Webinar 8: Policies and Actions required to mobilise a large scale Irish Biogas Industry

This webinar will explore the opportunities and benefits of a mainstream Irish Biogas Industry and discuss the various policies and actions required to mobilise the industry. In 2019, The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) and The Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Association of Ireland (Cré) launch their joint policy document calling for a biogas support scheme. 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. Join us on this webinar to discuss the policies and actions that are required now to ensure this industry develops in Ireland which is mainstream in many other European countries for many years.

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Oct 7, 2020 09:30 PM Dublin
Topic: Webinar 8: Policies and Actions required to mobilise a large scale Irish Biogas Industry
Register in advance for this webinar here:
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_pwDZpUzVSHqYSVITTVnvSg

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Speakers

Seán Finan
IrBEA CEO

Seán Finan is the Chief Executive Officer with IrBEA, he is a Chartered Engineer and holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Hons) Degree from National University of Ireland, Galway. Prior to joining IrBEA, he has over 12 years engineering and management experience with John Sisk & Son (Holding) Ltd and took a two-year secondment from Sisk (2015 – 2017) to complete the full-time elected role as 35th National President of Macra na Feirme – the young farmers’ representative organisation. Seán’s key role is to lead IrBEA and its members to develop the Bioenergy sector in Ireland. He is also directly involved in IrBEA projects and takes a lead role in the EIP Small Biogas Demonstration Project and the Interreg NWE REDIRECT Project.

Noel Gavigan
Technical Executive, IrBEA
Noel Gavigan is the Executive Officer for IrBEA since 2010, his main role is project delivery and technical backup for members. Noel has worked on some of IrBEA’s main projects including the Biomass Trade Centres, Biogas3, EIP Small Biogas Demonstration Project and Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Certification Scheme.

Percy Foster
CEO of Cré (Composting & Anaerobic Digestion Association of Ireland)
Established in 2001, Cré is the Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Association of Ireland. They are a non-profit association 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 actively participates in policy working groups and acts as a forum to interested parties to discuss all aspects of composting and anaerobic digestion in Ireland.

Webinar No 7: The Role of Edenderry Power in the Irish biomass Supply Chain

Ireland currently derives just 4% of its energy from bioenergy, this needs to rise to 15% by 2030 with further deployment beyond to meet Paris Agreement targets.  By 2024 Edenderry Power intends to run solely on 100% sustainable biomass.  Sustainable biomass consumption at Edenderry will ensure that the Midlands will continue its long history of energy supply, moving to low carbon sources.   The associated socio-economic benefits of this will align with the principles of the Just Transition.  This will ensure an indigenous market for a broad range of lower grade and residual forest products, also supporting the development of biomass supply chains for the Heat sector.  This brings with it significant commercial opportunities for growers, processors and suppliers, as well as jobs and benefits for rural development.
Webinar Details
You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Sep 23, 2020 09:30 AM Dublin
Topic: Webinar 7 – The Role of Edenderry Power in the Irish Biomass Supply Chain

Register in advance for this webinar below:
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_oNpcBSiNSuWWb0qgSRgZTg

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

Speakers

John MacNamara
Head of Regulatory Affairs at Bord na Móna

Dr John MacNamara heads up Bord na Móna’s Regulatory Affairs team. This team actively engages with policymakers, regulators, trade associations and legislators at local, national and international levels, to ensure Bord na Mona’s strategic direction is aligned with forthcoming legislation, policy decisions and regulatory rule sets.  John is company secretary for the Electricity Association of Ireland, vice-chair of IBEC’s Energy Provides Group (EPC) and a member of the Brussels based Eurelectric ‘s Wholesale Markets Design Working Group. John has previously worked with the EPA as a senior scientist as well as in the private environmental sector, and he holds a PhD in Combustion Chemistry and an LLB in Irish Law.

Joseph Spollen 
Biomass Manager at Bord na Móna Power Generation


Joseph has extensive knowledge of the Bioenergy sector having held technical roles in both heat and power generation in the UK and Ireland, involving the development and operation of biomass supply chains, a graduate of UCD, DIT and Brunel University London. Joseph’s role as Biomass Manager is to ensure the delivery of Sustainable Biomass to Edenderry Power.

IrBEA Panelist

Seán Finan – IrBEA CEO – Meeting Chair

Noel Gavigan – IrBEA Technical Executive

PRESS RELEASE: Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) welcomes new Project Officer

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) is delighted to announce that Stephen McCormack has been appointed as a Project Officer for the Association.

Seán Finan IrBEA CEO said “On behalf of IrBEA, I’m delighted to welcome Stephen McCormack to the Association. I wish him the best of luck and every success in his new role. Stephen brings with him a wealth of experience to the organisation and we look forward to working with him at this pivotal juncture as Ireland transitions to renewables away from fossil fuels”

Stephen McCormack holds a Bachelor Degree in Energy, Sustainability and the Environment from IT Sligo. He also holds a postgraduate in Environmental Management. He brings a broad range of experience and knowledge to IrBEA and will join the IrBEA team at an exciting time for the Renewable Energy sector. Stephen will focus on delivery of the recently commenced Interreg NW Europe Three C Project. This project will focus on the circular carbon economy through the development of value-added carbon products and services based on biochar and carbon feedstocks. Stephen will also be involved in other projects and work programmes within the organisation.

Prior to joining IrBEA, he worked for a number of years with the Regional Development team at the Western Development Commission. During that time Stephen worked on the RE-DIRECT project and the Blue Circular Economy project, two ERDF funded projects looking at the area of the circular economy.

Stephen McCormack said “I am delighted to be able to join the team here at IrBEA. I think the work done by the association is invaluable and I am looking forward to working with the team, the members and wider stakeholders to help further the development of the sector in any way I can. I see great potential in the role bioenergy will play in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and I am particularly interested in the possible intersection of bioenergy and environmental improvements that the Three C project will explore.”

About the Three C Project:

Add information paragraph

The Three C project is a transnational Interreg North West Europe project consisting of project partners from 6 different countries. It is the follow on project to the RE-DIRECT project and is aimed at promoting the development of high quality products and value chains based on charcoal feedstocks. It will do this through the creation of regional Circular Carbon Hubs( CC-Hubs) where products can be developed and marketed, a number of Circular Carbon Labs (CC- Labs) where products and feedstocks can be quality tested, and, through the development of a network( CC- Net) that will provide business supports, training and advice for SMEs looking to get involved in the sector.

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.