Renewable Electricity Support Scheme – Design Consultation is Seeking Submissions

The Public consultation on the development and design of a new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) for Ireland has been launched. This consultation is seeking submissions to specific questions relating to the design principles and structure of the new RESS, including models and pathways to deliver increased community and citizen participation in renewable electricity projects. Feedback is sought on the emerging design options of the new scheme. Link to consultation details here. It is expected that this consultation will remain open for a period of 9 weeks until 3rd November.

Public Consultation on Development of a National Policy for the Bioeconomy

Submissions are invited on developing Ireland’s Bioeconomy, relevant submissions to the Bioeconomy Discussion Document will input into the drafting of a National Policy Statement on the bioeconomy. This will cut across a number of sectors and Departments, and the objective of the policy statement is to ensure greater policy coherence and assign responsibility to Departments for specific elements of the bioeconomy. The Bioeconomy Discussion document can be viewed here.  Written submissions should be sent to the Department of the Taoiseach before 15th September 2017 Email: bioeconomy@taoiseach.gov.ie
Background:

  1. The EU & the Bioeconomy
  2. Ireland & the bioeconomy
    • BioEire – Next Steps for the Irish bioeconomy: supply, demand, business and research consideration

Consultation on Medium Combustion Plant Directive

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) is seeking views on transposition of the Medium Combustion Plant (MCP) Directive. Medium combustion plants are used for a variety of purposes including electricity generation, providing heat for industrial processes, and commercial heating and cooling systems. They are plants which range in thermal input size from 1 megawatt (MWth) to 50 MWth.
Under the Directive, most medium sized combustion plants will only be allowed to operate when registered or permitted, and when complying with emission limit values for SO2, NOx and dust. More information can be found here  Contact: mcp@dccae.gov.ie, submissions in by close of business on Friday 29 September 2017.

Report from Energy in Agriculture Event – Highlighting Sustainable Energy Opportunities

A lot of IrBEA members attended the Energy in Agriculture event in Tipperary last week. IrBEA had a stand which focused on promoting the forthcoming National Bioenergy Conference – Bioenergy Future Ireland 2018, together with our conference partners Box Media we talked to a lot of attendees and exhibitors who expressed a keen interest in participating at IrBEA conference, indeed many signed up.  IrBEA also had a stand promoting  the Wood Fuel Quality and Assurance scheme. The WFQA was one of the positive elements discussed in Frank Groome’s (DCCAE) talk on the mechanics of the RHI, he discussed the inclusion of fuel quality standards and sustainability criteria. Results of the consultation showed 82% in favour of the Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Scheme. IrBEA administers the WFQA which is an industry quality standard (EN 17225) used by members to deliver sustainable quality biomass and firewood to energy markets. The WFQA is also supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Check out the WFQA website for more details www.wfqa.org

Speaking at the event Minister Naughten said that there are huge opportunities out there in the energy sector for farmers and landowners. He said that proposals for a Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Scheme will be brought to government in September. He said he was determined to make sure the RHI benefits local farmers. The Minister expects to be making a series of announcements between now and the National Ploughing Championships. Further press reviews of the day can been seen at Agriland and Teagasc

Bord na Móna – 15 Year Contracts Available for Biomass

Bord na Móna (BNM) will offer 15-year contracts for project developers supplying biomass, Mike Quinn, the company’s CEO, announced at the Energy in Agriculture event, Quinn said this move comes as the semi-state company aims to phase out of the generation of power from peat by 2030. It is Bord na Móna(BNM) intention through a division called BNM BioEnergy to develop a secure and competitive supply of biomass from both indigenous and international sources.
Bord na Móna BioEnergy intend to handle all of the sourcing and logistics arrangements for delivery of the biomass to the project site. ‘Most importantly, these supply contracts will be backed by BNM’s balance sheet as a commercial semi-state’. They believe it will be attractive to funding sources and should act as a key enabler when raising finance on biomass projects. There will be no floor or ceiling on the size of these contracts in terms of annual tonnage demand or duration as BNM believe the supply chain can cater for the volumes required by the smallest to the largest of projects.
He added: “We’ll be importing wood pellets and wood chip from the US and other countries until our own self-sufficient sources – like the willow plantations and fast-growing eucalyptus we’re planting on farms and on BNM land, plus the private forestry sector – come on stream over the next 10-15 years.” Last year BNM sourced over 400,000t of biomass for Edenderry power station, which allowed them to co-fire at 42% of the total fuel.
Mike Quinn said they are currently working with the ESB on a project to convert their two stations to co-fire with biomass. In 2020, ‘the three power stations will have an annual requirement of over 1.2 million tonnes. This increased usage of biomass will contribute to a significant reduction in the state’s energy-related carbon emissions going forward,” he said.

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Irish Times Article on Companies Switching to Biogas and What Ireland Needs to Grow this Sector

Kevin O’Sullivan of the Irish Times talks in this article about some of Ireland’s leading food and drink companies who are supporting a big move into production of biogas, an emissions-free energy source from agricultural waste and energy crops. Diageo, one of the State’s biggest gas consumers – mainly through St James’s Gate brewery in Dublin – and Dairygold Co-Op are leading the way in this move. Much of Diageo’s gas needs next year are likely to be supplied by an IrBEA member Green Generation in Co Kildare, an anaerobic digester (AD) plant set up by pig farmer Billy Costello. The €5 million biogas facility is beside one of his pig farms. It is designated a demonstration facility by Gas Networks Ireland, the State-owned Ervia subsidiary supporting development of renewable energy.In 2012 Dairygold installed an AD at its Mitchelstown complex. The technology used was a first for the dairy industry and it is the largest above ground digester of its type in the world. The digester generates biogas from dairy processing waste water. The biogas is burned in boilers and supplies up to 6 per cent of the heat demand for the production site. This displaces natural gas use and saves over 3,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually. Dairygold are currently exploring ways to further reduce its processing carbon footprint through renewable fuels. This article can be read in full here
For those members interested, David Fitzgerald Sustainability Manager at Dairygold will be speaking at IrBEA Conference Bioenergy Future Ireland 2018

Bioenergy Installations Map Ireland 2017

The Irish Bioenergy Association has updated the Bioenergy Installations Map Ireland 2017 this year. The new edition was published to coincide with Bioenergy 2017 – IRBEA National Bioenergy Conference which was held at Castleknock Hotel and Country Club, Co. Dublin in February. This map is published every second year, it shows type of installation by symbol followed by generating capacity and operator.  We try and show all installations that are built, under construction, or planned/grid connection offer. View map here

RE-DIRECT Project – Report on Progress So Far

IrBEA is a partner of the European project RE-DIRECT (Regional Development and Integration of unused biomass wastes as Resources for Circular products and economic Transformation) In January 2017 the kick-off meeting for this project took place in Bonn. The newsletter link below is an important document, it will update you on the meetings and visits to date and it also goes into some details about the goals of the project. RE-DIRECT will make use of the proven technology named “Integrated Generation of Solid Fuel and Biogas from Biomass (IFBB)”, explained in the diagram below, to convert 20,000t of unused biomass in a circular economy approach into region-specific carbon products. We have quite a few members interested in this this area and we advise you take a look at this newsletter. Newsletter REDIRECT 1

IrBEA elects new President

We would like to warmly welcome Des O’Toole (Coillte – Business Development Manager) as the new President of IrBEA, Des has worked with IrBEA for many years on the committee, he has provided invaluable support and has helped grow the organisation. We look forward to him leading IrBEA into the next period where we hope to see bioenergy sector develop. We would also like to congratulate Paddy Phelan (Manager of Carlow and Kilkenny Energy Agency) for taking up the role of Vice President,  we are extremely lucky to have these two experienced experts working on the IrBEA board.