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
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
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com, submissions in by close of business on Friday 29 September 2017.
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
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
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
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.
Please find the link here to the response to the Public Consultation on the design and implementation of a renewable heat incentive in Ireland on behalf of the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA). These detailed responses are based on the responses co-ordinated by the IrBEA RHI Working Group on behalf of it’s members and those who responded accordingly to each of the questions raised concerning the design options for the RHI.
As an association supporting the development and deployment of sustainable bioenergy, we look forward to seeing the outcomes of the this consultation process and are hopeful that we will see a well-designed RHI scheme in place for 2017 that will drive growth and stimulate the bioenergy industry in Ireland towards 2020 and beyond.