IrBEA Press Release – Wood Fuels Need to be Treated Differently to Other Solid Fuels

The Irish BioEnergy Association (IrBEA) and the Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Scheme notes with great concern press reports today that the government may be considering a nationwide ban on burning all solid fuels to solve air quality and emissions issues regardless of their individual potential. IrBEA are objecting to wood fuels being potentially treated in the same way as fossil fuels, and essentially being tarred with the same brush. Wood fuels are an essential part in assisting Ireland reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and transiting to a low carbon economy. Properly dried and combusted, wood fuel is an environmentally safe fuel. Our organisation is specifically focused on developing wood fuels for their considerable benefits in terms of reduction of greenhouse gases and for providing a cost-effective and sustainable source of heating and efficient combined heat and power. IrBEA through the Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Scheme is specifically focused on developing quality wood fuels for consumers. Wood Fuels contribute added benefits in terms of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions when compared to fossil fuels while providing a cost-effective and sustainable source of heating and efficient combined heat and power.

Noel Gavigan, Technical Executive with the Irish Bioenergy Association and Manager of the Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Scheme states “we unquestionably must look to reducing all emissions of particulate matter and CO2, wood fuel offers over 90% reduction in greenhouse gases over fossil fuels. By only using properly dried wood fuels we can immediately reduce any particulate emissions to one third, further to this by using better technology such as enclosed stoves and now EU certified Ecodesign stoves, emissions are reduced by 89%.”

With the government proposal to consider a ban on using all solid fuels we would essentially remove Irelands potential to use its own natural resource. The state and private land owners have heavily invested in establishing forests, an investment that is provides valuable wood products for use in the Irish economy, in wood fuels, board products, and sawn timber and in other uses.
Gavigan concluded “Earlier this year we submitted a detailed, evidence-based proposal to the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment on talking the issue of totally unsuitable wet firewood being placed on the market and the implications this has for air pollution, and the heating value of wood fuel. The submission was followed up in a further communication in early October.
IrBEA has set a number of key recommendations to the department on the regulation of firewood for sale in Ireland. Specifically, we are calling for legislation to ban the retail sale of firewood with moisture content above 20% by the year 2022, with an interim limit of 25% by September 2020. We see this as a first and critical step to reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, particulates and nitrous oxides.”
Technical Notes to Editors
Wood fuel quality is critical to ensuring low emissions and high efficiency. The EU/ISO standard for firewood sets a limit of 25% moisture content for A1 firewood. It is well recognised and tested that wet domestic wood fuels produce high emissions of particulates and NOx, while at the same time giving little heat to the consumer. Firewood at 20% moisture content produces less than 33% of the emissions of wood fuel at 30% moisture content in older stoves, while in modern Eco-Design stoves the emission levels are reduced by almost 90%.
According to SEAI figures wood fuels produce as little as 3.2g CO2 per MJ heat, comparing this to gas which produces 56.9g, kerosene which produces 73.3g and heat pumps today which produce anything from 19g to 52g depending on the amount of wind on the electrical system. No other heating source can produce heat on demand with such a minimal impact on CO2 emissions.

About the Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Scheme (WFQA)
The Wood Fuel Quality Assurance (WFQA) scheme for Ireland is an all island scheme established to increase consumer confidence in wood fuel products sold in Ireland. The WFQA administered by IrBEA independently certifies and verifies suppliers of firewood, wood pellets, woodchip and wood briquettes. All certification is carried out against EN ISO 17225 standards for biomass fuels. The WFQA currently certifies 25 suppliers and engages in workshops and open days to promote the use of properly produced wood fuels. We welcome queries from the general public seeking to know more about using wood fuels and in identifying the correct type of fuel to use. Further details can be found at www.wfqa.org

About the Irish BioEnergy Association (IrBEA)
IrBEA was founded in May 1999. Its role is to promote the bioenergy industry and to develop this important sector on the island of Ireland. The organisation is a self-governing non-profit association of voluntary members. Our 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. Governance and strategic oversight are provided by Board of Directors and a Management Committee, with support from a small Executive Team. IrBEA is affiliated to BioEnergy Europe and the European Biogas Association (EBA).

For further information please contact
Noel Gavigan, IrBEA Technical Executive & WFQA Programme Manager
087-6845977
noelgavigan@irbea.org

ENDS

Pictures from IrBEA’s Bioenergy for Climate Change in Transport Conference in October

IrBEA in partnership with valued member Ethanol Europe recently organised a one day conference on the topic “Bioenergy for Climate Action in Transport”. The event took place in the Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge in late October. Conference delegates heard from a diverse and varied line up of speakers who highlighted and discussed the role that Bioenergy can play in addressing Climate Action in Transport. IrBEA would like to thank our Management Executive Committee member James Cogan for all his work, help and assistance in organising this successful event. Pictured  are speakers at the recent “Bioenergy for Climate Action in Transport” event. Back L to R Barry Caslin Teagasc, Fintan Conway, Ilaria Stretti IGW, Eddie Punch ICSA, Tony Hennebry Green Biofuels Ireland. Front Row L to R Seán Finan IrBEA, Michael Mc Bennett Farmer and Founding member of IrBEA and james Cogan Ethanol Europe.

Biogas Support Document – “Mobilising an Irish Biogas Industry with Policy and Action” 7/08/2019

Press Release: Immediate Release

Biogas Can Addresses Ireland’s Declared Climate Emergency with Government Policy and Action Now

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) and Cré – Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Association of Ireland recently launch their joint policy document calling for a biogas support scheme titled “Mobilising an Irish Biogas Industry with Policy and Action”. This document developed following consultation with members and key stakeholders in the sector, sets out a road map for how the government target of 1.6Twh of biomethane by 2030 can be achieved on a phased basis over the next number of years. The document provides the Irish government with an industry roadmap for the role out of a meaningful Irish biogas industry. This document addresses the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action call for a strategy to be developed for anaerobic digestion and also the Government Climate Action Plan action on biomethane injection. 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. Read more

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

Renewable Energy Regions

Strong partnerships to connect urban demand & rural supply

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

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

Pilot partnerships in across Northwest-Europe will invest in

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Release Date: 21 June 2019

 

IrBEA Develop Biomass Designers and Installers Register

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Swift Government Action on Policy needed to Mobilise Bioenergy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ENDS

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

EDITORS NOTES:

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

 

Installation of Ireland’s first Renewable Gas Injection Facility

Installation of Ireland’s first Renewable Gas injection facility is underway this week with the Grid Injection Unit delivery from Thyson Technologies to the site at Cush, Co Kildare. NRGE are the Project Team for this installation. The installation will be capable of injecting 10 million M3 of renewable gas annually. It is a small step on the road to meeting Ireland’s carbon reduction commitments.

Danish Bioenergy Delegation hosted in Ireland by Danish Embassy, IrBEA & 3CEA

IrBEA along with Deloitte invited personnel from the Bioenergy sector to an early morning breakfast briefing recently. Participants received information on funding opportunities for research and also funding for renewable energy project developments. Speakers included Pat Martin – Department of Communications Climate Action & Environment who talked about the Life Funding Programme,   Brian McDonnell from Deloitte discussed the primary RD&I funding available in Ireland including tax incentives and grants and Joanne Sheehan from Enterprise Ireland  also spoke and focused on  Enterprise Ireland funding opportunities. This event was well attended and was useful to companies planning or involved in innovative projects who wished to learn more about potential research and development funding options and efficient taxation management.  The presentations can be viewed here

IrBEA Continues to Lobby for the Opening of the Full SSRH Scheme

IrBEA CEO Seán Finan recently met informally with the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton T.D. He briefed the Minister on the work of IrBEA and the urgent need to fully open the SSRH scheme. This informal meeting following a formal meeting on the SSRH scheme which took place recently between IrBEA and senior officials from the Heat policy division within the Department of Communication, Climate Action and Environment. This meeting was attended by Sean Finan CEO, Des O’Toole President and Paddy Phelan Vice President. The Department confirmed at the meeting that they expect to open the full SSRH scheme by the end of the year. IrBEA continues to lobby at all levels for the full opening of the SSRH scheme.