Webinar No 4: Sustainable Bioenergy – Achieving Carbon neutrality and compliance with RED II

As the Irish Bioenergy sector grows, the focus is on technological opportunities and development in the sector. Existing industries are beginning to embrace the need to transform with the aim of achieving zero GHG emissions by 2050, while creating green jobs at the same time. In this webinar, our European Partners – Bioenergy Europe will share their expert knowledge and insights. Secretary General, Jean-Marc Jossart will outline how the Bioenergy sector will contribute to the 32% renewable energy target by 2030 as set out in the Renewable Energy Directive II (RED II). The European Green Deal recently published by the EU Commission, has an overarching aim of making Europe climate neutral by 2050. This webinar will address the role that the Bioenergy sector will play in achieving this goal.

Register in advance for this webinar:
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_lUtlh_v8T52e88e9QLJ7zA

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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Webinar Speaker

Jean Marc Jossart (Secretary General @Bioenergy Europe)
Jean-Marc started his career in the field of bioenergy in 1992 at the University of Louvain, Belgium. Jean-Marc is an Agronomic Engineer and since 1997, he has held the position of Secretary General of Bioenergy Europe. Founded in 1990, Bioenergy Europe is a non-profit, Brussels-based international organisation bringing together more than 40 associations and 90 companies, as well as academia and research institutes from across Europe representing the interests of the bioenergy sector.

Panellists

Seán Finan IrBEA CEO

Noel Gavigan IrBEA Technical Executive

PRESS RELEASE: The Irish Bioenergy opportunity is immense – New IrBEA President Paddy Phelan


This week the new President and Vice President of the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) were elected by the Management Executive Committee of the organisation. Paddy Phelan, CEO of 3 County Energy Agency was elected the new President and  Maurice Ryan, Director and Business Development at Green Belt was elected the new Vice President. They both take up their roles at a time of great opportunity for the organisation and the Irish Bioenergy sector as the economy begins to reopens again following Covid 19.

Accepting the new role, IrBEA President Paddy Phelan said “I am delighted to take on the role of IrBEA President. I look forward to working with members and all stakeholders for the betterment and advancement of the sector. The Irish Bioenergy opportunity is immense. This opportunity has yet to be recognised at a political or policy level with adequate action and support measures which are necessary for the widespread deployment of bioenergy. Sustainably produced bioenergy will play a key role in Irelands transition from a fossil-fuel based economy to a low carbon economy. The bioenergy sectors covering biomass, biogas, biofuels, energy crops and wood fuels, are a key part of the overall bioeconomy and have a significant part to play in its growth and development. As well as contributing towards Ireland’s renewable energy targets, the sector can be the catalyst to drive jobs and economic growth in rural Ireland while assisting to address the climate change and emissions reduction challenges we face as a country and people”.

Paddy Phelan continued “I’m committed to working with the IrBEA membership and broader stakeholders to promote the deployment of bioenergy produced in locally energy supply networks. In IrBEA, we continue to lobby and advocate for supports to ensure that bioenergy contributes as part of a mix of renewable energy technologies. Our objective should be to provide 100% of our energy demand by 2050 from renewable sources. Promoting local energy supply is very important. Rural Ireland can provide energy to nearby urban centres which need renewable and dispatchable bioenergy to support industry and particularly the Agri food-industry. This is all linked back to the broader rural Agri sector. The capacity for agricultural diversification and for agriculture to be a net contributor to carbon sequestration through bioenergy production is immense. Bioenergy is a mature industry across Europe and alongside other renewable energy technologies makes up the majority of energy production in many regions. This means that the region retains the value of that energy. When consumers buy that energy they are buying local”

Maurice Ryan, IrBEA Vice President said  “I am delighted to have been elected to the role of Vice President of IrBEA. IrBEA has proved to be an invaluable organisation for the bioenergy sector and a great support to promote the mobilisation of timber from the private sector. I look forward to promoting the broad value bioenergy brings to the country, and the future opportunities that will present over the next number of years. The team is extremely strong and positive and will certainly deliver value to all members and stakeholders.”

The organisation would like to acknowledge the work of Des O’Toole who has concluded a 3 year term as IrBEA President.

Paddy Phelan concluded “I would like to acknowledge the work of my predecessor Des O’Toole and thank him for his efforts and commitment to the development of the organisation and sector during his time in the role. Everyone in IrBEA wishes Des the best of luck in his career.”

Video of Paddy Phelan speaking HERE

Ends

For Further information please contact: Seán Finan IrBEA CEO at 0874146480

PRESS RELEASE: IrBEA presents bioenergy proposals for economic recovery and climate action in Programme for Government 15/05/20

Press Release for Immediate Release:

15/05/2020

IrBEA presents bioenergy proposals for economic recovery and climate action in Programme for Government

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) in recent weeks has circulated its Programme for Government proposals to political representatives across all political parties and independent groups. The organisation continues to lobby for the Programme for Government to incorporate bioenergy measures and supports to assist economic recovery, emissions reduction targets and climate action.

Seán Finan CEO of IrBEA said “we are calling on all political parties and independent groupings to embrace renewable energy as a robust means to rebuild the Irish economy after Covid 19. Our detailed document reflects the views of the association’s members across the island of Ireland. It lays out the opportunities through bioenergy for job creation, addressing the climate emergency, enhancing Irelands trade balance and encouraging rural economic activity while at the same time delivering cost savings for many energy users”.

Ireland has a considerable natural advantage when It comes to growing fuel crops such as wood fuel, biomass energy crops and feedstock for anaerobic digestion. Ireland is second last of EU member states in terms of its use of renewable heat. Ireland has had the best part of the last decade to meet renewable energy targets and has failed.

Noel Gavigan, Technical Executive of IrBEA said “the new government must now focus on the serious task of meeting 2030 emissions targets and must place this at the centre of its policy agenda moving forward. Ireland currently derives 4% of its energy from bioenergy. This needs to rise to 15% by 2030 with further deployment beyond to meet Paris Agreement targets. The potential for economic recovery, reducing emissions and addressing climate change through quadrupling our bioenergy industry is a remarkable opportunity. All the sectors of bioenergy including biomass, biogas, biofuels, energy crops and wood fuels offer significant potential for growth through policy incentives and measures”

In conclusion, Seán Finan IrBEA CEO said “the world is in the middle of the Covid 19 crisis. Economic recovery is a task that will involve all of society and a new approach.  Embracing the opportunities presented by the bioenergy sectors are immense. Dedicated supports and measures to the sector are required to make this opportunity a reality ”.

 

Ends

 

For Further information contact

Seán Finan, IrBEA CEO, 0874146480

Notes to Editors:

 

Summary of the Bioenergy measures which IrBEA would like to see included in the Programme for Government covering the sectors of Biomass, Biogas, Biofuels, Energy Crops and Wood Fuels include:

 

  • Greater financial resources to fully implement the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) to expand the timescale, size and scope of the support scheme via a ring-fenced budget allocation allied to aggressive promotion to ensure growth in renewable heat through biomass and biogas.
  • Advocating for mandatory renewable heating use to be in place by all public bodies by 2035.
  • Introduction of statutory regulation of the moisture content of wood fuels in accordance with the international wood fuel standard – ISO 17225. This is needed to deliver cleaner air, enhance public health and drive the transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy at a domestic level.
  • Calling on the Government to re-establish the Energy Crops support scheme considering market development through the SSRH. This scheme would assist in meeting local biomass demand, to promote diversification of agriculture and to provide alternative income for farmers.
  • Calling for the proposed Biogas support scheme for medium to large scale cooperative style biogas plants detailed in the IrBEA/Cré Biogas policy paper to be implemented on a phased basis.
  • Calling for the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) to ringfence funding for modern bioenergy-based technologies such as combined heat and power, providing efficiencies up to and above 90%. Importantly these technologies have the added advantages of providing dispatchable power with grid stability benefits, community involvement and rural development in line with existing climate change polices.
  • The transition to higher blending rates of E12 Biodiesel blend over a period. This means upping the % of Biodiesel in diesel to 12% which comes at no extra cost to the consumer or the exchequer and requires no investment or change in infrastructure or vehicles.
  • The immediate transition to higher blending rates of E10 ethanol petrol blend. This means upping the % of ethanol in petrol to 10% which comes at no extra cost to the consumer or the exchequer and requires no investment or change in infrastructure or vehicles.
  • Introduction of a fuel price support for biomethane as a fuel for heavy goods and industrial vehicles to maximise proven environmental benefits.

 

Project Officer Vacancy with IrBEA

To drive the implementation of its activities and projects, the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) is recruiting a Project Officer. See full details below.

About 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 has a number of research, development and demonstration projects on Biogas, Biomass and Biochar / Carbon products. 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 and day to day operations 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.org

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

The successful candidate will be responsible for:

  • The daily implementation of the Three C project, work packages and tasks, including the facilitation of further spin off work as part of the project activity dissemination, communication, and exploitation/replication activities.
  • Monitoring the overall progress regarding milestones and deliverables within in the project.
  • Identification of any unanticipated risks and assisting with the preparation of the technical, interim and final reports.
  • Work with the CEO and Finance Manager to ensuring the timely submission of financial and technical reports.
  • Other IrBEA work activities and duties will be assigned to the individual depending on the organisation’s workload and at the discretion of the CEO.
  • Supporting IrBEA in looking for additional funding and partnering opportunities.
  • Assisting with the organising of IrBEA and project related events.
  • Liaising with both internal and external stakeholders, spanning all the bioenergy sectors.

Personal Specifications:

  • Experience in the management of funded (research) projects.
  • Third Level Honours qualification in a relevant field.
  • Documented and demonstrable experience within the renewable energy, climate change, carbon products or technology areas.
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, writing and networking skills.
  • Written and spoken English proficiency.
  • Excellent IT technical knowledge.
  • Focused on outcomes with excellent organisational skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to cope with tight deadlines and work effectively with a dynamic and diverse staff which work remotely.
  • Ability to network and build relationships with relevant stakeholders, partners and members.
  • Team spirited but with the ability to work independently and remotely.
  • Understanding of the role of a representative and membership organisation.
  • Commitment to the purpose of the Irish Bioenergy Association and to work within the values, policies, structures and procedures of the organisation.
  • To act consistently in a professional manner.
  • To undertake other duties as may be directed by the chief Executive of IrBEA.
  • Full Driving License and use of own car.

Additional Considerations for the role:

Experience: Experience of best practices in project management, techniques of projects planning, event planning and grant application experience is an advantage.

References: The successful candidate will undergo two reference checks before commencing employment with IrBEA. Details of these referee’s should be provided in the application but will only be contacted before commencement of employment.

Annual Leave: The Project Officer will be entitled to 21 days annual leave plus public holidays.

Travel: The role will involve reimbursable travel to other European countries on potentially 3 to 4 occasions per year to attend project meetings and conferences and as required within the country to attend various meeting and events in line with the demands of the role.

Further Information: Information on the organisation is available at www.irbea.org

Applications: Applications must include in one single document a cover letter and Curriculum Vitae (CV) including contact details for two referees. Application and any queries on the position should be sent by email only to Seán Finan IrBEA CEO: seanfinan@Irbea.org

Closing date: The deadline for application is Wednesday 27th May 2020 at 5pm.

The Irish Bioenergy Association is an equal opportunities employer.

PRESS: Stakeholders gather in Croke Park for major bioenergy conference

Stakeholders from Ireland’s bioenergy and renewables sector gathered in Croke Park today, Wednesday, February 26, for a major conference exploring the “untapped potential” for biomass, biogass, biofuels and other alternative energy sources.

The IrBEA (Irish Bioenergy Association) National Bioenergy Conference was sponsored by Bord na Móna, and looked at several opportunities to expand Ireland’s bioenergy sector – including opportunities for agriculture in terms of on-farm bioenergy. Read the full article HERE

PRESS: Money from Grass, Gas and Glass – Farmers Journal talks to Seán Finan

In the Land Use Supplement of the Farmers Journal Amii McKeever reports on-farm renewable energy opportunities amongst the experts who contributed to this article Seán Finan  IrBEA CEO talks about the potential for domestic and non-domestic biomass heating and the potential for medium/large scale agriculture based biomethane plants to be developed by farm communities.  View the full article HERE

IrBEA work with Members & SEAI regarding Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) Applications

IrBEA has held recent meetings with SEAI on issued highlighted by members regarding the approval, sign off and other aspects of SSRH Applications. We recently communicated with members who install biomass systems highlighting the issues identified to date and sought feedback on any other recurring issues. We realise the urgency to address issues arising and as the industry representative body, we will be meeting SEAI as soon as possible to address and find practical solutions to the issues identified. We will follow up with members once the meetings have taken place.  If any member would like to discuss this further please do not hesitate to get in touch with Seán Finan IrBEA CEO (seanfinan@irbea.org).

IrBEA Meet EPA on proposal to regulate moisture content of firewood for sale in Ireland 23/03/2020

IrBEA CEO Seán Finan and Wood Fuel Quality Assurance committee chairman Eugene Hendrick met with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) air emissions officials recently to discuss the IrBEA proposals to regulate the moisture content of firewood for sale in Ireland. This meeting was part of an ongoing lobbying campaign for the introduction of regulations by the Department of the Environment in this area. The IrBEA proposal which have been developed in consultation with WFQA member wood fuel suppliers is very important to improve the standard and quality of wood fuels on the market and reduce particulate emissions from wood fuels at a domestic level. Research clearly articulates that there is a direct correlation between wet wood fuels and high particulate emissions. Particulate emissions are dramatically reduced from the burning of dry wood fuels. IrBEA will continue its lobbying efforts in this area for the introduction of regulation on phased basis over a specific timeframe. Full details of the IrBEA proposals are available HERE.

PRESS RELEASE: Bioenergy a driving force to achieve renewable heat transport and electricity targets IrBEA

Bioenergy – Inspiring the industry with opportunity and vision is the theme of the Irish Bioenergy Association National Bioenergy conference which is sponsored by Bord an Móna and takes place in Croke Park today. The conference focuses on the untapped potential that Bioenergy presents in the form of biomass, biogas, biofuels, energy crops and wood fuels to achieve renewable energy targets in heat, transport and electricity.

Speaking at the conference Seán Finan CEO of IrBEA said “Mobilising Irish indigenous biomass and brash is crucial to achieving our Renewable Energy targets in both the electricity and heating sector. Addressing the challenges of mobilisation of our private forestry estate will need to be overcome. Bord na Móna, our conference premium sponsors is pleased to be helping unlock the biomass opportunity in Ireland as an outlet for material while helping to decarbonise Ireland’s electricity grid.

The Renewable Heat agenda will be served by improving access to Irish biomass supplies, enabled by improvements to the biomass supply chain infrastructure from mobilisation of the Private Forestry supply and also the promotion of Energy Crops.

Tom Egan Head of Bioenergy Operations and Power Generation at Bord na Móna said “ Bord na Móna are leaders in the Irish biomass industry, and on an exciting transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy at its Edenderry Power Station in Co, Offaly. Edenderry Power is on a course towards 100% renewable electricity generation by as soon as 2024. The biomass contribution at Edenderry makes it the biggest supplier of ‘on-demand’ renewable energy on the island of Ireland.  This means that when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine Edenderry can guarantee a supply of renewable energy to the grid; this adds flexibility to the grid to install more wind and solar generation.

Tom Egan concluded “Edenderry Power continues to transition towards ever increasing levels of biomass, which is sustainable, and 80% of which is indigenous  from local Irish suppliers.  This helps Bord na Móna continue to drive the economic and growth agenda in rural Ireland, the midlands and beyond -supporting what are sustainable jobs, sourcing sustainable Irish biomass feedstocks over the ‘Just Transition’ period and beyond. Bord na Móna uses mainly residual forest material (brash). Bord na Móna wants to secure increasing indigenous biomass from the well documented availability from private forestry and also want to help realise the energy crop opportunity that exists for farmers.

IrBEA Biomass Heating Systems Designers Register & Training – Dublin 18th – 19th February 2020

Introduction

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) is working on a Sustainability Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) RD&D Project to develop a Biomass Designers and Installers Register. In 2019, IrBEA ran 2 successful Biomass Practitioners courses in February and July. The courses focusing on the key aspects of design and installation of biomass heating systems. We are now seeking attendees for the next training course on the Tuesday 18th & Wednesday 19th of February which will take place at a DCU Innovation Centre, Finglas Road, Dublin 11. Places are limited, so book now to avoid disappointment. If you are interested in participating please contact IrBEA CEO Seán Finan at seanfinan@irbea.org or 087-4146480.

Background to this Project
Members have reported that some commercial biomass installations over the years have not functioned correctly and have been turned off. There are a multitude of reasons for systems not working including poor design, incorrect installations, incorrect fuels used or poor maintenance of the system. IrBEA’s objective is to create a register of competent and professional Biomass Designers and Installers who have demonstrated a level of experience, have undertaken the training course and who fulfil certain criteria.
What is the Benefit of the Biomass Designers and Installers Registers?
The Biomass Designers and Installers Register are two separate registers of companies who specialize in the design and/or installation of Biomass Heating Systems. The register will act as a useful reference point for heat users who wish to employ a competent biomass system designer or installer.

Biomass Practitioners Training Course
The 2-day Biomass Practitioners Training course is a mandatory requirement for inclusion on both Biomass Installers and Designers register.  The course is presented by industry expert David Palmer. David is an experienced specialist with extensive expertise and knowledge in the design and installation of biomass heating systems. The aim of this course is to refresh designers and installers and improve participants knowledge of design and install of biomass heating systems. To find out more please contact IrBEA CEO Seán Finan at seanfinan@irbea.org or 087-4146480.