Renewable Heat Incentive – Closer Than Ever Before

Press Release 2017/12

The Irish Bioenergy Association welcomes the introduction of the long awaited Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) today by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD. An RHI scheme was first officially conceived as part of the Bioenergy strategy consultation in May 2013, and formally announced in the October 2014 Draft Bioenergy Plan but was never delivered. After much lobbying activities and design consultations by IrBEA and other players in the bioenergy sector in the interim, the biomass industry will now see an RHI scheme live in 2018.
“This is a very welcome development for the bioenergy sector in Ireland, one that has been stagnant for almost 5 years since 2013 whereby many Irish companies have subsequently gone out of business. There will be new opportunities now to stimulate growth for those businesses in the biomass supply side and indeed the biomass technology provider of which we have many as members of the Irish Bioenergy Association. As well as helping to meet the EU heat targets of 12% (currently 6.8%) by 2020 it will play a role in reducing potential fines come 2020. It is perhaps disappointing not see any support for biomethane gas grid injection from AD in this phase but there are still supports for AD heating technologies and of course biomass heating technologies which is a positive. Certainly the ambition to have a scheme open to applicants in 2018 is welcome, but this Government approval is still subject to EU state aid approval. The tiered rates are generally positive but they do not favour the larger type installations offering a subsidy of only 0.05 c/kWh which is where the biggest opportunity exists to close the gap in the renewable heat target” says Ger Devlin IrBEA CEO.
The scheme will support the adoption of renewable heating systems by commercial, industrial, district heating and other non-domestic heat users at sites not covered by the emissions trading scheme. There are also installation grants available up to 30% for the installation of heat pumps. A separate budget would be favoured for such a grant scheme.

About the Irish Bioenergy Association

Dr Ger Devlin is CEO of the Irish Bioenergy Association. With over 200 members, IrBEA is the national association representing the bioenergy industry on the island of Ireland. The main objectives of the association are to influence policy makers, to promote the development of bioenergy and to promote the interests of its members. Improving public awareness, networking and information sharing and liaising with similar interest groups are other key areas of work in promoting biomass as an environmental, economic and socially-sustainable energy resource. and

DCCAE Press Release on RHI (7 December) here
New €1bn Renewable Heat Scheme Unveiled for Irish firms – Irish Times  (7 December) here


Report on ‘Growing the Irish Bioeconomy’ – COFORD Report September 2017

The gross output of the Irish forest sector is set to double by 2035 against a backdrop of increasing carbon constraint, this creates many opportunities for the Irish Bioeconomy. COFORD have produced a report on Growing the Irish Forest Bioeconomy which provides a vision of a healthy forest bioeconomy, creating sustainable jobs in rural Ireland and supporting national land-use carbon reduction and climate adaption objectives. It is an accessible document with plenty of infographics, key points and statistics. It includes an interesting piece on ‘12 Proposals for Growing a Vibrant Forest Bioeconomy in Ireland’, view the report here

Western Development Commission & SEAI Undertakes Biomass Survey in Ireland

The Western Development Commission (WDC) along with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) are tasked to complete a regional renewable energy analysis on the use of biomass as a local contribution to the national renewable heat target. They wish to develop a range of actions to support the development of renewable energy in the region under the Action Plan for Jobs. This will inform how we support and develop biomass use in this region. They are keen to understand more about how businesses operate their own heating systems and if they have any plans for further biomass investment or use.  They would also like to know your general views on the biomass sector.

All information provided will be treated in strict confidence, you are encouraged to participation in this on-line questionnaire and contribute to the report. Start the questionnaire here

Bord na Móna Bioenergy Plan to Invest in Wood Pellet plant in US to Secure Biomass Supply

Mark Paul reported in the Irish Times (19 September)  that Bord na Móna intend  to invest up to €60 million in a proposed new wood pellet plant in the US state of Georgia that could be operational within two years. The company wants to construct the facility to turn willow trees into pellets, which will then be shipped back to Ireland to fire power stations. It is part of Bord na Móna’s strategy to shift away from its core peat business towards more renewable energy sources, especially biomass. Bord na Móna say they are forced to invest abroad while the Irish biomass-supply industry is ramped up to meet demand. The proposed investment is currently with the government’s New Era division for approval. View the Irish Times Article here

Ger Devlin interviewed by Irish Farmers Journal – Key Issues for the RHI Scheme

Irish Bioenergy Association executives were at the Ploughing, Ger Devlin (IRBEA CEO) took part in the panel talks at the Bord na Móna stand that included Matt Cooper of TodayFM as host, as well as Patrick Madigan (Head of Biomass BNM), Mike Quinn (BNM CEO), Cormac O’ Carroll (Poyry Consulting) and Minister Naughten.The Minister commented that the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme was expected to unlock the indigenous biomass industry and will be finalised as part of Budget 2018, adding “The RHI is part of the whole budget discussion at the moment. I’m meeting with [Finance Minister] Paschal Donohoe next week”

Ger Devlin in addition to the panel talked to Thomas Hubert of the Farmers Journal and commented that the key message for the Minister when delivering the RHI is the correct price point for the tariff so that there is a positive uptake and timing to stimulate confidence back into the bioenergy industry in Ireland.

Listen to the full interview with Ger Devlin and Thomas Hubert, at the podcast link below (5 mins): Podcast link





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:

  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:, submissions in by close of business on Friday 29 September 2017.


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