Calls are mounting for a biogas industry to be rolled out nationwide in a bid to bolster farm incomes and reduce Ireland’s agricultural carbon footprint. This week sees episode 15 of Farmland, Seán Finan, the CEO of the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) urges the Government to develop policy and financial supports to bolster the sector. IrBEA believes a biogas industry could sustain rural economies into the future. He talks in details about IRBEA role in developing the bioenergy sector in the Island of Ireland both north and south, he also focuses on the imminent launch of the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat. View this 15 minute interview covering a wide range of topics between Claire McCormack and Seán Finan here
In 2018, Gas Networks Ireland will introduce renewable gas onto the Irish gas network for the first time writes Pádraic Ó hUiginn. Renewable gas, also known as biogas or greengas, will be introduced into the Irish market as a means of further reducing emissions. As natural gas and biomethane are interchangeable, renewable gas can be used in the same way and in the same appliances as natural gas. Customers, business and domestic, would never be aware that the gas they are using is a renewable alternative.
Gas Networks Ireland is part of the Ervia commercial semistate company that owns and operates the national gas grid in Ireland and together with project partner NUI Galway, it is leading the European Union co-funded Causeway project. Causeway, funded under the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), will deliver a clean energy project for Ireland’s transport sector, and in doing so, provide a template for the rest of Europe. Full article here
With Government support expected in the coming year, there is growing interest in installing Anaerobic Digesters. This article highlights the key steps in the process which need to be carefully managed. Russell Smyth (KPMG) and others discuss key steps including securing finance, obtaining planning permission and getting a Department of Agriculture licence. View the article here if you can not access the article register for a free subscription.
The Biogas Action project is supported by the EU Horizon 2020 Programme to serve as a vehicle for boosting the development of the European biogas/biomethane sector. It aims at promoting biogas development in the target countries/regions Southeast and Western part of France, Wales/UK, Croatia, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Denmark, Latvia and Southeast Sweden enabled by proven support strategies and guidelines. The project’s aim is to dissemination at broad European scale and encourage learning and good practice in other countries and regions. Click to the newsletter here
This event took place on the 16 November at the Horse and Jockey in Tipperary with a presentation from Franceso Panzeri (Demetra) who ran through the history of engineering and designing the ADBag. He discussed funding the research and building the pilot plant, interestingly both Enterprise Ireland and SEAI have been heavily involved in getting this company ready for business in Ireland. He also fielded many technical questions from visiting engineers and potential clients. We proceeded to the plant where the pilot ADBag was in situ at Tipperary Cheese. The pilot site was a scaled down version of a type you would buy, the ADbag was around 6m wide but it was working effectively as Francesco demonstrated. It is designed to allow easy and cheap access to biogas production, ideally for small farms and food processors with a supply of waste. The Adbag solution is a modular system based on a prefabricated plastic bag, which is easy to be installed and maintained. A technical container unit regulates the recirculation, feeding and heating of the digester. The ADbag can be supplied with or without the CHP, whatever the client prefers but it is at an extra cost. The system is fully automatized and can be controlled remotely. It was a very informative day and we would like to thank Francesco for sharing his knowledge and Donal Hayes (Tipperary Cheese) our host who graciously allowed 25 delegates to visit his farm to see the ADBag in action. Demetra ADBag Brochure
The trade bodies Cré and IrBEA representing the entire sector have hired an international expert to conduct a number of reports which examined the potential of the anaerobic digestion sector to decarbonise the agri and waste sectors with multiple cross-sectoral benefits. These reports assessed that potential in terms of available feedstocks and quantifies the benefits in terms of GHG emission reduction by 2030 to 32% of total national Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
In terms of absolute figures, all evaluated scenarios of power production and combined heat and power production exhibit cumulative annual offsets ranging from 1.1 billion to 1.5 billion Euro by 2030, depending on the corresponding CO2eq price.
In addition to quantifiable benefits outlined in the reports, there are additional benefits which cannot be easily quantified, nor economically assessed. Among these benefits is flexible use of the natural gas grid for heating, cooling and transport, rural development and sustainable agriculture, improved air quality related to alternative waste treatment pathways. View reports here.
Report 1: The Potential Size of the Anaerobic Digestion Industry in Ireland by the Year 2030
Report 2: Anaerobic Digestion Industry Potential Contribution to CO2 Mitigation in Ireland
Report 3: Evaluation of The Benefi ts of CO2 Abatement Delivered from Anaerobic Digestion in Ireland
Biogas: IrBEA met with DAFM Climate Change and Bioenergy Policy Division. On Tuesday 12th April IrBEA’s Padraic O’Neil and Noel Gavigan responded to a request from Department of Agriculture Food and Marine officials to meet and discuss the options for biogas at an agricultural level. Over a wide ranging meeting the options and possibilities were discussed for implementing small scale biogas plants on farms and in agri-food facilities. Of particular interest was the potential to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions through reducing slurry storage and the displacement of fossil fuels for heat and power. The Department is interested in this potential and the discussion did include the possibilities for support measures.
There are now 27 anaerobic digestion projects operational in Scotland, an increase of 69% from 12 months ago. A further 43 have planning approval, with the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) forecasting that the sector could grow by 200% in the next two years. Stephanie Clark, policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “These new ADBA figures show that anaerobic digestion is being taken extremely seriously by Scottish businesses. Increasingly, waste has value. The anaerobic digestion process recognises that, and turns things we don’t want, like food waste and farmyard slurry, into something we desperately need – clean, affordable electricity.” The amount of food thrown away in Scotland each year has fallen by 8% since 2009, while less than half of Scotland’s household waste was sent to landfill in 2014. More here
At the end of 2015 IrBEA and Cré jointly wrote to GNI requesting answers to the following questions about the Gas Innovation Fund.
– How can our members apply to this fund?
– What are the fund’s’ scope, terms and conditions?
– What projects have been supported to date?
– How much funding has been approved?
– What is the application process?
– What criteria determine success or failure?
– What provisions are in place to ensure fund transparency in the future?
This week we received the following response from GNI:
Gas Networks Ireland welcome your interest in the Gas Innovation Group. In order to obtain the answers to your questions below – please find the Gas Innovation Group section on our website. The application forms and evaluation criteria are outlined on the site and there is detail also in the application forms themselves. We would welcome applications from you and your members.