WEBINAR 9: Potential for small scale AD on Irish Farms

Farm scale biogas plants present a unique opportunity for farms to produce renewable energy, deal with on farm wastes, convert these wastes into enhanced nutrient sources for crops, while at the same time lessoning emissions of nutrients to water courses and pollutants such as methane and ammonia to air. In this webinar IrBEA will focus on the potential for farm scale biogas plants on Irish dairy, beef, pig and poultry farms. IrBEA in conjunction with Teagasc are currently working on a European Innovation Partnership project to investigate and demonstrate this potential for Irish agriculture. Speakers Sean Finan and Noel Gavigan will be joined by Tim Clarke a biogas expert with many decades experience incorporating biogas plants onto farms.

Details on registration
If you interested, register in advance for this webinar:
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eNMJQvPlQL-zAH54OT1vYQ
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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
IrBEA Technical Executive
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.

Tim Clarke
Biogas Consultant
Tim Clarke has many years and vast experience as a consultant in the Biogas industry in Ireland, the UK and beyond. He has been involved in the development of Biogas plants from design, planning, construction and operation. Tim providing consultancy services to IrBEA on the European Innovation Partnership Small Biogas Demonstration Project and will share his insights into this scale of plant on this webinar.

WEBINAR: IrBEA Launch INTERREG North West Europe funded THREE C Project as part of the Bioeconomy Ireland Week 2020

DATE: Tuesday 20th October, 9.30 – 11.30am

To coincide with the Bioeconomy Ireland Week 2020, the Irish Bioenergy Association are to launch the THREE C project here in Ireland. The project is a three-year Interreg North West Europe funded project which sees 13 project partners from across 6 countries participating in a transnational collaborative initiative aimed at creating a carbon circular economy. The project is the follow up to the RE-DIRECT project which investigated the potential to develop indigenous biochar and activated carbon production from underutilised, waste or residual biomass.

THREE C aims to move beyond the proof of concept stage and instead is focused on promoting innovation and business development in the circular economy based on alternative charcoal products. Biochar, which is a carbon rich solid material made by heating biomass in a low oxygen environment, has a wide range of potential applications largely due to their physical structure – being highly porous, they have large surface areas making them very effective as an adsorbent. Biochar can be used for filtration purposes, to reduce smells and odours, as a soil conditioner and improver as well as a variety of potential agricultural and industrial applications.

The project will look to team up with any SMEs, start-ups or entrepreneurs looking to develop biochar based products or services, and, with the cooperation of project partners from across 6 different countries, provide access to expertise in product development, quality control and marketing.

Details on registration
If you interested, register in advance for this webinar:
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1DY4qBisQyGwRnHEur2ZWA
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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PRESS RELEASE: IrBEA outlines Bioenergy priorities ahead of the Budget

For Immediate Release:
09/10/2020

Budget 2021 is expected to be a watershed budget in terms of driving towards 2030 and 2050 climate actions. Government support for Irish bioenergy industry through dedicated support and development measures will greatly assist in meeting Irelands targets. The bioenergy sectors of biomass, biogas, biofuels, energy crops and wood fuels are all part of the bioeconomy and offer considerable potential and opportunity to drive the economic, jobs and growth agenda in rural areas.

Seán Finan, Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) CEO said “The industry in Ireland is waiting for its full potential to be realised by the Government and the budget presents the Government with an opportunity to announced measures and supports which will help to mobilise our industry across the different sectors. There is significant potential for bioenergy to contribute to renewable heat, transport and electricity targets, provide opportunities to farmers through farm diversification and development of alternative enterprises, development of rural jobs and addressing the climate changes and emissions challenges faced by the country.”

Over the last few weeks, IrBEA as the voice of the Irish bioenergy industry and working towards a sustainable energy future, has lobbied in advance of the budget on the issues impacting our members in the bioenergy sector. IrBEA is calling for a mixture of supports, policy announcements and practical issues to be addressed in the Budget and Finance Act which are impacting our industry and members.

Finan continued “Bioenergy is a thriving industry across Europe, and one that Ireland needs to fully embrace. In challenging times it is vital to exploit all proven opportunities to tackle climate change, renew and expand well paid and secure employment and enable security of energy supply.”

Despite the fact that Ireland has a natural advantage in producing bioenergy due to our mild climate and fertile land, out of 28 member states Ireland is 27th in terms of its use of renewable heat. We have a unique opportunity to build a significant industry with multiple benefits. 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 through quadrupling our bioenergy industry is a remarkable opportunity.

Finan concluded “While our focus is on using bioenergy in the transition away from fossil fuels, we acknowledge that building sustainable, economic and social recovery we should also embrace related renewable technologies as well achieving the development of sustainable materials and the protection of our ecosystems. Essentially we need to marshal a wide range of technologies and renewable fuels to decarbonise the energy sector.”

ENDS.

For Further Information Contact: Seán Finan IrBEA CEO on 087 4146480

Notes to Editors:

Summary of the Bioenergy budget measures include:

  • Budget provision for widespread roll out of the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) in 2021 and rapid resolution of implementation issues with the scheme. These issues are severely impacting on bioenergy’s potential to contribute to national renewable heat and greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

 

  • Additional dedicated resources to be assigned to the SEAI to assist with the efficient administration and implementation of the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH).

 

  • Increase in carbon tax by €10/tonne in Budget 2021, provided effective measures are also implemented to reduce fuel poverty. This should be combined with regulation of wood fuel quality as outlined in IrBEA’s submission to DCCAE and EPA.

 

  • Ringfencing of revenue generated from carbon tax increases to provide support for the development of bioenergy and a biogas/biomethane industry in Ireland on a phased and sustainable basis benefitting rural jobs and the circular economy.

 

  • In line with Action 53 in the Climate Action Plan, make provision for a dedicated preference category under the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) and other processes for financing of biomass CHP, biogas CHP and local heating projects, with particular reference to community involvement, and mobilisation of forest biomass.

 

  • As part of the Midlands Renewable Energy Hub, provision for the widening of support for greater use of biomass at scale to decarbonise electricity at Edenderry Power transitioning to 100% renewable electricity by 2023.

 

  • The Midlands Renewable Energy hub needs to be established immediately to allow the repurposing away from peat to the efficient usage of bioenergy for heat and power provision and the establishment of supply chains, employment opportunities and rural development.

 

  • Introduction of a Biogas support scheme to mobilise an Irish biogas industry on a phased basis as per our joint policy paper developed in association with Cré

 

  • Provision be made in the Finance Act for the revenue treatment of biomass chipping and related equipment to be the same as the treatment of other mobile machinery such as mobile cranes and concrete pumping equipment. This is specially related to using rebated fuel, registration of overweigh vehicles and tachograph usage.

 

  • As per the Biofuel Obligation Scheme, biofuels are blended with petrol and diesel available at the forecourt. We call for the immediate increase of blending rates to E10 (10% Ethanol) petrol blend and B12 (12% Biodiesel) diesel blend in Ireland. This would increase the blending rates from the current substitution rates of E5 for petrol and B7 for Diesel.

 

  • Introduction of a grant scheme to support the transition from fossil fuel appliances to eco-design compliant appliances at a residential level. This will support an energy transition to the use of cleaner, energy efficient appliances which will contribute to greenhouse gas emissions savings, and rural employment.

 

  • That the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine make provision in their budget for the introduction of support for the energy crop sector. The Irish Bioenergy Association, its members and key stakeholders are working on a policy paper in this area as a way of providing indigenous biomass, an alternative farm enterprise, promoting the bioeconomy, rural development, and jobs.

 

  • We support the calls by the forest industry for financial provision be made for increased staff and specialist resourcing in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to address forestry licensing issues and backlog.

IrBEA Budget Lobbying Document 2020 Pdf

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).