wednesday, 10th of May, at 09.30am), please access this link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_lXXtREopQzSaTBmjTPgvjQ#/registration

A recording of the webinar will be available on the IrBEA website www.irbea.org subsequently.


For further information contact: Seán Finan IrBEA CEO on 087 4146480


Access the recording of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine here: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/committees/33/agriculture-food-and-the-marine/videos/