Webinar 20: Biomass Trade Centres – Mobilising Ireland’s bioenergy resources to meet the climate challenge

For the past 30 years the Irish government and land owners have invested heavily in establishing a national forest estate. The forest inventory is vital for the provision of sustainable building materials such as lumber. Major by-products of this industry are ideal for use as renewable fuel. By products such as sawdust and bark originating from sawmills is ideal for large scale woodchip and wood pellet supply. Sustainable Forest management practices produce large quantities of thinning’s and brash that can deliver significant value to the private forest owner. European private owners have established co-operative structures to trade their by-product materials such as thinning’s, which are processed into useful products such as firewood and woodchip. These structures allow for greater financial control of their forest resource. In this webinar,  IrBEA looked at some of these models and sees if they could be adopted for Irish conditions.

View Live Recording of Presentation here


Noel Gavigan – IrBEA Technical Executive

Sean Finan – IrBEA CEO

Webinar 19: Sustainable bioenergy – Update from Brussels on a fast changing legislative framework

This webinar focused on the latest policy developments in Brussels regarding Bioenergy including the REDII Directive and the Biodiversity Strategy. It outlined the key findings in the recently published JRC Biomass Report “The use of woody biomass for energy production in the EU” and the review of the Taxonomy Directive.
There was a discussion on the growth of the anti-combustion and anti-bioenergy lobby at a Brussels and an EU level. Webinar participants will also hear about the Lobbying and Advocacy activities of Bioenergy Europe on behalf of the Industry.

View Live Recording of Presentation here

Webinar Speaker
Giulia Cancian

Policy Director at Bioenergy Europe. Giulia Cancian joined the association in 2018. She is responsible for the work of the Advocacy department and sustainability related files. Giulia holds a MA in International Relation from the University of Rome and a MSc in European Affairs from the Free University of Brussels. Before joining Bioenergy Europe, she gained experience on sustainability and energy with the biodiesel, non-ferrous metals and hydropower European trade associations in Brussels.

Webinar No 18: Green Generation – An organisation harnessing the circular economy to decarbonise Ireland

Green Generation based at Nurney, Co Kildare have been delivering for the Circular Bioeconomy by generating energy from waste for a number of years. This rural enterprise uses Anaerobic Digestion (AD) technology to convert food production waste and farm waste into renewable biogas. This biogas is upgraded to biomethane to produce electricity, heat and transport fuel. In partnership with Paltech, Green Generation are now meeting the global plastics problem head on with patented plastics technology. Teresa Patton, Program Manager at Green Generation talked about the company’s circular economy, their facilities in Kildare and the future developments for the company.


Webinar Speaker
Teresa Patton
Program Manager, Green Generation


Teresa is a recent MBA graduate at T.U. Dublin and has a varied professional background having qualified with a BA in Interior Architecture. She travelled extensively through the South Pacific and UK in the 2000s, and returned to Ireland in 2012 to continue her career in the speciality F&B industry.

Upon near completion of her MBA, Teresa started with Green Generation as their Program Manager. Her role entails engaging with an array of organisations, both in FMCG and non food sector, in order to reduce their food waste, while implementing a circular economy by using food waste to produce clean, renewable energy.

IrBEA Panellists
Seán Finan (Chair)

Noel Gavigan
IrBEA Technical Executive

Billy Costello
Green Generation

Webinar 17 – Running a successful bioenergy business in rural Ireland – The Cotter Bros story

This webinar showcases the Cotter Brother’s story and how they have developed a successful firewood business in rural Ireland. ‘Cotter Bros Firewood’ are a member of the Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Scheme (WFQA) and are selling quality, certified wood products to a growing market in the Midwest. Nick Cotter presents on the future challenges and opportunities for firewood and bioenergy. He talked about how their firewood business has developed and how they are now exploring other opportunities to grow their business and contribute to the development of the rural economy in the area.


Webinar Speaker

Nick Cotter

Nick started up the ‘Cotter Bros Firewood’ business with his brother Jack when they were 11 and 13 respectively. Nick is now a student of Law and Business at University College Cork, he has recently started his third company with his brother Jack, Cotter Agritech. Their Cotter Crate lamb handling system won ‘Best Agri-Engineering Start-up’ and the Alfred Cox Founder’s Perpetual Trophy for the ‘Best Overall Start-up’ at the 2019 Enterprise Ireland Innovation Awards at the Ploughing Championships. Nick and Jack also won the 2019 Engineers Ireland Student Innovator of the Year Award. They are now both working on bringing these new innovations to market as well and continually driving the firewood business.

Webinar 16: Biochar – Addressing the Climate & Environmental Challenges

Recent years have seen a surge in interest in what is now commonly known as biochar.
Biochar is a carbon rich solid material produced by thermally converting biomass in a low oxygen environment.

In this webinar, we looked at some of the basics behind biochar, at questions such as:

• What is it?
• How is it made?
• What can it be used for?
• How can it aid in addressing the climate and environmental challenges?

Biochar is of particular interest to the following sectors:
• Agriculture, forestry and the farming community (soil amendments, animal feed additives, slurry additives, biofertiliser)
• Waste water management (filtration medium)
• Horticulture (growing medium, peat replacement, soil additives)
• Bioenergy sector (biomass fuels, AD plants)
• Construction industry (asphalt)


Webinar Speaker

Stephen McCormack 

THREE C Project Officer, IrBEA

Stephen McCormack is the THREE C Project Officer with IrBEA. He has a degree in Environmental Science from IT Sligo and is currently undertaking his Masters in Environmental Sustainability through University College Dublin. He joined the team at IrBEA in 2020, having previously worked alongside them in his role as Project Officer with the Western Development Commission on the RE-DIRECT project, a transnational Interreg North West Europe project that looked at the viability of establishing indigenous biochar and activated carbon production from under-utilised biomass resources. Now working on the follow on project, THREE C (Creating the Carbon Circular Economy), he is tasked with engaging with the growing number of stakeholders looking to further the development of the sector here in Ireland.


Webinar 15: Showcasing Europe’s most advanced Irish owned biorefinery

ClonBio Group Ltd: A snapshot of an Irish led company at the centre of the European bioeconomy: origins, path taken so far and future developments. ClonBio was founded in 2008, was operating a major biorefinery in Hungary by 2010 and has gone on to become Europe’s most dynamic bioeconomy investor.

View the live recording of the Presentation here

Webinar Speaker

James Cogan
ClonBio Group Ltd

James is an industry and policy analyst at ClonBio Group Ltd.  He expertise is on EU climate, innovation and economic development policy. He is currently working to support the introduction of climate friendly E10 petrol in Ireland. He is a member of the Private Sector Mechanism of the UN Committee on Food Security. He represented the world Climate Ethanol Alliance as partner to the UNFCCC at COP24 in Katowice in 2018 and COP25 in Madrid in 2019. He has worked for the European Commission and its partners on innovation finance and innovation project development.


Webinar 14: Addressing Air Quality concerns using dry wood fuel

Recent concerns around domestic fireplaces and stoves and their impact on air quality have enhanced calls to ban smoky fuels and promote the use of dry wood fuel. This webinar focuses on presenting the IrBEA proposals to regulate wood fuels as a mechanism to eliminate wet wood from the marketplace to address air quality issues. This webinar gives stakeholders an opportunity to get a better understanding of the link between air quality and moisture content of wood. Air emissions can be dramatically reduced by using the correct fuel and by using properly designed Eco-design stoves.
View the live recording of Presentation here

Webinar 13: The value of Ireland’s private forests – timber, energy and the bioeconomy

As Ireland’s private forestry assets continue to mature, their importance is increasing. The supply dynamics into the future see the balance shifting to a more even spread between Coillte and the private estate. This makes the current status within the Forest Service and the stalling of licence approvals being authorised even more critical and impacts future timber supply and overall confidence in the industry. Listen to Maurice Ryan from Greenbelt discuss the implications for his business.

View live presentation here

WEBINAR 12: The role of Bioenergy meeting the global decarbonisation challenge

Bioenergy is the worlds largest source of renewable energy, bioenergy provides a total of 13% of global energy supply while all other renewables provide a combined 4.8%. Across the world and Europe the use of bioenergy is expanding considerably, with installations of biomass boilers in Germany and Austria doubling in recent years, and France installing over 100,000 pellets stoves per year. Christian Rakos, President of the World Bioenergy Association discussed in this webinar the expanding use of bioenergy as a clean efficient fuel, and its importance in the future energy mix. He looked at where Ireland can further develop this sector based on our own native fuel sources, and how this expansion can effectively contribute to decarbonising our energy sector while protecting our natural environment and air quality.

View the live Presentation here


Dr Christian Rakos
President at the World Biogas Association

Dr Rakos has spent all of his professional life working in the renewable energy sector. First at the Institute for Technology Assessment at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, then at the Austrian Energy Agency and finally as Managing Director of the Austrian Pellet Association (proPellets Austria). Early this year he was appointed President of the World Bioenergy Association. Dr Rakos was also the founding President of the European Pellet Council (EPC) which is part of Bioenergy Europe. He is active on the board of the Austrian Biomass Association (ABA) and the Umbrella Association for Renewable Energy Austria.

IRBEA Panellists
Noel Gavigan (Chair)
Technical Executive IrBEA

Seán Finan

WEBINAR 11: Biogas – An update from a European perspective

This webinar addressed the latest developments in the biogas sector across Europe. The Irish Bioenergy Association is a member of the European Biogas Association (EBA) and their representative, Harmen Dekker discussed in this webinar the work of the EBA including a discussion of Biomethane market developments across Europe, the latest policy developments at a Brussels level and the important role of biogas / biomethane in decarbonising heat, electricity and transport across Europe.

View the live Webinar presentation here and the Presentation slides here

Harmen Dekker
Director at the European Biogas Association

Harmen Dekker has worked for almost 15 years within the sustainability sector and is devoted to the mitigation of climate change. He has built his career in the water and gas sector, where he has held different management positions. He joins the EBA after 5 years of service at DMT Environmental Technology. As manager for business development, he worked on the expansion of the biogas sector in new geographic regions. During those years, he also focused on the implementation of new techniques for valorising biogas, such as bio-LNG. These responsibilities included the analysis of future opportunities to produce bio-methanol and bioplastics.

IRBEA Panellists
Seán Finan

Noel Gavigan
Technical Executive IrBEA