WEBINAR 9: Potential for small scale AD on Irish Farms

Farm scale biogas plants present a unique opportunity for farms to produce renewable energy, deal with on farm wastes, convert these wastes into enhanced nutrient sources for crops, while at the same time lessoning emissions of nutrients to water courses and pollutants such as methane and ammonia to air. In this webinar IrBEA will focus on the potential for farm scale biogas plants on Irish dairy, beef, pig and poultry farms. IrBEA in conjunction with Teagasc are currently working on a European Innovation Partnership project to investigate and demonstrate this potential for Irish agriculture. Speakers Sean Finan and Noel Gavigan will be joined by Tim Clarke a biogas expert with many decades experience incorporating biogas plants onto farms.

Details on registration
If you interested, register in advance for this webinar:
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eNMJQvPlQL-zAH54OT1vYQ
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Speakers
Seán Finan
IrBEA CEO Seán Finan is the Chief Executive Officer with IrBEA, he is a Chartered Engineer and holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Hons) Degree from National University of Ireland, Galway. Prior to joining IrBEA, he has over 12 years engineering and management experience with John Sisk & Son (Holding) Ltd and took a two-year secondment from Sisk (2015 – 2017) to complete the full-time elected role as 35th National President of Macra na Feirme – the young farmers’ representative organisation. Seán’s key role is to lead IrBEA and its members to develop the Bioenergy sector in Ireland. He is also directly involved in IrBEA projects and takes a lead role in the EIP Small Biogas Demonstration Project and the Interreg NWE REDIRECT Project.

Noel Gavigan
IrBEA Technical Executive
Noel Gavigan is the Executive Officer for IrBEA since 2010, his main role is project delivery and technical backup for members. Noel has worked on some of IrBEA’s main projects including the Biomass Trade Centres, Biogas3, EIP Small Biogas Demonstration Project and Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Certification Scheme.

Tim Clarke
Biogas Consultant
Tim Clarke has many years and vast experience as a consultant in the Biogas industry in Ireland, the UK and beyond. He has been involved in the development of Biogas plants from design, planning, construction and operation. Tim providing consultancy services to IrBEA on the European Innovation Partnership Small Biogas Demonstration Project and will share his insights into this scale of plant on this webinar.

WEBINAR: IrBEA Launch INTERREG North West Europe funded THREE C Project as part of the Bioeconomy Ireland Week 2020

DATE: Tuesday 20th October, 9.30 – 11.30am

To coincide with the Bioeconomy Ireland Week 2020, the Irish Bioenergy Association are to launch the THREE C project here in Ireland. The project is a three-year Interreg North West Europe funded project which sees 13 project partners from across 6 countries participating in a transnational collaborative initiative aimed at creating a carbon circular economy. The project is the follow up to the RE-DIRECT project which investigated the potential to develop indigenous biochar and activated carbon production from underutilised, waste or residual biomass.

THREE C aims to move beyond the proof of concept stage and instead is focused on promoting innovation and business development in the circular economy based on alternative charcoal products. Biochar, which is a carbon rich solid material made by heating biomass in a low oxygen environment, has a wide range of potential applications largely due to their physical structure – being highly porous, they have large surface areas making them very effective as an adsorbent. Biochar can be used for filtration purposes, to reduce smells and odours, as a soil conditioner and improver as well as a variety of potential agricultural and industrial applications.

The project will look to team up with any SMEs, start-ups or entrepreneurs looking to develop biochar based products or services, and, with the cooperation of project partners from across 6 different countries, provide access to expertise in product development, quality control and marketing.

Details on registration
If you interested, register in advance for this webinar:
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1DY4qBisQyGwRnHEur2ZWA
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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PRESS RELEASE: IrBEA outlines Bioenergy priorities ahead of the Budget

For Immediate Release:
09/10/2020

Budget 2021 is expected to be a watershed budget in terms of driving towards 2030 and 2050 climate actions. Government support for Irish bioenergy industry through dedicated support and development measures will greatly assist in meeting Irelands targets. The bioenergy sectors of biomass, biogas, biofuels, energy crops and wood fuels are all part of the bioeconomy and offer considerable potential and opportunity to drive the economic, jobs and growth agenda in rural areas.

Seán Finan, Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) CEO said “The industry in Ireland is waiting for its full potential to be realised by the Government and the budget presents the Government with an opportunity to announced measures and supports which will help to mobilise our industry across the different sectors. There is significant potential for bioenergy to contribute to renewable heat, transport and electricity targets, provide opportunities to farmers through farm diversification and development of alternative enterprises, development of rural jobs and addressing the climate changes and emissions challenges faced by the country.”

Over the last few weeks, IrBEA as the voice of the Irish bioenergy industry and working towards a sustainable energy future, 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 a thriving industry across Europe, and one that Ireland needs to fully embrace. In challenging times it is vital to exploit all proven opportunities to tackle climate change, renew and expand well paid and secure employment 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, out of 28 member states Ireland is 27th in terms of its use of renewable heat. We have a unique opportunity to build a significant industry with multiple benefits. Ireland currently derives 4% of its energy from bioenergy, this needs to rise to 15% by 2030 with further deployment beyond to meet Paris Agreement targets, the potential for economic recovery through quadrupling our bioenergy industry is a remarkable opportunity.

Finan concluded “While our focus is on using bioenergy in the transition away from fossil fuels, we acknowledge that building sustainable, economic and social recovery we 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.”

ENDS.

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

Notes to Editors:

Summary of the Bioenergy budget measures include:

  • Budget provision for widespread roll out of the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) in 2021 and rapid resolution of implementation issues with the scheme. These issues are severely impacting on bioenergy’s potential to contribute to national renewable heat and greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

 

  • Additional dedicated resources to be assigned to the SEAI to assist with the efficient administration and implementation of the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH).

 

  • Increase in carbon tax by €10/tonne in Budget 2021, provided effective measures are also implemented to reduce fuel poverty. This should be combined with regulation of wood fuel quality as outlined in IrBEA’s submission to DCCAE and EPA.

 

  • Ringfencing of revenue generated from carbon tax increases to provide support for the development of bioenergy and a biogas/biomethane industry in Ireland on a phased and sustainable basis benefitting rural jobs and the circular economy.

 

  • In line with Action 53 in the Climate Action Plan, make provision for a dedicated preference category under the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) and other processes for financing of biomass CHP, biogas CHP and local heating projects, with particular reference to community involvement, and mobilisation of forest biomass.

 

  • As part of the Midlands Renewable Energy Hub, provision for the widening of support for greater use of biomass at scale to decarbonise electricity at Edenderry Power transitioning to 100% renewable electricity by 2023.

 

  • The Midlands Renewable Energy hub needs to be established immediately to allow the repurposing away from peat to the efficient usage of bioenergy for heat and power provision and the establishment of supply chains, employment opportunities and rural development.

 

  • Introduction of a Biogas support scheme to mobilise an Irish biogas industry on a phased basis as per our joint policy paper developed in association with Cré

 

  • 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 overweigh vehicles and tachograph usage.

 

  • As per the Biofuel Obligation Scheme, 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.

 

  • Introduction of a grant scheme to support the transition from fossil fuel appliances to eco-design compliant 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.

 

  • 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, its members and key stakeholders are working on a policy paper in this area as a way of providing indigenous biomass, an alternative farm enterprise, promoting the bioeconomy, rural development, and jobs.

 

  • 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.

IrBEA Budget Lobbying Document 2020 Pdf

Webinar No 8: Policies and Actions required to mobilise a large scale Irish Biogas Industry

This webinar explored the opportunities and benefits of a mainstream Irish Biogas Industry and discussed the various policies and actions required to mobilise the industry. In 2019, The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) and The Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Association of Ireland (Cré) launched their joint policy document calling for a biogas support scheme. This policy document articulated a vision from the industry and outlined the key principles which were needed to be followed for the growth and development of a successful Irish biogas industry. On this webinar we discussed the policies and actions that are required to ensure this industry develops in Ireland which is mainstream in many other European countries.

View the live Webinar presentation here and the Presentation slides here

Speakers

Seán Finan
IrBEA CEO

Seán Finan is the Chief Executive Officer with IrBEA, he is a Chartered Engineer and holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Hons) Degree from National University of Ireland, Galway. Prior to joining IrBEA, he has over 12 years engineering and management experience with John Sisk & Son (Holding) Ltd and took a two-year secondment from Sisk (2015 – 2017) to complete the full-time elected role as 35th National President of Macra na Feirme – the young farmers’ representative organisation. Seán’s key role is to lead IrBEA and its members to develop the Bioenergy sector in Ireland. He is also directly involved in IrBEA projects and takes a lead role in the EIP Small Biogas Demonstration Project and the Interreg NWE REDIRECT Project.

Noel Gavigan
Technical Executive, IrBEA
Noel Gavigan is the Executive Officer for IrBEA since 2010, his main role is project delivery and technical backup for members. Noel has worked on some of IrBEA’s main projects including the Biomass Trade Centres, Biogas3, EIP Small Biogas Demonstration Project and Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Certification Scheme.

Percy Foster
CEO of Cré (Composting & Anaerobic Digestion Association of Ireland)
Established in 2001, Cré is the Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Association of Ireland. They are a non-profit association dedicated to growing the biological treatment sector. Cré supports the production of high-quality outputs, assists the delivery of Government waste diversion and bioenergy targets, and promotes the creation of sustainable indigenous jobs. Cré actively participates in policy working groups and acts as a forum to interested parties to discuss all aspects of composting and anaerobic digestion in Ireland.

Webinar No 7: The Role of Edenderry Power in the Irish biomass Supply Chain

Ireland currently derives just 4% of its energy from bioenergy, this needs to rise to 15% by 2030 with further deployment beyond to meet Paris Agreement targets.  By 2024 Edenderry Power intends to run solely on 100% sustainable biomass.  Sustainable biomass consumption at Edenderry will ensure that the Midlands will continue its long history of energy supply, moving to low carbon sources.   The associated socio-economic benefits of this will align with the principles of the Just Transition.  This will ensure an indigenous market for a broad range of lower grade and residual forest products, also supporting the development of biomass supply chains for the Heat sector.  This brings with it significant commercial opportunities for growers, processors and suppliers, as well as jobs and benefits for rural development.

View live presentation here and the presentation slides here

Speakers

John MacNamara
Head of Regulatory Affairs at Bord na Móna

Dr John MacNamara heads up Bord na Móna’s Regulatory Affairs team. This team actively engages with policymakers, regulators, trade associations and legislators at local, national and international levels, to ensure Bord na Mona’s strategic direction is aligned with forthcoming legislation, policy decisions and regulatory rule sets.  John is company secretary for the Electricity Association of Ireland, vice-chair of IBEC’s Energy Provides Group (EPC) and a member of the Brussels based Eurelectric ‘s Wholesale Markets Design Working Group. John has previously worked with the EPA as a senior scientist as well as in the private environmental sector, and he holds a PhD in Combustion Chemistry and an LLB in Irish Law.

Joseph Spollen 
Biomass Manager at Bord na Móna Power Generation


Joseph has extensive knowledge of the Bioenergy sector having held technical roles in both heat and power generation in the UK and Ireland, involving the development and operation of biomass supply chains, a graduate of UCD, DIT and Brunel University London. Joseph’s role as Biomass Manager is to ensure the delivery of Sustainable Biomass to Edenderry Power.

IrBEA Panellists

Seán Finan – IrBEA CEO – Meeting Chair

Noel Gavigan – IrBEA Technical Executive

Webinar No 6: Biomass options for domestic heating

Decarbonising Irelands housing stock is a significant task that needs to be undertaken in the next 15 to 20 years. Current plans call for deep retrofitting 60,000 houses per year for the next 10 years so that these houses reduce their heating demand to a level suitable for heat pumps, or other low heat systems. With Ireland struggling to build 30,000 houses per year for a variety of reasons including labour shortages it is obvious that the plan to deep retrofit 600,000 houses by 2030 can not be achieved. Biomass heating with wood pellet boilers or gasification boilers offer the opportunity to dramatically reduce carbon emissions from houses traditionally using oil and peat, and to do so at much less cost than the deep retrofit / heat pump model. In this webinar the discussion was about the costs and practicality of converting houses to biomass and the technology available to householders.

View the live Webinar here and the presentation slides here

Webinar No 5: Producing quality wood fuels for the Irish market

Wood and biomass used for heating have the lowest emissions of carbon of all dispatchable renewable heating systems, reducing emissions by as much as 94% from that of using heating oil. Wood fuel quality is an essential component of ensuring the maximum efficiency, minimising harmful emissions, and ensuring that heating appliances are maintained. In this webinar IrBEA will hear from two WFQA certified suppliers of wood fuels. They will discuss the aspects of producing consistent quality fuels, the benefits for consumers and how this has positively assisted their businesses to confidently supply the market, and to grow their own market share. The future for wood fuels is directly linked to the need to decarbonise our economies. Wood fuels predominantly come from forest and sawmill residues, ensuring that forest management can utilise all the woody material in the forest, with little waste and maximize utilisation of our resources.

View the live Webinar here and the presentation slides here

Speakers

John Sherlock – Sherlogs

Ken McCauley – McCauley Wood Fuels

Noel Gavigan – IrBEA Technical Director (Chair)

PRESS RELEASE: Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) welcomes new Project Officer

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) is delighted to announce that Stephen McCormack has been appointed as a Project Officer for the Association.

Seán Finan IrBEA CEO said “On behalf of IrBEA, I’m delighted to welcome Stephen McCormack to the Association. I wish him the best of luck and every success in his new role. Stephen brings with him a wealth of experience to the organisation and we look forward to working with him at this pivotal juncture as Ireland transitions to renewables away from fossil fuels”

Stephen McCormack holds a Bachelor Degree in Energy, Sustainability and the Environment from IT Sligo. He also holds a postgraduate in Environmental Management. He brings a broad range of experience and knowledge to IrBEA and will join the IrBEA team at an exciting time for the Renewable Energy sector. Stephen will focus on delivery of the recently commenced Interreg NW Europe Three C Project. This project will focus on the circular carbon economy through the development of value-added carbon products and services based on biochar and carbon feedstocks. Stephen will also be involved in other projects and work programmes within the organisation.

Prior to joining IrBEA, he worked for a number of years with the Regional Development team at the Western Development Commission. During that time Stephen worked on the RE-DIRECT project and the Blue Circular Economy project, two ERDF funded projects looking at the area of the circular economy.

Stephen McCormack said “I am delighted to be able to join the team here at IrBEA. I think the work done by the association is invaluable and I am looking forward to working with the team, the members and wider stakeholders to help further the development of the sector in any way I can. I see great potential in the role bioenergy will play in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and I am particularly interested in the possible intersection of bioenergy and environmental improvements that the Three C project will explore.”

About the Three C Project:

Add information paragraph

The Three C project is a transnational Interreg North West Europe project consisting of project partners from 6 different countries. It is the follow on project to the RE-DIRECT project and is aimed at promoting the development of high quality products and value chains based on charcoal feedstocks. It will do this through the creation of regional Circular Carbon Hubs( CC-Hubs) where products can be developed and marketed, a number of Circular Carbon Labs (CC- Labs) where products and feedstocks can be quality tested, and, through the development of a network( CC- Net) that will provide business supports, training and advice for SMEs looking to get involved in the sector.

Webinar 3: Biodiesel and Bioethanol reducing transport emissions – 8th July 2020

This webinar, the third in the ‘IrBEA Bioenergy Webinar Series 2020’ heard from industry experts in the areas of biodiesel and bioethanol.   The Irish Bioenergy Association thank everyone for taking the time to join us this week.

A recording of the presentation can be found HERE  and the presentations slides HERE

Our next online webinar will be held shortly we will keep you updated.