IrBEA Member – 3 Counties Energy Agency (3CEA) are Lead Partners in Interreg NWE Project – REGENERGY

Renewable Energy Regions

Strong partnerships to connect urban demand & rural supply

NWE is one of the EU’s highest energy consuming regions. The share of renewable energy in the region’s production and consumption mix is low and there is a strong dependence on non-renewable energy sources.

RegEnergy aims to break up existing structures for increasing the use of renewable energy in NWE regions. Creating renewable energy demand–supply partnerships between urbanised and surrounding rural territories will lead to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 9 project-partners from 7 NWE countries, representing metropolitan regions, cities, rural communities, regional agencies, scientific institutions and renewable energy producers will develop strategies and models to illustrate how such partnerships can be built. In three strategic areas the missing regional links between demand and supply from renewables will be addressed: The institutional and administrative framework conditions (e.g. cooperation agreements) as well as the main infrastructure (e.g. biogas pipelines) that such partnerships require are as central as the question of required technologies (e.g. smart grids, storage capacities).

Pilot partnerships in across Northwest-Europe will invest in

  • institutional arrangements for regional prosumers
  • lacking renewable infrastructure
  • regional supply-demand chains
  • coping with limited grid capacity and intermittent RE supply
  • balancing regional supply and demand profiles

To sustain and widely spread the results RegEnergy partners will present best-practice and showcases to cooperating regions and will actively help them to develop appropriate RE demand-supply partnerships in their region.

The partnership is led by the European city network Climate Alliance and includes project-partners from France (Brest métropolis), Belgium (Flux50), Great Britain (Plymouth City Council), the Netherlands (Waterstromen), Ireland (3 Counties Energy Agency, Waterford Institute of Technology, Ormonde Upgrading Limited) and Switzerland (Planair).

 

Project funding period: Oct 2018 – Sep 2022
RegEnergy is supported by the INTERREG North-West Europe Program. The total project budget amounts to €11.08 million Euro; application for ERDF funding: 6.1 million Euro.

Want to learn more?  Contact: Sesame Ndlovu via sndlovu@3cea.ie

 

 

IrBEA PRESS RELEASE: Climate Action Plan ambition welcomed but needs to be reinforced with bioenergy support measures

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) welcomes the publication last week of the Climate Action Plan. IrBEA articulates that the renewable energy targets set out in the plan in terms of heat and biomethane will only be realised if backed with significant financial supports.

Speaking on Friday at a technical workshop on the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH)  Des O’Toole, IrBEA President & Coillte Market Development Manager said “Overall, sustainably produced biomass will play a key role in Ireland’s transition from a fossil-fuel based economy to a low carbon economy. The SSRH unlocks great potential to provide energy savings and carbon emissions reductions by lowering energy costs for Irish industry, it ensures these businesses remain competitive in a global environment”

IrBEA also launched the IrBEA Biomass Heating Systems Designers and Installers Register, IrBEA CEO Seán Finan said “Bioenergy as a fully dispatchable renewable energy technology can assist in achieving our Renewable Energy targets across all three areas of electricity, heat and transport. For bioenergy to become mainstream, meaningful government supports will be required” 

 

Finan continued “Industry feedback following publication of the Climate Action plan suggests that the plan ‘over-emphasises’ the part electricity will play.  IrBEA fully support the target of 70% renewable electricity by 2030. However, electricity is less than one third of our primary energy usage and we cannot expect to decarbonise the economy without addressing heat and transport decarbonisation also. Bioenergy is ideally place to assist in this effort with heat and transport. The potential for use of highly efficient biomass boilers and renewable biogas boilers in domestic houses cannot be overlooked in favour of heat pumps. Biomass systems need to form part of the technology mix to be used in domestic installations”

Noel Gavigan IrBEA executive concluded “ our SSRH Technical workshop today heard calls for the return of the energy crop establishment support scheme to ensure that Irish indigenous energy crops and short rotation coppices are incentivised to assist in satisfying the market needs for biomass which the SSRH will generate. Growing these crops will also assist in the decarbonisation of agriculture and also support rural jobs and economic activity. Attendees acknowledged the importance of competent designers and installers of biomass heating systems as well as quality feedstock certified by the Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Scheme (WFQA) as key components for the success of the SSRH scheme”

The Irish Bioenergy Association would like to thank the speakers who gave their time and expertise to this event and all the participants who attended, in excess of 150. If you would like to view the presentations or photos from the day, click here: Presentations Photos

Release Date: 21 June 2019

 

Picture from the Irish Foresters Conference – Forestry as a Climate Change Solution

Des O’Toole IrBEA President presented at the Society of Irish Foresters Conference in Meath. He talked at length on the positive impact of timber in construction & the bioeconomy. Des is pictured here with all the contributors from the day.

PRESS RELEASE: Support Scheme for Renewable Heat Launch is a Game Changer for the Heat Sector

Press Release:

Immediate Release 04th June 2019

Support Scheme for Renewable Heat is a Game Changer for the Heat Sector says the Irish Bioenergy Association

The Irish Bioenergy Association welcomes the announcement by Minister Bruton this morning that the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) is open for applications from today.

Speaking following the announcement IrBEA president Des O’Toole said, “The introduction of the SSRH is a game changer as Ireland now urgently needs to address its declared climate emergency. As well as contributing towards Ireland’s ambitious renewable energy targets, the expected growth in demand for biomass will be a key outlet for the increased supply of forest fibre projected over the next 15 years. Its introduction is welcomed and will stimulate further investment across the forestry supply chain and support the creation of new jobs across the rural economy. Ireland now needs to show leadership and drive the climate change agenda and the SSRH is a step in the right direction.”

IrBEA CEO Seán Finan said “After years of waiting and lobbying, IrBEA welcomes the announcement of the opening of the SSRH scheme for Biomass and Anaerobic Digestion (Biogas) heat systems. The biomass heating sector is currently in a state of stagnation and has waited many years for this scheme to open. This scheme is the kick-start that this industry requires to mobilise the renewable heat sector in Ireland. We are currently reviewing the full terms and conditions of the scheme released this morning.  I strongly encourage non-domestic heat users  including farmers to consider applying for this scheme and install a biomass heating system through the SSRH which will deliver long term environmental and economic benefits. ”

IrBEA notes that the scheme is based on 1300 GWh of renewable heat per year, it is envisaged approximately 360,000 tonnes of woodchip or 250,000 tonnes of wood pellets will be required to support this new scheme on a yearly basis. The SSRH scheme will only be successful in assisting with reaching our renewable heat targets if a significant budget is ring-fenced for the scheme.

Finan continued “Minister Bruton and his Department needs to ensure that a significant budget is set aside for this scheme in future years to ensure that the scheme reaches the significant potential which exists to change non-domestic heat-users from fossil fuel based heating sources to renewable biomass sources. In IrBEA, we continue to promote best practices in the biomass heating sector through our Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Scheme (WFQA) and are currently developing our Biomass heating systems register of designers and installers.”

SAVE THE DATE: IrBEA will be running a technical workshop on ‘All you need to know about the SSRH’ aimed at heat users, technology providers, woodfuel suppliers and anyone with an interest in the sector on Friday morning 21st June, at a Dublin venue. Full line-up of speakers and venue to be confirmed in the coming days.

End

For Further Information please contact

Seán Finan IrBEA CEO on  087 4146480

SEAI Biomass Heating Workshop

Seán Finan IrBEA CEO presented at an SEAI Workshop in Galway on the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat. Seán discussed the opportunities available for reducing your heating bill and increase sustainable opportunities for your business or public sector organisation with Biomass Heating. These half day conferences were aimed at owners/managers of medium sized businesses or organisations with an appetite to cut cost, open opportunities and support local jobs. Included in the picture are Gearóid Dorchaí (Údarás na Gaeltachta), Denis Dineen (SEAI), PJ McLoughlin (SEAI), Seamus Rooney (Ricardo) and Mark Kenny (Biomass Engineering).

PRESS RELEASE: IrBEA Welcomes SSRH State Aid Approval and Calls for Immediate Opening of the Scheme

16/04/2019

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) warmly welcomes the confirmation that the EU has formally approved the state aid application for the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH). This scheme needs to open immediately in response to the state aid approval.

IrBEA CEO Seán Finan said “the Irish heat sector is currently in a state of stagnation. The industry has waited for many years for the opening of a support scheme for renewable heat. The approval of the Irish state aid application by the EU Commission is a positive development and is the impetus and stimulus that the industry needs at this time. This approval needs to be followed immediately with the launch of the SSRH scheme by Minister Bruton and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). Our members demand that the scheme is launched immediately so that they can begin planning and putting the necessary arrangements in place for the upcoming projects, which will be delivered under the scheme. ”

IrBEA has lobbying for many years on behalf of its members for the full implementation of the SSRH scheme which presents many opportunities for the Irish heat sector. The SSRH will help to decarbonise the heat sector, encourage the move from fossil based to biomass based heating systems, while assisting in our obligations in terms of renewable heat targets. Farmers particularly in the pig, poultry and horticulture sector will benefit. Heat users in the non-emission trading, non-single domestic, commercial, industrial, agricultural and public sectors will also benefit from this scheme. The scheme will pay an operational aid based on eligible heat use which reduces as heat output increases.

Finan concluded “this SSRH scheme will contribute to Ireland’s heat targets under the RED II directive. The scheme needs to be properly funded and not administratively heavy which would hinder uptake. The scheme offers significant potential to decarbonise our heat sector and move away from fossil fuel sources to renewable biomass energy heating systems. IrBEA continues to play its part in the development of the biomass heating and wood fuels sector through the Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Scheme (WFQA) and also through our SEAI funded Biomass Practitioners Register project which is creating a register of competent biomass heating systems designers and installers. ” 
For further information please Contact Seán Finan IrBEA CEO on 087 4146480

The Irish Partners IrBEA & WDC visit Germany for Interreg EU RE-DIRECT Conference in Baden Baden

IrBEA and the Western Development Commissions are Irish Partners on the Interreg EU REDIRECT project. Sean Finan and Teresa O’Brien from IrBEA had 3 productive days in Baden-Baden last week, a partners meeting took place on the Monday where all partners reported on developments and work done under the RE-DIRECT project in their jurisdiction.

On the second day 80 participants including several Irish companies visited a Pyreg plant in Baden-Baden – Eigenbetrieb Umwelttechnik. This plant has heat contracts with municipal consumers of bioenergy and biofuels with public buildings such as schools and libraries. The partner is responsible for the treatment of organic waste and the waste water treatment of the city of Baden-Baden.

This plant acts as a depot for the delivery of all organic waste and storage for the town. In this facility pre-treated green waste – timber, chip, roadside cuttings, manure, and garden waste from the surrounding municipality is processed using IFBB technology, the technology is aimed to develop an environmentally-friendly biofuel production by using green cuttings and waste water. It’s a working model of a circular economy by focusing on utilising abandoned urban, natural and agricultural areas for biomass and by being processed produces fuel, electricity, heat and biochar for water filtration.

Pyreg Plant in Baden Baden  – The second picture shows the pipe feeding activated carbon

with reactor in the background.

   
       

80 attend the visit to the Pyreg Unit in Baden Baden the first picture shows the Pyreg

process with the steps mapped & outputs of activated carbon, gas, heat and electricity  shown                

    

The German partners – Eigenbetrieb Umwelttechnik have successful built this biochar plant with the support of EU Interreg projects like COMBINE and now RE-DIRECT, delegates last week had a chance to see this plant up and running with an engineer talking through the processes at work.

The goal of the RE-DIRECT project is to convert 20.000t of unused biomass into carbon products. Activated carbon and biochar can be used for many things – alternative feed-stock for products in agricultural, waste-water, health and care product industries. In this case Germany requires tight regulations in the purification water plants primarily for the reduction of pharmaceutical residue in the water, so this plant produces high grade activated carbon which is used in the water filtration system of the town’s water supply located next to the facility.

The third day was followed by a conference – Smart Use of Biomass for Alternative Carbon Products We had strong speakers from the University of Kassel, Dr Michael Wachendorf who elaborated on the RE-DIRECT project and Dr Frank Hensgen spoke about the technical feasibility and ecological sustainability of developing a market for activated carbon and biochar. Dr Nikolas Hageman from Ithaka Institute which is a centre for collaboration on all things that are carbon related spoke about finding carbon intelligent solutions, the Institute is known for its expertise in production, post-production treatment and use of biochar. The Irish Partners – Western Development Commission were represented by Clodagh Barry who spoke about the economic investment potential in the region of Ireland. The day was wrapped up with discussion groups around building markets and developing awareness, all in all it was a productive few days of knowledge sharing and network building, certainly our Irish delegates who came to the conference seemed to feel they got a lot out of the event both in terms of meeting people and understanding the market place.

 

Pictured at the recently organised Interreg NW EU REDIRECT Project 2 day Partners meeting, Conference and site visit organised by the German partners of the RE-DIRECT Project – Q2. Back Row L to R – Sean Finan (IrBEA CEO) Peter Layden (Arigna Fuels) Bernard Carey (Loughderg Charcoal) Stephen McCormack (Western Development Commission) Maria O’Connell (Mayo County Council) Robert Johnson (Arigna Fuels), Louis Ward (Ward Agricultural Consultants) Front Row L to R – Clodagh Barry (Western Development Commission) Savithri Senaratne (Hydros) Teresa O’Brien (IrBEA) Louise Ward (Ward Agricultural Consultants

IrBEA Develop Biomass Designers and Installers Register

In October 2018 IrBEA received a grant offer from Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI) to develop a Biomass Designers and Installers Register.

For a number of years, members have reported that some commercial biomass installations have not functioned correctly. This can be for a multitude of reasons including poor designs, incorrect installations or bad management of boilers. By creating a register of designers and installers who have demonstrated a level of experience, IrBEA feel this will help to professionalise the industry.

In late November, the IrBEA Management Committee recommended the creation of a sub-group of IrBEA members to start developing rules for this register and begin the project work. This sub-group has met twice to date and IrBEA members who are not currently involved are very welcome to join.

To read some of the background to this project and it’s key objectives read more HERE

IrBEA ran a successful 2 day course for Biomass Installers and Designers on the 4th and 5th of February in Dublin. The course was presented by David Palmer. David is a specialist with extensive expertise and experience in the design  and installation of biomass boiler systems. David has worked with IrBEA over the years. It is likely that attendance at this course, or subsequent similar courses (a second course may be run in June or July 2019) will be a requirement for companies to join the register. If you are interested in participating in this 2 day training course or if you have any questions on the Biomass Practitioners Register project please get in touch with Sean Finan at seanfinan@irbea.org

Pictured at the recently organised IrBEA 2 day Biomass design and installation training course organised as part of the IrBEA /  SEAI Biomass Practitioners Register Project and held at the Carlton Hotel Dubln Airport were: Back Row L to R – Simeon Walsh (Filtrex), Ryan Barker (Fichtner Consulting Engineers), Ryan Crawford (Alternative Heat) Gerry Darcy (Udarus na Gaeltachta), Ciaran Miller (Clearpower), Niall Mc Namara (Bord na Mona) Lee Kelly (Keltech Heat Services) Middle   L to R – Graham Whelan (Biomass Engineering), Kenny Mc Cauley (McCauley Wood Fuels), David Butler (Woodco Energy) Declan Crosse (Woodco Energy) Tim Ryan (Woodco Energy) Bobbie Milligan (Colloide Engineering) David Flynn (Wood2Go) Phillip Goode ( Noel Lawlor Consulting Engineering) Denis Phelan ( Noel Lawlor Consulting Engineering) Blaine Warnock (CHP Mechanical) Front  L to R – John Smyth (CHP mechanical) George Hegan (Hegan Biomass) Alan Hegan (Hegan Biomass) Sean Finan (IrBEA CEO), Denis Neary (SEAI), David Palmer (IrBEA Trainer), Denis Deering (Smart Power), Pat Durkan (Urban Biomass) Micheál Galvin (Enviroeye Engineering) Missing from Photo: Mark Kenny (Biomass Engineering) 

PRESS RELEASE: IrBEA National Bioenergy Conference – Bioenergy Future Ireland – Croke Park Dublin

Swift Government Action on Policy needed to Mobilise Bioenergy

The need for the government to immediately open the main support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) and to progress with a feed in tariff for biogas were the top priorities for delegates attending todays Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) conference held at Croke Park.

The theme of the conference sponsored by CPL Industries and DWF is Mobilising Bioenergy with Policy and Action. The conference brings together delegates from across the main bioenergy sectors of biomass, biogas, biofuels and energy crops who gather to discuss the actions needed to mobilise the bioenergy industry with a particular focus on technology, investment and the climate change agenda as we transition to more renewables and sustainable energy sources.

The potential for the bioenergy sector in Ireland is huge and swift government action on bioenergy policy can accelerate economic growth, sustain thousands of jobs especially in rural areas, improve environmental quality, drastically cut CO2 emissions, assist in meeting our international renewable energy commitments and avoiding EU fines.

Speaking in his opening address Seán Finan CEO of IrBEA stated Our immediate priority is the roll out of the full SSRH scheme. The industry has had many promised and expected launch dates of SSRH which have come and gone. The industry eagerly awaits the launch of this scheme. We call on Minister Bruton to clarify today the timelines for the scheme launch. The industry demand certainty on the scheme timelines as they are currently organising staffing and work plans for the remainder of the year 

Opening the conference, Chair of the joint Oireachtas Committee on Communication, Climate Action and Environment Hildegarde Naughton T.D.  updated all attendees on the work of her committee and the role bioenergy can play in addressing the climate change challenges facing Ireland.

In his presentation President of the Irish Bioenergy Association Des OToole and Coilltes Biomass Development Manager highlighted the potential for forestry and biomass as key elements of our bioenergy sector.

Mr OToole said The bioenergy sector is a key part of the overall forestry ecosystem and has an important part to play in its growth. As well as contributing towards Irelands ambitious renewable energy targets and Irelands transition from a fossil-fuel based economy to a low carbon economy, the expected growth in demand for biomass will be a key outlet for the increased supply of fibre projected over the next 10 years’’. 

Paddy Phelan Vice President of IrBEA said Clear and obvious economic benefits of the local energy supply chain and its natural position as a low carbon energy supply, which will future proof us within the Renewable Energy Directive II requirements of less than 60g of CO2 per unit of energy produced by 2026 on the island Ireland.

IrBEA actively promotes the huge potential for development of a meaningful biogas industry in Ireland.

Finan continued As an agriculture country, we have an abundance of feedstock. There are many benefits for biogas across many government departments. These include reducing agricultural emissions, improving water quality, economic and jobs in rural and decarbonisation of our gas network and transport fleet with green gas to name but a few

For a biogas industry to be stimulated it will need a government support in terms of a feed in tariff. A high percentage of a tariff provided would go directly back to farmers in rural Ireland for the purchase of feedstock by biogas operators.

Finan concluded This support needs to be assessed by looking at the multi benefits of biogas from a climate, emissions reduction, jobs perspective across a number of government department rather than looking at this as simply a financial cost to the exchequer.

ENDS

CONTACT:   Seán Finan, IrBEA CEO,   +353 87 4146480 or seanfinan@irbea.org

EDITORS NOTES:

Photo Attached: Des OToole IrBEA President and Coillte Business Development Manager, Chair of the joint Oireachtas Committee on Communication, Climate Action and Environment Hildegarde Naughton T.D.  Sean Finan CEO IrBEA

 

Minister Bruton to Submit Draft National Energy and Climate Plan to European Commission

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Richard Bruton T.D. yesterday the first draft of Ireland’s National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP). It will now be submitted to the European Commission. A final plan will have to be submitted in twelve months’ time. From then on, all member states will be required to outline their energy and climate policies in detail each year, for the period 2021 to 2030, and onwards to 2050. IrBEA will take time to review this document and revert back to members for feedback in the new year.
The link to draft NECP plan is available here.