Press Release – “Mobilising an Irish Biogas Industry with Policy and Action”

Press Release: Immediate Release

Biogas Can Addresses Ireland’s Declared Climate Emergency with Government Policy and Action Now

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) and Cré – Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Association of Ireland recently launch their joint policy document calling for a biogas support scheme titled “Mobilising an Irish Biogas Industry with Policy and Action”. This document developed following consultation with members and key stakeholders in the sector, sets out a road map for how the government target of 1.6Twh of biomethane by 2030 can be achieved on a phased basis over the next number of years. The document provides the Irish government with an industry roadmap for the role out of a meaningful Irish biogas industry. This document addresses the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action call for a strategy to be developed for anaerobic digestion and also the Government Climate Action Plan action on biomethane injection. This policy document articulates a vision from the industry and outlines the key principles which will need to be followed for the growth and development of a successful Irish biogas industry.

Speaking at the policy document launch, Seán Finan IrBEA CEO says  “Our vision is for the Irish biogas industry to be developed on a phased basis to achieve the government climate action plan target of 1.6Twh (200MW) of biomethane injection by 2030 or before. A biogas support scheme will be required to bridge the cost gap between the current cost of production of biogas and current sale price of fossil gas.  In the short term, we would like to see an initial phase of 65MW of biomethane funded by the government. The initial 65MW can be achieved by 25 medium to large scale biogas plants which are strategically located across the county and close to the gas grid. The initial phase would deliver 400 jobs and abate 500,000 tonnes of CO2 with a biogas support scheme costing €40 million”

View the Policy document and summary here, IrBEA Cré Biogas Policy Paper (IrBEA Cré Biogas Policy Summary and Infographic)

Percy Foster, CEO of Cré said “we are delighted to have worked closely with our colleagues in IrBEA in producing this joint policy document. We firmly believe a phased approach in developing a sustainable biogas sector is the way forward. Our document outlines in detail the many significant benefits Biogas has, which go unrecognised by many key stakeholders. It helps meet renewable energy targets, diversification for farmers, creates local jobs, reduces the need for chemical fertilisers and the avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions are just a few examples”.

The joint document clearly articulates that a whole of government approach is required to funds the biogas support scheme required. A number of funding options are available and should be explored. An Irish biogas industry will deliver significant benefits to the country across a least 7 different Government department. Some of the different Government funding options available include: the introduction of a PSO levy on fossil gas, a financial contribution from all of the different government departments that can realise a benefit from the industry creating a whole of Government fund or ringfencing some of the carbon tax budget. Policy and action is required now from Government to ensure this industry develops in Ireland which is mainstream in many other European countries for many years.

Ends

Contacts:

Sean Finan IrBEA CEO, 087-4146480, seanfinan@irbea.org

Percy Foster CRE CEO, 086-8129260, percy@cre.ie

Photo Caption:

Pictured at the launch of the joint Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) and Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Association of Ireland (Cré) policy document on a biogas support scheme titled “Mobilising an Irish Biogas Industry with Policy and Action” were L to R  Percy Foster CEO of Cré and Seán Finan CEO of IrBEA.

Notes to Editors:

What is Biogas

Biogas is produced using anaerobic digestion technology to convert organic waste to energy and fertiliser. This energy can be converted to electricity via a combined heat & power unit and exported to the national power grid. Alternatively, the biogas can be upgraded to biomethane which is the focus of this document. This biomethane can be directly pumped into the gas grid and used for heating or as a transport fuel. Biogas plants can be deployed at different scales. Biogas can be produced from a wide variety of feedstock. Feedstock to be used by the industry could include, agricultural residues, domestic & commercial food waste, organic waste from industrial sources, animal manures and grass silage produced for grass grown in less intensively farmed areas. Therefore, AD is a flexible technology which can be deployed at varying scales to suit demand to suit demand.

About the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA)

IrBEA was founded in 1999. Its role is to promote the bioenergy industry and to develop this important sector on the island of Ireland. The diverse membership includes farmers and foresters, fuel suppliers, energy development companies, equipment manufacturers and suppliers, engineers, financiers and tax advisers, legal firms, consultants, planners, research organisations, local authorities, education and advisory bodies – anyone with an interest in the bioenergy industry. IrBEA is recognised by Government and agencies as the voice of the bioenergy industry. The association’s main objectives are to influence policy makers to promote the development of bioenergy, and to promote the interests of members. Improving public awareness, networking and information sharing, and liaising with similar interest groups are other key areas of work in promoting bioenergy as an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable energy. The organisation is a self-governing association of voluntary members and is affiliated to Bioenergy Europe and the European Biogas Association (EBA). The organisations activities are managed by the CEO assisted by a small executive staff team and is governed by a board of Directors which includes an elected President and Vice President. Policy direction is provided by a Management Executive Committee and specific subcommittees. Further information on the association is available at www.irbea.ie

About the Cré – Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Association of Ireland (Cré)

Established in 2001, Cré is the Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Association of Ireland. Cré (which is the Irish word for ‘soil’), is a non-profit association of public and private organisations, dedicated to growing the biological treatment sector. Cré supports the production of high-quality outputs, assists the delivery of Government waste diversion and bioenergy targets, and promotes the creation of sustainable indigenous jobs.

Cré has a broad membership base ranging from compost and anaerobic digestion facilities, waste companies, local authorities, technology providers, local authorities, consultants and third level colleges. Cré is recognised by Government and agencies as the voice of the industry in Ireland and Northern Ireland. It is frequently called on to give the industry view on future policy and legislation. Cré is a member of the European Compost Network, the European Biogas Association and the Biobased Industries Consortium. Cré has a Board of Directors, a Carbon Committee, a Technical Committee, a Public Relations Committee and an Anaerobic Digestion Committee. See www.cre.ie