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

For Immediate Release:

11/10/2022

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.”

ENDS.

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  www.nationalbioenergyconference.ie

 

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 www.irbea.org

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: Reducing energy costs, carbon, and supply risks – sustainable bioenergy for business IrBEA announces details of upcoming national bioenergy conference

For Immediate Release:
07/10/2022

IrBEA’s 21st national bioenergy conference will take place on Tuesday 11th October at the Lyrath Hotel in Kilkenny. Bioenergy is uniquely placed in providing a solution to the current challenges which Ireland faces in terms of energy security and indigenous supply. IrBEA looks forward to welcoming a wide and diverse range of stakeholders to this flagship event. At this year’s conference, the focus will be on the need to accelerate the uptake of bioenergy technology deployment in Ireland and the current & future contribution of bioenergy in Ireland’s renewable energy mix.

Seán Finan, Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) CEO said: “We need all renewable technologies and renewable fuels to be deployed as part of a broad renewable energy policy in Ireland. The conference title ‘Sustainable bioenergy for business: reducing costs, carbon and supply risks’ is very appropriate in the current environment of high energy prices, a climate crisis and worries about energy security. IrBEA members have the technologies and fuelling solutions which will address all those concerns. These solutions will be discussed in detail at the conference.”

In line with the development of its renewable energy portfolio, Bord na Móna is headline sponsor for the  21st national bioenergy conference.

Finan continued: “We are very pleased that Bord na Móna is headline sponsor for this conference given its transition to renewable energy technologies. The company’s mission is to take a leadership position in developing and delivering clean, renewable energy, along with carbon storage and resource recovery solutions.”

Bord na Móna has plans to deploy a wide range of renewable energy generation. Specifically  in bioenergy this includes 100% biomass use at Edenderry Power limited and the development of biomethane production capacity.

Tom Egan Operations Manager at Bord na Móna said: “Bord na Móna are delighted to sponsor IrBEA’s national bioenergy conference. Edenderry Power Plant shows the potential of bioenergy and how it can help Ireland transition from fossil fuels to low carbon, renewable energy generation. Approximately 80% of Edenderry’s biomass is supplied by Irish producers. The biomass contribution at Edenderry makes it the biggest supplier of ‘on-demand’ renewable energy on the Island of Ireland. Ireland aims to have an 80% renewable electricity supply by 2030. By 2024, Bord na Mona’s Edenderry Power Plant will be generating 100% renewable energy, helping Ireland meet this vital climate action target.”

In additions to the headline sponsorship of Bord na Móna, IrBEA is happy to welcome the associate sponsorship of Gas Networks Ireland, Southeast Energy Agency, Ethanol Europe and GLAS Energy for this year’s conference.

Finan concluded:  “All those involved in this year’s conference are active in the promotion and deployment of solid, liquid, or gaseous bioenergy. We look forward to welcoming delegates to Kilkenny next week and for intensive engagement on many aspects associated with our industry including its potential and opportunity as well as hearing from current users of bioenergy in Irish business which is reducing cost, carbon, and supply risks.”

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

on the association is available at www.irbea.org

Jump-start bioenergy in Budget 2023 to buttress energy security – IrBEA

For Immediate Release:

23/09/2022

Jump-start bioenergy in Budget 2023 to buttress energy security – IrBEA

Globally, over two thirds of renewable energy comes from bioenergy. This is over ten times the energy generated from both wind and solar. Budget 2023 is Government’s opportunity to recognise Irish bioenergy’s potential to buttress energy security and for it to announce dedicated incentives to jump-start the Irish bioenergy industry. Bioenergy sources and technology are proven globally, they are available here and now, and it’s high time for action.

Seán Finan, Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) CEO said: “We desperately need all renewable technologies and fuels. European and global bioenergy deployment is driven by dedicated policy supports, incentives and measures. The bioenergy industry in Ireland is still waiting for its full potential to be realised by the Government. Favourable Irish policy measures in recent years for wind and solar have helped develop those sectors. This budget presents the Government with an opportunity to announce measures which support the mobilisation of bioenergy. Bioenergy can significantly contribute to energy security and reduce Ireland’s dependence on volatile and record high-priced fossil fuels. The contribution of Irish-sourced and produced bioenergy, for energy security that’s sustainable can no longer be ignored.

‘Anaerobic digestion’ was almost a mantra in media interviews and on talk-shows for a few heady weeks of summer. It’s time now for the Government to act on that. Bioenergy covers a broad range of sustainable, renewable, indigenous energy alternatives available here on our doorstep. A mainstream Irish biogas/biomethane industry (using anaerobic digestion technology) mobilised on a phased basis would reduce our dependence on fossil gas. The REPowerEU policy demands it. Mobilising the solid biomass resource can contribute to renewable heat. Increased blending rates of liquid biofuels has both emissions’ reduction and fossil fuel displacement benefits. Over the last few weeks, IrBEA, on behalf of members, has lobbied in advance of the budget on the issues impacting our members in the bioenergy sector. IrBEA is calling for a mixture of supports, policy announcements and practical issues to be addressed in the Budget and Finance Act which are impacting our industry and members.

Finan continued “Bioenergy is thriving across Europe. Why is the Irish Government an outlier and not embracing this opportunity also? The EU Commission identifies that the member state with the largest potential growth for biogas / biomethane production is Ireland. Yet to date, we have had mainly Government inaction or inertia in realising this potential. In challenging times, it is vital to exploit all proven opportunities to tackle climate change and enable security of energy supply.”

Despite the fact that Ireland has a natural advantage in producing bioenergy due to our mild climate and fertile land, Ireland ranks bottom of the EU table in terms of its generation and use of renewable heat. We now have a unique opportunity to build a significant industry with multiple benefits using solid, liquid and gaseous bioenergy.

Finan concluded “While our focus is on using bioenergy in the transition away from fossil fuels, we acknowledge that building a sustainable economic and social recovery should also embrace related renewable technologies as well achieving the development of sustainable materials and the protection of our ecosystems. Essentially, we need to marshal a wide range of technologies and renewable fuels to decarbonise the energy sector across heat, transport and electricity. This will provide opportunities for many, including farmers and foresters through farm diversification and development of alternative enterprises, development of rural jobs and addressing the climate changes and emissions challenges faced by the country. The budget is an opportunity to jump-start bioenergy, buttress energy supply, and realise all this other potential with it.”

ENDS.

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

Notes to Editors:
Summary of IrBEA’s Bioenergy budget measures include:

1. Mobilising an Irish Biogas/Biomethane Industry:
Introduction of a Biogas / biomethane support scheme to mobilise an Irish biogas industry on a phased basis. The biogas / biomethane industry needs to be mobilised with policy, incentives, measures and supports similar to what is happening across Europe.
In the current environment of high fossil energy prices and challenges around energy security there should be no further delay in giving market certainty and supporting the development of the industry.

2. Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH):
Budget provision for widespread roll out of the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) in 2023 and rapid resolution of administrative implementation issues with the scheme. These issues are severely impacting on the schemes potential to contribute to national renewable heat and greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. The Minister and SEAI need to ensure that dedicated resources are assigned to assist with the efficient administration and implementation of the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) programme.

3. Carbon Tax:
Despite record fossil energy prices, the carbon tax increase should proceed by a minimum of €10/tonne in the budget, provided effective measures are in implemented to protect vulnerable members of society potentially exposed to fuel poverty. Revenue generated from carbon tax increases should  provide support for the development of bioenergy and a biogas / biomethane industry in Ireland on a phased and sustainable basis.

4. Provision in Finance Act – Revenue treatment of Biomass Equipment:
Provision be made in the Finance Act for the revenue treatment of biomass chipping and related equipment to be the same as the treatment of other mobile machinery such as mobile cranes and concrete pumping equipment. This is specially related to using rebated fuel, registration of overweight vehicles and tachograph usage.

5. Biofuel Obligation Scheme:
As per the Biofuel Obligation Scheme (BOS), biofuels are blended with petrol and diesel available at the forecourt. We call for the immediate increase of blending rates to E10 (10% Ethanol) petrol blend and B12 (12% Biodiesel) diesel blend in Ireland. This would increase the blending rates from the current substitution rates of E5 for petrol and B7 for Diesel.

6. Grant Scheme for Eco Design Heating Appliances:
The National home retrofit scheme is ambitious but challenged due to the high costs, availability of labour & materials and disruption to individuals. While successful for some households, the programmes dedication to the energy efficiency first principal has led it to be unsuitable, costly and disruptive for a large proportion of the population. While we support the energy efficiency first principal where it can be economically viable to pursue, decarbonisation is the priority in the short term. This means looking at fuel use and heating technologies. We call for the introduction in this budget of a grant scheme to support the transition from fossil fuel appliances to eco-design compliant biomass appliances at a residential level. This will support an energy transition to the use of cleaner, energy efficient appliances which will contribute to greenhouse gas emissions savings, and rural employment.

7. Energy Crop Support Scheme:
That the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine make provision in their budget for the introduction of support for the energy crop sector. The Irish Bioenergy Association believes that this is an effective way of providing additional indigenous biomass for the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) installations, provides an alternative farm enterprise, potentially reduce livestock number, promoting the bioeconomy, rural development, and sustainable jobs.

8. Forestry Programme Implementation Resources:
We support the calls by the forest industry for financial provision be made for increased staff and specialist resourcing in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to address forestry licensing issues and backlog.

9. Financial Instruments and Loans Interest Loans:
Introduce financial instruments to assist of Renewable technologies such as:
Expand the capital investment to build district heating networks via the climate action fund.
Introduce a low cost guaranteed loan facility through the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SCBI) or similar for the development of bioenergy renewable project similar to the SCBI Future Growth Loan Scheme introduced for the farming sector a few years ago.

Notes to Editors:

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 www.irbea.org

PRESS RELEASE:  IrBEA launches bioenergy factsheet series

Pictured launching the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) factsheet series are L to R: Paddy Phelan 3CEA CEO and IrBEA President, Minister of State Pippa Hackett and Seán Finan IrBEA CEO.

Immediate Release: 01/09/2022

Pictured launching the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) factsheet series are L to R: Paddy Phelan 3CEA CEO and IrBEA President, Minister of State Pippa Hackett and Seán Finan IrBEA CEO.

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) launches the bioenergy factsheet series today. The aim of the factsheet series is to provide information to a wide range of stakeholders on the various forms and aspects of bioenergy. The titles in the series to date are:

  • Bioenergy – An Overview
  • Wood and Solid Biomass Fuels
  • Biogas
  • Biofuels
  • Biochar
  • Energy Crops

Seán Finan, CEO of the Irish Bioenergy Association said  “We are delighted to launch our bioenergy factsheet series as a knowledge transfer and information resource for the promotion of the different bioenergy sectors. While other renewable energies are easier for the public to comprehend (e.g. wind or solar), bioenergy is made up of a wide range of technologies and fuels and can be utilised to provide heat, electricity, and transport fuels.”

Bioenergy makes up 67.2% of all renewable energy across the world. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recognises that bioenergy represents the largest current contributor to renewable energy and is likely to remain that way for at least the first half of this century. Bioenergy has a strong role in carbon removal and reduction of emissions, as well as in the development of bioenergy-based fuel alternatives for fossil fuels. Bioenergy can complement the food, fibre, and forestry product sectors. In Ireland, bioenergy requires investment, support and the right policy measures to be in place, to ensure the continued sustainability of the sector.

Paddy Phelan IrBEA President said: “The factsheets and the ongoing work of IrBEA in each of the sectors covered is particularly relevant in the current crisis of high fossil energy prices, security of energy supply, urgent need for decarbonisation and climate action. The Irish bioenergy sector is unique in that it can provide an indigenous energy solution to all the current challenges. Bioenergy can produce continuous, storable, and dispatchable renewable energy delivered through local supply chains, offering employment opportunities and economic activity.”

 

ENDS

For Further Information please contact Seán Finan IrBEA CEO on 087-4146480

PRESS RELEASE: IrBEA outlines urgency for Government policy to mobilise biogas / biomethane industry at Joint Oireachtas Committee

Immediate Release: 07/07/2022   PRESS RELEASE:

IrBEA outlines urgency for Government policy to mobilise biogas / biomethane industry at Joint Oireachtas Committee

This week at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Environment and Climate Action, the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) outlined the urgency to introduce policies and supports to mobilise an Irish biomethane industry. Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a proven technology used worldwide at many different scales.

Speaking at the Oireachtas Committee, Seán Finan, CEO of the Irish Bioenergy Association said: “Biogas production from AD technology is mainstream across Europe and worldwide. There are over 20,000 operational AD plants around the EU, and several million across the world. Ireland is far behind its EU counterparts in policy development terms and utilising this technology, with currently approximately 20 AD plants in operation in Ireland.”

In 2017, an EU Commission report titled “An assessment of the potential of biogas from anaerobic digestion in the EU beyond 2020” identifies that the member state with the largest potential for growth of biogas production is Ireland.

Noel Gavigan, Technical Executive at IrBEA said: “Anaerobic digestion complements and delivers on EU policies such as the Farm to Fork strategy. The recent RePowerEU report sets an EU target of 35Billion m3 of Biomethane by 2030. There is a significant opportunity for Ireland to contribute to this and a dedicated Irish AD biogas/biomethane policy is required to maximise the opportunity and potential for Ireland.”

The development of an Irish biomethane industry can present many opportunities for Ireland. The lack of progress in developing an Irish biogas/biomethane industry is a missed opportunity for Ireland’s economy.

Noel Gavigan continued: “This technology can bring many benefits including energy security, de-carbonisation, alternative farm enterprises, reduced emissions from agriculture, enhancing biodiversity, developing the circular and bioeconomy, improved water quality, rural development and job creation.”

The gap between cost of production of biogas / biomethane and the market return has closed in recent times with the increased fossil energy prices.

Seán Finan concluded: “This cost gap must be bridged through Government policy, support, incentives, and measures. Current policy measures such as the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) provide good incentives for solid biomass with significant opportunities to broaden and enhance the existing support for biogas. Planned policy measures like the proposed Renewable Heat Obligation (RHO) must be put in place immediately to encourage rapid transition from fossil fuels to indigenously produced biogas, biomass, and other fuels. IrBEA strongly encourages the Oireachtas committee to promote the immediate launch of this obligation.”

Midlands Bioenergy Development Project in-person launch in Moate

Tuar Ard Arts and Enterprise Centre, Moate, Co Westmeath was the venue for the in-person launch of the Midlands Bioenergy Development Project on 22nd June 2022. The Midlands Bioenergy Development Project is co-ordinated by the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) and co-funded by the National Just Transition Fund for the Midlands region. Minister for Land-use and Biodiversity, Senator Pippa Hackett officiated at the launch and gave the keynote address on behalf of the government. Just Transition Commissioner, Mr Kieran Mulvey, spoke about what the Just Transition seeks to deliver for the region. More localised events will take place around the Midlands in the autumn so that the project can engage directly with potential bioenergy start-up enterprises that could benefit from knowledge transfer, training and mentoring from the project.

From left: Mr Tom Shanahan, Offaly Co Co; Ms Sarah Morgan, Midlands Regional Enterprise Plan; Kieran Mulvey, Just Transition Commissioner; Minister for Land-use and Biodiversity, Senator Pippa Hackett; Mr Paddy Phelan, President, IrBEA; Mr Pádraic Ó hUiginn, Project Executive, Midlands Bioenergy Development Plan, IrBEA; Mr Seán Finan, CEO, IrBEA; Mr Pat Gallagher, CEO, Westmeath Co Co; Noel Gavigan, Technical Executive, IrBEA; and Dr Isabella Donnelly, Regional Coordinator and Westmeath County Mentor, SEAI Sustainable Energy Communities.

 

Press Release: IrBEA welcomes new Midlands Bioenergy Development Project Executive

PRESS RELEASE: IrBEA’s Midlands Bioenergy Development Project welcomes new Project Executive

Immediate Release:  15th March 2022

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) is pleased to announce its appointment of Pádraic Ó hUiginn as Project Executive for its Midlands Bioenergy Development Project.

Seán Finan IrBEA CEO said “On behalf of IrBEA, I’m delighted to welcome Pádraic Ó hUiginn to the association. I wish him the best of luck and every success in his new role. Pádraic brings a wealth of bioeconomy innovation experience. We look forward to working with him at this critical time, as Ireland grapples with the rising costs of fossil fuels, energy security, and the transition to renewables.”

Pádraic Ó hUiginn holds qualifications in economics, regulation, communications, project management and sustainability. He brings a broad range of experience and knowledge to IrBEA and joins at a pivotal time for the renewable energy sector. Pádraic will drive the implementation of the recently commenced Midlands Bioenergy Development Project. Supported by the National Just Transition Fund, this project will provide start-up enterprises in the Midlands region with non-financial support, knowledge, guidance and mentoring to establish successful bioenergy businesses. These businesses will help the Just Transition in the Midlands by providing quality green employment opportunities for a transitioning workforce. Pádraic will also be involved in other projects and work programmes within the association.

Prior to joining IrBEA, he worked for a number of years with tcbb RESOURCE and the Ryan Institute for sustainability and innovation. During that time Pádraic worked on the Causeway project, that introduced the first biomethane into the national gas grid; and Bio-Éire, that informed Ireland’s first National Policy Statement on the Bioeconomy. He has a depth of experience supporting start-ups through BioBase4SME and the EU Regio Star Award-winning Bio Base North-West Europe, and the ReNEW Network, the first circular economy network on the island of Ireland. Pádraic also initiated and developed an EPA-funded research project that analysed the level of joined-up environmental policy in Ireland, sought out examples of best practice, and produced a ‘trip adviser’ guide of ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ for policy-makers and decision-makers.

Pádraic Ó hUiginn said “I am delighted to join the team here at IrBEA. I see in any successful association, that the momentum comes from its members, with the executive staff implementing and coordinating the strategic direction set out by the members and board. IrBEA has a challenging role to promote the entire bioenergy sector, across biomass, biogas, biofuels, biochar, energy crops and wood-fuels. The Midlands Bioenergy Development Project is aimed at supporting a region that has a wealth of energy production know-how across a range of skills. Bioenergy is inherently cross-cutting in that it can support joined-up answers to problems in energy security, job creation, farming, transport, and protecting soil, habitats, air and water.”

Pádraic Ó hUiginn continued “The Climate Action Plan 2021 shows that Government and our public bodies have begun to recognise that to move away from fossil fuels requires a mix of renewables: to meet the different challenges in electricity, heat, and transport. The Midlands Bioenergy Development Project is an excellent initiative to support this transition in a region stretching from East Galway to Kildare, and from Longford and Roscommon to North Tipperary –it can be a leading example for others to follow.”

Ends

For further information please contact Seán Finan IrBEA CEO on 0874146480

 

About the Midlands Bioenergy Development Project:

The National Just Transition Fund
The National Just Transition Fund (JTF) is a key pillar of the Government’s plan for the Midlands region. A fund was made available in 2020 to support communities transitioning to a low-carbon economy. The focus is on retraining workers and generating sustainable employment in green enterprise across the region. The objective of the JTF is to facilitate innovative projects that contribute to the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of the Wider Midlands region (including East Galway, Kildare, Laois, Longford, North Tipperary, Offaly, Roscommon, and Westmeath) and have significant employment and enterprise potential. The JTF supports projects that take a whole-of-Midlands strategic approach and complement other sources of public funding.

The Midlands Bioenergy Development Programme
The Midlands Bioenergy Development Programme will provide start-up enterprises in the Midlands region with non-financial support, knowledge, guidance and mentoring to establish successful bioenergy businesses. These businesses will help the Just Transition in the Midlands by providing quality green employment opportunities for a transitioning workforce. The businesses will process indigenous feedstock (grass, wood, energy crops) to produce bioenergy (firewood, wood pellets, biogas, biochar, biooils etc) which will off-set existing fossil fuel usage. The feedstock which will be grown and sourced in the Midlands will stimulate the local rural economy and provide opportunities for primary producers also. This project will deliver a bioenergy knowledge transfer programme in the region on the various bioenergy sector opportunities in biomass production, biogas production, wood fuel and energy crop processing and production and biochar production and usage. This project will link producer, processing business, energy users and investors. The SMEs supported by the project through a mentoring programme will promote economic growth and rural development in the Midlands region. Mentoring and technical advice will be provided by the project team to develop 12 start-up enterprises in the Bioenergy sector in the midlands. This will be the main deliverable of the project

PRESS RELEASE: IrBEA hosts photo launch for the JTF Midlands Bioenergy Development Programme

 

Press Release – Immediate Release 26/01/2022IrBEA hosts photo launch for the JTF Midlands Bioenergy Development Programme
The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) recently complete a launch photograph with Minister of State, Senator Pippa Hackett for its Just Transition Fund (JTF) Project ‘The Midlands Bioenergy Development Programme.’

Speaking at the photo launch, Mr Sean Finan, CEO of IrBEA, said: “We are delighted to complete our photo launch of the IrBEA Just Transition funded Project with Minister Hackett. The Midlands Bioenergy Development Programme has been designed to provide training, mentoring, technical support, and advice to those interested in exploring the development of new bioenergy-based businesses in the midlands. The project will support the establishment of bioenergy businesses and link producers, processing business, energy users and investors.”

Under the National Just Transition Fund, administered by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC), granted projects will seek to develop innovative projects which will lead to economic, environmental, and social sustainability for the Midlands region as it shifts away from the model of peat harvesting and use to a low carbon society with alternative employment opportunities within the catchment areas. The counties that are covered within the Just Transition Programme area and this project are East Galway, Kildare, Laois, Longford, North Tipperary, Offaly, Roscommon, and Westmeath.

Stephen McCormack, Project Executive with IrBEA said “The bioenergy sector encompasses many different possibilities for those looking to develop their own business, reskill and to find new employment opportunities. Bioenergy can be anything from the development of wood fuels such as wood chip, firewood or pellets, the growth of dedicated energy crops and biogas, biofuels, or biochar production. We will be kicking off the project activities in the coming months with a formal launch event and hosting a series of information and awareness events throughout the Midlands region.”

The project will assess the potential feedstocks and energy demand within the various counties of the JTF catchment as well as assessing the skills and training needs of interested parties. The project will design and rollout a knowledge transfer programme through the provision of training, mentoring, technical guidance, and advice for those looking to develop fully fledged bioenergy related businesses.

Finan concluded “Bioenergy is responsible for doing the heavy lifting in terms of all the various renewable energy technologies worldwide. By supporting those looking to transition into this sector, local employment opportunities can be provided. This will help keep the economic activity generated within the locality and more importantly, reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels and improving energy security. We look forward to engaging with former peat and power industry workers, farmers, foresters, SMEs, energy users and individuals within the region as they transition towards a sustainable low carbon energy future.”

To assist in the delivery of the Midlands Bioenergy Development Programme, IrBEA are currently recruiting a Project Executive. Full details can be found on the IrBEA website or via the link:
https://www.irbea.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/4-IrBEA-Project-Executive-Recruitment-Jan-2021-Job-Specification-Updated..pdf

ENDS

For Further Information Please contact Seán Finan IrBEA CEO on 0874146480

 

IrBEA launches Transport in Ireland Report: A Pathway to Halving Emissions

Press Release: Immediate Release

Thursday 02/12/2021

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) today publishes “Transport in Ireland: A Pathway to Halving Emissions – Meeting ambitious emissions reduction in Ireland’s Transport sector and the role of Sustainable Bioenergy”. This report was developed by UCC MaREI on behalf of IrBEA.

The report clearly shows that Ireland has a clear pathway to halve its emissions from Transport through the introduction of a combination of policy interventions and measures including electrification, increased biofuels blending, biomethane and driver efficiency measures. There is no single solution to decarbonising our Transport sector but by utilising a combination of different fuels, technologies and driving efficiency measures, emissions from our Transport sector can be halved by 2030.

Speaking at the launch of the report Mr Paddy Phelan, President of IrBEA, said: “This report shows how the renewable transport sector must play a significant part in delivering on the Government’s CO2 emissions reduction ambition set out in the 2021 National Climate Action Plan”.

“This report developed by Dr Paul Deane and his team at UCC MaREI is a call to action for the Government and to recognise the strong role of sustainable bioenergy. Bioenergy including bioliquids (Ethanol, Biodiesel and HVO) and biogas/biomethane, as an indigenous, locally sourced energy source can deliver large emissions reductions across the Transport sector in Ireland”.

The report identifies a diverse range of decarbonisation options and policy interventions required from Government to deliver a 51% reduction in Transport emissions including:

– Delivering on the Government stated ambition of over 940,000 electric vehicles in 2030, avoiding approximately 2 Million Tonnes of CO2.
– Increasing the blend rate of sustainable bioliquids on petrol and diesel (minimum of 10% ethanol and 12% biodiesel) as per the Climate Action Plan avoids an additional 0.4 Million Tonnes of CO2. noting that early action is key to delivering higher cumulative emissions savings.
– Efficiency and behavioural measures that reduce surface transport fuel consumption by 17% by 2030 as per the climate Action Plan 2019 avoids 4.7 Million Tonnes of CO2.
– Targeting 5 TWh of Indigenous Biomethane production (3% of land area) for use in heavy transport avoids approximately 1 Million Tonnes of CO2.
– Targeting 2 TWh of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oils (HVO) avoids approximately 0.4 Million Tonnes of CO2. Note: Sweden increased the blending of HVO with diesel from 0 TWh in 2011 to 14 TWh in 2018.

Report Author, Dr Paul Deane of UCC MaREI, said: “This report provides policy and decision-makers with a roadmap on how we dramatically reduce emissions from our Transport sector through the use of renewable energy resources, having a big impact on addressing our climate challenge.

“The analysis we’ve conducted demonstrates that a 35% renewables in Transport ambition can make a direct contribution to Ireland’s 51% target in greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2030.”

Mr James Cogan, IrBEA Transport Subgroup lead said: “Ireland is in the grip of a severe crisis where transport climate action is concerned. Emissions are actually increasing, halving emissions by 2030 means halving diesel and petrol use by 2030. Solutions need to be acceptable to the public, cost effective and compatible with how people live their lives. Sustainable biofuels already save over half a million tonnes of carbon emissions annually, and that contribution could be doubled or more by 2030.”

Seán Finan, CEO of the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) said: “We are delighted to launch this report and thank Dr Paul Deane and his team at UCC MaREI for their work. We call on Minister Ryan and the Government to adopt and implement the proposals, ambition and measures outlinedin this report. We call for the immediate ramp up of supports, policy interventions for renewable transport and particularly sustainable bioenergy measures. We want to see enhanced Government recognition of the role sustainable bioenergy including bioliquids and biomethane can play to transition the Transport sector away from fossil fuels. The recently published Climate Action Plan has yet to determine measures to remove a further 4 million tonnes of carbon emissions. Increasing the deployment and ambition for bioenergy in Transport through the Biofuels Obligation Scheme is an obvious choice.”

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For Further Information Please contact Seán Finan IrBEA CEO on 0874146480

Notes to Editors:

About the Report:
The report was commissioned by the Irish Bioenergy Association on behalf of its members. The report was funded through sponsorship contributions from IrBEA, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, Ethanol Europe, Green Biofuels Ireland, Green Generation and 3 Counties Energy Agency.

Some Key numbers in the Report:

– In 2020, biofuel delivered an 84% reduction in carbon on a per energy unit basic compared to fossil fuels.
– Biofuels make up 5% of total road energy consumption in 2020.
– Biofuels avoided approximately 520,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2020.
– Sustainable biofuels make up 98% of renewable energy in Transport in Ireland. The remaining 2% is electricity.
– Less than 1% of consumption in road transport were from crop based fuels. The EU average is 4%.
– 68% of all biofuels in Ireland are from used cooking oil while 15% were from animal fats (Tallow).
– 33% of raw materials to make biofuels were imported from China with 14% of raw materials sourced from Ireland
– SEAI estimates that Bioenergy potential equals 30% of the energy use today.
– All fuels met sustainability requirements in accordance with the Biofuels Obligation Scheme.
– Sustainable bioliquids are cost competitive.
– The current cost per unit of carbon avoided is €250 – €350 per tonne of CO2 for battery electric vehicles and higher for Plug in Hybrids compared to estimates of values between €110 – €280 per tonne of carbon avoided for bioliquids and biomethane.
– Renewable energy in Transport should increase from 4% today to 35% in 2030 to deliver government ambition.
– Indigenous biomethane is an untapped resource that can reduce emissions in transport by 1 million tonnes while advancing emissions reduction in both agriculture and land use.
– In Ireland, over 35 billion kilometres were driven by private cars in 2018.

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. The organisation is a self-governing association of voluntary members and is affiliated to Bioenergy Europe and the European Biogas Association (EBA). The organisations activities are managed by the CEO assisted by a small executive staff team and is governed by a board of Directors which includes an elected President and Vice President. Policy direction is provided by a Management Executive Committee and specific subcommittees. Further information on the association is available at www.irbea.org

PRESS RELEASE: CAP Strategic Plan must contain provision for Bioenergy measures – IrBEA

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) highlighted in its recent consultation response, the need for the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) Strategic Plan to contain provision for Bioenergy measures.

For Immediate Release: 22/09/2021
Seán Finan, CEO at IrBEA said “the Bioenergy sector has a significant role to play in addressing some of the key challenges and opportunities that farmers, foresters and the broader agricultural industry face. This should be recognised in the drafting of the Irish CAP Strategic Plan. Bioenergy has a considerable role to play in decarbonisation and the emissions reduction efforts of agriculture through development and mobilisation of energy crop, biomass and biogas industries. The sector can drive improvement in water quality through the use of biochar as a filter media. Biochar can also be used as a soil and slurry enhancer and  animal feed additive. Biogas as a fuel can decarbonise heating and vehicles. Chemical fertiliser can be displaced with digestate from biogas production. Wood fuel production through the Wood Fuel Quality Assurance (WFQA) scheme is currently providing a market for thinning material as part of sustainable forest management.”

The CAP Strategic Plan should facilitate the development of various aspects of Bioenergy through the following measures:

European Innovation Partnership (EIP-AGRI) Operational Groups: Enhance, develop and increase the budgetary allocation from the current provision for the further growth of the European Innovation Partnership Project model. IrBEA is the lead partner on a current EIP project called the “Small Biogas Demonstration Programme” which is investigating the deployment of small scale biogas facilities on farms. This form of research and development is important to bring together a range of interested parties including farmers, technical specialists and researchers to find innovative and practical solutions to common issues at farm level.

Knowledge Transfer Programme: IrBEA would like to see flexibility within the design of the proposed Knowledge Transfer Programme to accommodate Bioenergy based focused Knowledge Transfer groups. These groups could comprise of farmers, foresters and technical advisors covering such area as: energy crops, wood fuels, biogas development and forestry etc.

On-farm Capital Investment SchemeConsider broadening the proposed Capital Investment Scheme to potentially facilitate Forester, Farmers and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’S) who would like to develop infrastructure such as drying sheds, chipping equipment and weighing equipment to process and mobilise wood fuels from the private forestry estate, biomass crops and energy crops.

Finan concluded “inclusion of provision for bioenergy in the CAP Strategic Plan measures would be a positive development for the sector. It would recognise the significant role  that the bioenergy sector has to play in the decarbonisation and emissions reduction efforts of farming and the broader agriculture industry. We look forward to engaging with the Minister and Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine officials to discuss the role of bioenergy in delivering on the overall CAP Strategic Plan objectives.”

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For Further Information Please contact Seán Finan IrBEA CEO on 0874146480