Announcing new members

  • Greengrove Energy (woodchip)
  • Hanley Fuels (firewood)
  • O’Dwyer Timber Contractors (firewood)
  • Barrett Fuels (firewood)We welcome these new members to the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) and also congratulate them on joining the Wood Fuel Quality Assurance (WFQA) scheme and becoming certified suppliers of quality firewood and woodchip.👉 Discover where these Irish companies are located on the suppliers map at all these companies deliver firewood or woodchip to businesses and homes across the country.🤔 Interested in joining Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) membership? Read our promotional Brochure

Joint Press Release – From Gurteen College and the Irish Bioenergy Association

New Bioenergy Training Course for farmers: Gurteen College and IrBEA combine

Immediate Release: 17th January 2023

A new bioenergy training course for farmers will start on Friday 20th January 2023. It will be run as a collaboration between Gurteen College and the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA). The project is made possible by funding from the National Just Transition Fund for the wider Midlands region and Gurteen College and IrBEA’s agreement to deliver it jointly.

“This is a pivotal time for farming and climate action, and we are delighted to partner with the Irish Bioenergy Association to bring in its bioenergy technical knowledge and market development expertise for the delivery of this course. It reflects our ongoing delivery of sustainability in farming programmes for our students, and it will play an important part in the Just Transition for the wider Midlands region,” commented Gurteen College Principal, Mr Jon Parry.

A collaborative learning approach is a key part of our ethos here at Gurteen, and in this case, collaborating with IrBEA means that we can broaden and deepen the level of knowledge and expertise that the Bioenergy Training Course can access and offer to our students”, added Mr Parry.

IrBEA’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Seán Finan commented that this course is an exciting opportunity for farmers interested in bioenergy, regardless of their previous level of knowledge or expertise in it:

“Sustainability, energy and new income opportunities are very much at the core of discussions both about farming generally and amongst farmers themselves. This new Bioenergy Training Course offers the whole spectrum of farmers an opportunity to learn more about sustainable bioenergy, and the different ways it can contribute to farming, the economy, and our communities and environment”, stated Mr Finan.

Mr Finan went on to say that: “We are delighted to have arrived at this point where this exciting training opportunity for farmers is about to start, and look forward to delivering this collaboration with Gurteen College. We have been pleased to collaborate with Gurteen College on some other initiatives to date, and we look forward to the new Bioenergy Training Course being a great success. I want to thank Jon Parry, Gurteen College’s Principal, its Course Co-ordinator, Niall Finnegan and our own Co-ordinator for this course, Pádraic Ó hUiginn for his role in enabling it to get up and running.”

The course delivery will involve a mix of lectures, demonstrations and site visits. Topics covered will include: bioenergy, an overview; energy crops and solid biomass; gaseous bioenergy: biogas and biomethane; costs and budgeting; liquid biofuels, biochar, and bioenergy’s role in building sustainable biomass supply chains. There will also be a day tour as part of the course.

Gurteen College has 75 years of experience of agricultural teaching and training. IrBEA represents the broad remit of bioenergy, across the island of Ireland, since 1999. The bioenergy training course will run for one day a week for six weeks, with the possibility of some additional modules emerging from the discussions and learnings on the course. A team from IrBEA and Gurteen College will jointly deliver the course. The course will be provided on a funded scholarship-type basis. On-site attendance and participation at Gurteen College is required, where meals will be provided. The course promises to provide an exciting combination of Gurteen College’s farming and agricultural expertise and IrBEA’s bioenergy expertise, including support to bioenergy enterprise and market development. For farmers, there will be a particular focus on knowledge transfer in relation to sustainable energy crop production and anaerobic digestion.


“We are looking forward to welcoming back some former students and meeting some new students, who have already committed to the Bioenergy Training Course. There has been a lot of interest in it. We have a very small number of places still available, so if you are genuinely interested, and can commit to attending for the full duration, please get in touch with us to book a place by telephoning 067 21282 or by emailing with your name and phone number to Places will be filled on a first-come first-served basis, with a waiting list operating after that”, said Mr Niall Finnegan, Bioenergy Training Course Co-ordinator at Gurteen College.

“This is an excellent opportunity for IrBEA to share knowledge and raise awareness amongst key stakeholders of the opportunities in bioenergy and also in the Midlands Bioenergy Development Project to help build up bioenergy supply chains”, stated IrBEA’s co-ordinator for the course, Mr Pádraic Ó hUiginn.

“It will also be interesting to hear the insights and questions that the students themselves will bring to the Bioenergy Training Course, with the discussions within the modules being a key part of the course’s learning approach”, concluded Mr Ó hUiginn.

The Bioenergy Training Course is facilitated through Gurteen College’s lead role in the Producing and Promoting Green Energy project, and IrBEA’s delivery of the Midlands Bioenergy Development Project, each funded by the National Just Transition Fund.



Climate Action Plan lacks recognition for the immediate role and potential of bioenergy – IrBEA

For Immediate Release:


The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) is disappointed and concerned that the Climate Action Plan published yesterday does not adequately recognise the immediate and broad role of bioenergy in achieving Ireland’s ambitious climate action targets. The plan risks ‘putting all our eggs in one basket’ on energy security and decarbonisation. The plan is at odds with the evidence provided by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These international experts, across several recent reports, including the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment report, state that to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, in accordance with the Paris Agreement, that the use of feasible renewable technologies, including bioenergy, needs to be rapidly expanded in the short term.

Seán Finan, Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) CEO said: “Bioenergy gets just one mention in the overall climate action plan published yesterday. The plan fails to recognise the significant immediate role and contribution that bioenergy can make to emissions reduction, renewable energy targets and the broader environmental and economic benefits that bioenergy can deliver. The different bioenergy sectors including solid biomass, biogas/biomethane and liquid biofuels do not feature adequately enough in the plan. The recognition of their immediate potential, as proven, sustainable and renewable technologies lags far behind what is necessary to achieve the greenhouse gas reductions set out in national and EU legislation. The plan will not deliver if the level of ambition on bioenergy remains at an insignificant level, not to mention the reliance on unrealistic targets, unproven technologies, policies and aspirations.”

This version of the plan, like previous versions, focuses strongly on electrification of heat and transport but with an increased emphasis on the potential for biogas/biomethane and the role of liquid biofuels. The plan mentions the potential for biomass use at limited industrial heat level only and falls short in terms of recognising solid biomass as a proven, low-cost and sustainable energy source in commercial and domestic applications. The plan’s ambition and strong focus on electrification (88% by 2030) of high-grade industrial heat which is currently not proven or widely deployed, is not credible. Sustainable biomass is a proven, widely deployed and cost-effective technology currently delivering renewable heat at all scales and temperatures from domestic to industrial.

Seán Finan continued “IrBEA members are disappointed that the plan fails to recognise the need and potential to immediately accelerate the broad uptake of bioenergy technology deployment in Ireland. Despite some positive aspects of the plan, the future contribution of bioenergy in Ireland’s renewable energy mix is not meaningfully recognised in contrast to what’s currently happening in many states across Europe in terms of policy and deployment of bioenergy”

Noel Gavigan, IrBEA Technical Executive noted: “The plan is also at odds with other EU member states who consider bioenergy to be central to decarbonisation. This and previous Climate Action Plans have put significant focus on a very small pool of technologies such as electrification of cars, deep retrofit of houses, and electrification of heat. Generally, electricity is the most expensive means by which to heat water or space. With the first three years of this decade now complete the uptake of these technologies are falling far short of the Climate Action Plan expectations. It is becoming abundantly clear that the plan is set to fail significantly to meet 2025 and 2030 targets. Narrow focus on technologies that rely only on electrification is a very risky policy. This is particularly so as at a time when the public is being asked to be careful about when they use electricity – this plan seeks to make Ireland doubly reliant on having a secure renewable electricity grid delivering substantially more power than today. Instead of taking pressure off the electricity grid, the plan proposes to add more demands to it. Other EU member states clearly see the need to develop a wider range of technologies and are ensuring secure supply though having this approach.”

Ambition for district heating with potential to be fuelled by bioenergy, biogas/biomethane and bioliquids is welcome. The acknowledgement that biofuels have played a significant role in reducing transport emissions and will remain a core transitional measure for the medium-term reduction of GHG emissions is also positive.

Seán Finan concluded:  “E10 (10% ethanol in petrol) needs to be implemented immediately and increased urgency on biofuel blending up to B12 and B20 (12% and 20% biodiesel in diesel) is required. The ambition in terms of biomethane deployment is welcomed with an updated target of 5.7Twh by 2030. The proposal to develop a biomethane strategy within the next six months to reach this target signals the urgency required. This biomethane strategy needs to be accompanied by a package of incentives, supports and policy measures to mobilise the sector.  Biomethane is recognised in the plan for its potential to deliver zero emission gas-fired electricity generation, high temperature industrial heating, provide alternative diversification opportunities to farmers, but the plan does not mention the potential of biomethane as a transport fuel.  We acknowledge the recognition and support in the plan for our European Innovation Partnership (EIP) Small Biogas Demonstration project and we look forward to communicating the findings arising from this project in 2023.”


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

Notes to Editors:

IrBEA highlights several specific aspects related to the biomass, biogas/biomethane and liquid biofuels sectors in the plan published yesterday including:


  • Solid Biomass is mentioned as having a role to play in the provision of decarbonised heat at an industrial level but is not recognition for its role at a commercial or domestic level. The commercial level is the current focus of the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) administered by SEAI.
  • The plan recognises electrification and biomass adoption in industrial heat decarbonisation and lists KPI’s for industry that “55% of low/medium heat to be electrified, 20% of low/ medium grade heat to be converted to sustainable biomass and 64% (2025) and 88% (2030) of high-grade heat to be converted to direct/hybrid electrification technology”. The ambition and strong focus on electrification technology here, which is not yet proven for high grade heat, does not make sense at the expense of sustainable biomass which is cheaper, widely available, proven and a deployed technology currently delivering renewable heat in Ireland at high temperature.
  • The plan is ambitious in terms of biomethane deployment with an updated target of 5.7Twh by 2030 and the plan to develop a biomethane strategy within the next six months is to be welcomed.
  • Biomethane and hydrogen is recognised for its potential to deliver zero emission gas fired electricity generation, high temperature industrial heating, provide alternative diversification opportunities to farmers but not recognised for its potential in transport decarbonisation.
  • IrBEA acknowledges the recognition and support in the plan for its European Innovation Partnership (EIP) Small Biogas Demonstration project and the dissemination of the learning arising from this project in 2023.
  • There is a recognition that Bioeconomy processes require actors working across sectors to: unlock the full potential and cascading use of biomass.
  • The recognition that liquid biofuels have played a significant role in reducing transport emissions and will remain a core transitional measure for the medium-term reduction of GHG emissions is welcomed. The plan to implement E10 (10% ethanol in petrol) in 2023 is confirmed but this should have been implemented several years ago. Increased biodiesel blending rates to B12 and B20 (12% and 20% biodiesel in diesel) need to be implemented more swiftly than 2030.
  • The domestic heat decarbonisation plan is short-sighted to solely focuses on an electrification decarbonisation solution with no recognition of the potential for bioliquid or solid biomass fuelled appliances. These appliances using either sustainable liquid biofuels or Wood Fuel Quality Assurance (WFQA) scheme certified dry wood fuels as a decarbonisation technology option, replicating these technology option widely deployed and policy supported in many other EU countries.
  • The lack of any recognition and no mention of the role for HVO in decarbonisation heat and transport is a missed opportunity.
  • Energy crops get no mention and a grant aid scheme for willow short rotation coppice should be reinstated in tandem with greatly increased promotion of the SSRH for local sustainable and workable heat solutions.
  • The ambition for district heating is welcomed. Biomass is a proven, low cost and sustainable energy sources for district heating throughout Europe, and that coupled with increasing levels of indigenous sustainable biomass set to come on stream from forestry it fully addresses security of supply concerns in relation to fossil fuels.
  • The ambition afforestation target is welcomed however the plan does not recognise the importance of developing the wood fuel sector in parallel, supplying quality, dry, certified wood fuels under the Wood Fuel Quality Assurance (WFQA) scheme label via local supply chains and providing an outlet for sustainable forest management thinning material.






Webinar 37: Sustainable Aviation Fuel – The potential and opportunity for bioenergy

A recording of this webinar can be found HERE.

Topic Overview

The work of SFS Ireland is focused on the development of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) markets in Ireland and worldwide. The organisation’s objective is to contribute to the reduction of the aviation sector’s CO2 footprint by bringing together the aviation industry, all stakeholders of the SAF supply chain, and academia to drive the production and implementation. SFS Ireland has recently been working on a feasibility study, together with SkyNRG, and supported by Avolon, Boeing and Orix Aviation. More details can be found here. SAF manufacturing technology is considered cutting edge and initial analysis indicates that a SAF project would play a leading role in integrating the energy industry, with a possible future circular bioeconomy for Ireland. Listen to this webinar and find out more about Sustainable Aviation Fuel and the potential opportunities for Irish bioenergy.

Agnes Thornton
Agnes Thornton has been working as an airline pilot for the last 10 years. During the reduced rosters in light of the Covid pandemic, Agnes completed an MSc in Aviation Leadership at DCU Business School, with her research focusing on the opportunities and barriers to SAF implementation by the airline industry. In 2020, she partnered with Darren Carty to found SFS Ireland.

Webinar MC – Seán Finan, IBEA CEO

Biomethane Request for Information issued by GNI

Gas Networks Ireland has launched a request for information (RFI) process to support the identification of new and feasible biomethane production projects.

Responses will be used to assess the future infrastructure requirements for biomethane integration into the gas network and facilitate the most efficient delivery of biomethane to our customers and the most economic connections to the gas network for producers.

As part of the process, Gas Networks Ireland is holding an information event with other stakeholders and biomethane producers on 29th November 2022, at the Clayton Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. If you wish to attend, please register here.

Biomethane producers that intend to supply renewable gas into the Irish gas network are invited to respond by the closing date of Monday, December 19th.

Responses may be submitted online or downloaded and emailed to Alternatively, they can be posted to the address below:

Gas Networks Ireland,
Gasworks Road,
T12 RX96.

Please mark all email and postal correspondence with the title ‘Biomethane RFI’.

To find out more about the RFI process and submit your response, please visit

Webinar 36 – The new Irish Solid Fuel Regulations explained

A recording of this webinar can be found HERE.

Topic Overview

On 31st of October 2022, the Government  introduced new regulations for solid fuels in Ireland. Designed to protect air quality, these regulations will ensure that quality, dry, certified wood fuels are placed on the market. IrBEA, on behalf of wood fuel members, has been seeking the introduction of these regulations for several years to protect the market from inferior quality and wet wood fuel products. The introduction of the new solid fuel regulations has implications for the sale and supply of solid fuels for producers and consumers, these implications are outlined in this webinar.


Webinar MC – Seán Finan, IBEA CEO

Presenter – Noel Gavigan, IrBEA Technical Executive

Webinar 35: Highlights from the National Bioenergy Conference – conversations & next steps

A recording of this webinar can be found HERE.

Topic Overview

The National Bioenergy Conference titled “Sustainable bioenergy for business – reducing costs, carbon and supply risks” took place on Tuesday 11th October 2022 in the Lyrath Estate / Kilkenny convention centre. The headline sponsor for this event was Bord na Móna with associate sponsors Ethanol Europe, South East Energy Agency, Gas Networks Ireland and GLAS Energy. This webinar will focus on the inputs, insights, and conclusions from the conference. If you are interested in hearing more about what was discussed, join us to find out more and where we go from here.

Webinar MC – Pádraic Ó hUiginn IrBEA Executive
Panelist –  Noel Gavigan IrBEA, Technical Executive & Stephen McCormack, IrBEA Executive

PRESS RELEASE: First Irish trial of a new fuel for Heritage Railways a huge success – IrBEA

For immediate release – 14/10/2022
First Irish trial of a new fuel for Heritage Railways a huge success – IrBEA

Heritage is big business because the tourism industry is big business. Heritage sites have traditionally burned coal, from open fire grates in historic houses to steam locomotives, traction engines and stationary engines. So how can you de-carbonise this important part of the tourism industry and yet keep everything moving along? Recently the search has been on for a coal substitute that gives similar characteristics to coal but which does not add to the burden of carbon in the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels.  Fortunately, and for historic reasons (not least the desire to move away from generating electricity from burning peat) Ireland is leading the way in this area.

On Saturday 24th September 2022, Ireland saw the first passenger train to be hauled by a steam locomotive using a 100% renewable biomass-based coal substitute. This was on the Stradbally Woodland Railway, a short narrow-gauge line with steep gradients. Being in woodland, the old saying ‘from small acorns do great oaks grow’ could be perfectly appropriate for this significant trial. The fuel used was a stove-ready commercial product called ‘Harvest Flame’ that is made via the process of torrefaction from biomass – in this case olive stones, a residue from the food industry. As that Saturday proved, this material is also suitable for small locomotives and traction engine boilers. So, Ireland’s original volunteer run heritage line has now also pioneered a first step towards carbon neutral steam heritage.

Nicola Glynn, secretary of the Irish Steam Preservation Society (ISPS) said: “We were excited to try this new form of fuel. Our railway and traction engine rally is in a beautiful part of Ireland, and doing our bit to help decarbonise the economy is important to us. Plus, our crews enjoyed not ending the day covered with coal dust, as this is a remarkably clean fuel.”

The ‘Continuity Biocoal’ project is a collaboration between the Irish Steam Preservation Society CLG, Arigna Fuels of Roscommon, The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) and their partners in Wales, the Severn Wye Energy Agency (SWEA), in the Interreg NWE funded THREE C Project. The initiative highlights the close working relationship between Ireland and Wales (which has many narrow-gauge steam railways of its own) made possible by participation in a series of European transnational projects, that have focussed on finding climate-friendly uses for low value, residual biomass over the last decade.

Peter Layden, Director of Arigna Fuels said:Arigna Fuels are delighted to support the heritage steam industry, replacing the original fossil coal with Harvest Flame, our new biomass-sourced 100% renewable and sustainable fuel.  Not only will this fuel help to drastically reduce the carbon footprint of the heritage sector, but it will also allow people to continue to enjoy first-hand the magnificent and historic engineering, a legacy of a different era.”

Stephen McCormack of IrBEA said:IrBEA and its members continue to develop and promote sustainable forms of bioenergy. IrBEA is excited to be supporting this novel and innovative application of a fully sustainable biofuel in such an iconic use. The small steam engines of Ireland have played a very significant role in the development of energy production, industry and agriculture in our Island and it is important to keep this heritage alive whilst showing that a move to a bioenergy based, non-fossil fuel future is achievable. A new product for an old process, with much potential.”

The Continuity Biocoal project holds out the hope that much of our industrial heritage can avoid retirement to glass cases in a museum and continue to inform, educate, and give pleasure to future generations without damaging our environment further. The UK’s National Railway Museum is also closely following the lead taken by Ireland in this field. Heritage railways and other historic sites have so far helped the public to understand how our communities, culture and society were shaped by the fossil-fuel age; now they can tell the next chapter by showing how we can transition to a Net-Zero-Carbon future, by working together and working smarter. Saving our only home planet need not mean having to give up everything we enjoy.

Photo of the Heritage Railway locomotive at Stradbally, Co.Laois  which is  the 1st passenger heritage train powered by a 100% renewable biomass coal product. Photo Credit R. Gwynne

Group Photo: Pictured at the Heritage Railway in Stradbally, Co.Laois, at the trial of the new biocoal, are L-R, Bob Gwynne – National Railway Museum UK, Colin Keyse – Severn Wye, Nigel Glynn – Irish Steam Preservation Society, Robert Johnson – Arigna Fuels, Stephen McCormack – Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA), Sean Cain – Irish Steam Preservation Society. Photo Credit R. Gwynne



Notes to editors

About Heritage Railways
The Irish Steam Preservation Society CLG, operate the Stradbally woodland railway as well as Ireland’s largest traction engine rally. There are currently six operational heritage railways in Ireland, with two others currently non operational and a further three planned. In the UK, 156 Heritage Railways and museums attract 13 million visitors a year and contribute £600 million to the UK economy. They also employ around 4000 people. Heritage steam machines burn approximately 35,000T of fossil coal per year in the UK all of which will very soon have to be imported.

The Irish Steam Preservation Society
The Irish Steam Preservation Society was formed by a group of Steam enthusiasts who set out to preserve for the good of the country, a part of national agricultural heritage, the Steam Traction engine and its many forms after a meeting of members at Harold Condell’s farm in Co. Laois in 1964. From a small gathering of engines held at the Market House in Stradbally on St Stephen’s day 1965, the society was formed and the National Steam Rally held on August Bank Holiday was established, which remains a highlight in the national and international Steam calendar and is the longest running Steam Rally in the country.  2019 saw the most steam engines ever gathered on the Island of Ireland for the 50th anniversary rally. In 1967 a short narrow gauge Steam Railway was added using a locomotive kindly donated by the Guinness Brewery with a passenger carriage. In 1969, tracks were re-laid to run the 3 ft gauge preserved Bórd na Móna locomotive. So we can proudly claim to be the only Traction Engine Rally in Ireland to have its own Steam Railway. The Stradbally Woodland Railway is the first volunteer-run heritage railway in Ireland. It runs every Bank Holiday weekend and selected other running days during the year. In June 1968 the “Steam Museum” was opened in Stradbally by P.J Lalor, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Transport and Power. It has grown from its humble beginnings to the fine building it is today housing many fine exhibits and engines for the public to see. It is open by arrangement which can be made with the society’s secretary. Contact details of the Company Secretary: – Nicola Glynn 086 6053414

About the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA)
Founded in 1999, as a membership organisation, IrBEA’s role is to promote the bioenergy industry and to develop this important sector on the island of Ireland. The association covers the sectors of biomass, biogas, biofuels, biochar, wood fuels and energy crops. IrBEA’s 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.

Contact: Stephen McCormack IrBEA Project Executive Tel: 00353 (0)874403242   Email:  Visit:

About Arigna Fuels
Arigna Fuels, the manufacturers of “Harvest Flame” are on their own journey to decarbonize their products and manufacturing processes. A small family-owned business, having mined coal in Arigna for 100 years, they moved all their production to smokeless (albeit fossil-based) fuel in 1990. This contributed significantly to the air quality improvements in Dublin, following the city being designated a Smokeless Zone.    Their old mine sites are now converted to windfarms, generating more clean power than the original coal ever did. The company is now on the path to only producing 100% biomass products and is currently increasing its capacity to replace existing coal-based products with Harvest Flame and other biochar-based products.  Contact: Peter Layden, Director, Arigna Fuels +353 (0) 71 964 6002.

About the Severn Wye Energy Agency
Severn Wye is a sustainability charity working across Wales and its English border counties. Severn Wye Energy Agency works towards a world where natural resources are used sustainably, communities are resilient against inequality and climate change does not threaten our future. Severn Wye’s Sustainable Technologies team is at the forefront of finding new ways of tackling energy efficiency and the rapid transition to a Net-Zero-Carbon economy in a way that benefits everyone in our society. This includes finding sustainable, renewable fuel sources that use existing carbon systems rather than relying on fossil fuels – so that what this trial does for heritage rail might also lead to sustainable fuels to meet many other challenges. Contact: James Clarke, Director of Communications  +44 (0) 1452 835076

Continuity Biocoal is one of a suite of projects funded under the NWE Interreg 5B programme – in this case the THREE C project (Creating the Circular Carbon Economy) involving 13 partner organisations from seven countries. Drawing on 15 years of research, development and collaboration between universities, the private sector and community organisations, the THREE-C project is helping to solve problems and tackle climate change by sharing experience, evidence and contacts across a wide range of fields.
Technical Terms
‘Pyrolysis’ is the thermal conversion of an organic substance by heating in the absence of Oxygen. This process will drive off various chemical components in the form of oils and gasses of the substance to be separated, collected and reused and will progressively alter the physical properties of the remaining materials.
‘Torrefaction’ is a term that describes the stage in the process of pyrolysis where some of the unwanted components are driven off, the molecular structure is altered but some of the hydrocarbons and organic carbon remain.
‘Biocoal’ is a term used to describe a solid, coal-like substance derived from green or woody biomass – the tissue of currently or recently living things. As such it utilises Carbon which is ‘currently in circulation’ in the biosphere and which is replaced in the short term by the growth of other plants and vegetation. It does not use ‘Fossil Coal’ which releases stored Carbon from a source kept locked in the earth and out of the current carbon cycle. Depending on how the biomass is grown and harvested, It can potentially therefore be described as ‘Carbon Neutral’.
‘Biochar’ is a term used to describe the solid residue of Organic Carbon which is left if the pyrolysis process is continued beyond the Torrefaction stage. This material, which is similar to charcoal, has many potential uses in Industry, Construction and Agriculture and presents the possibility of drawing down Carbon Dioxide from the Atmosphere and locking it away out of the current carbon cycle. This is a ‘Green House Gas drawdown’ technique.
‘Biofuel’ is a term used to describe fuels manufactured to replace fossil fuels in existing infrastructure, such as power generation and transport. Many concerns have been expressed about the destruction of natural habitat and biodiversity caused by a mass switch to biofuels, and the displacement of land used for food growing.  The Continuity Biocoal project uses the olive stone residue from a food processing plant, serving a traditional agricultural sector, so does not displace food production or damage sensitive habitats.

PRESS RELEASE: IrBEA moves bioenergy from the side-lines to centre stage at their annual conference today.

For Immediate Release:


Large numbers attend the 21st Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) National Bioenergy Conference at the Lyrath Hotel in Kilkenny today. Delegates discuss the contribution bioenergy can make to reduce business cost, carbon and supply risks.

Dr. John Reilly, Head of Renewable Energy at Bord na Móna said “Solid biomass and biomethane have a very strong role to play to fully decarbonise Ireland’s electricity sector as well as our heating and transport industries. Bord na Móna is making very significant investment at the Edenderry complex to make it bioenergy ready and to capitalise on this opportunity.”

Leo Varadkar, An Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment noted in his online address that: “Bioenergy requires policy coherence with the relevant decision makers and to be recognised for its strong potential in Ireland.”

IrBEA President and CEO of the South Eastern Energy Agency, Paddy Phelan said: “There is a great buzz at today conference. The bioenergy resource needs to be converted into real tangible renewable energy opportunities. This requires the immediate and urgent introduction of policy, supports and incentives.”

IrBEA would also like to thank our conference headline sponsors Bord na Móna and associate sponsors South East Energy Agency, Gas Networks Ireland, Ethanol Europe, and Glas Energy. All these businesses exhibited today and contributed to the panel discussions.

Seán Finan, IrBEA CEO speaking at the conference said: “Bioenergy is uniquely placed in providing a solution to the current challenges which Ireland faces in terms of energy security and indigenous supply. At this year’s conference, the message is very clear on the need to accelerate policy with encourages the uptake of bioenergy technology deployment in Ireland and the current & future contribution of bioenergy in Ireland’s renewable energy mix.”

Finan concluded: “All those involved in this year’s conference are active in the promotion and deployment of solid, liquid or gaseous bioenergy. The time for action in terms of bioenergy is now. The resources are available, the supply chain is ready and energy users want bioenergy to reduce cost, carbon and supply risks.”


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

Notes to Editors:


About the 21st National Bioenergy Conference

Full details of the conference including sponsors, exhibitors, agenda and speakers is available at


Photo Captions: Pic 1 IrBEA Conference

Pictured at the 21st IrBEA National Bioenergy Conference are l to r: Paddy Phelan IrBEA President and CEO of South Eastern Energy Agency, Seán Finan CEO Irish Bioenergy Association and Dr John Reilly Head of Renewable Energy at Bord na Móna

Photo Captions: Pic 2 IrBEA Conference

Pictured at the 21st IrBEA National Bioenergy Conference are l to r: Paddy Phelan IrBEA President and CEO of South Eastern Energy Agency, Dr John Reilly Head of Renewable Energy at Bord na Móna  and Seán Finan CEO Irish Bioenergy Association

Photo Captions: Pic 3 IrBEA Conference

Pictured at the 21st IrBEA National Bioenergy Conference are l to r: Paddy Phelan IrBEA President and CEO of South Eastern Energy Agency, Dr John Reilly Head of Renewable Energy at Bord na Móna  and Seán Finan CEO Irish Bioenergy Association



What is Bioenergy?

Bioenergy can be defined as any form of energy that is derived from living organisms, either

plant or animal. It encompasses a wide range of different types and origins. It can take the form of solid, liquid or gaseous fuel and can be used to provide renewable energy across a variety of sectors including heating, electricity generation and transport sectors.


What are the different forms of Bioenergy?

  • Solid biofuels and wood fuels: Wood pellet, woodchip, energy crops, firewood and biomass briquettes
  • Gaseous Biofuels: Biogas and Biomethane
  • Liquid Biofuels: Bioethanol, Biodiesel, Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil and Bio-oil


About the Irish Bioenergy Association (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. Further information on the association is available at