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.

Registration Details
You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Jan 27, 2021 09:30 AM Dublin
Register in advance for this webinar:
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7kHECUOjQjKKFsWuf7cPLA
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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.

Panellist
Seán Finan
CEO IrBEA (Webinar Chair)

Press Release: IrBEA meets Minister Ryan to set out the bioenergy priorities for 2021

For Immediate Release
20/01/2021

IrBEA meets Minister Ryan to set out the bioenergy priorities for 2021

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) met with Minister for Transport, Environment, Climate and Communication Networks, Eamon Ryan T.D. in recent days. The IrBEA representatives outlined the current work programme of the Association and priorities for 2021. At the meeting, Minister Ryan reaffirmed the Governments ambition to decarbonise the Irish Energy system by reducing emissions by 7% per annum surpassing EU targets.

Paddy Phelan, CEO of the Three Counties Energy Agency and President of IrBEA said “IrBEA members are identified as key to providing sustainable solutions to deliver this ambitious 7% target. The role of Bioenergy is clear in reducing emissions in agriculture, electricity, heat and transport. Bioenergy also supports rural development, rural enterprise and jobs and provides clean energy through local supply chains. Land use planning is crucial in the development of indigenous sustainable bioenergy resources from the existing forestry estate and opportunities for other measures such as agroforestry, energy crops and biogas to reduce emissions across the energy sectors”.

The impact of delays in the forestry licensing system was highlighted during the meeting. Timber, Energy and the growth of the Bioeconomy are all key deliverables of a thriving Forest sector.

Maurice Ryan, Director at Greenbelt and IrBEA Vice President said “the continuing delays in licensing from the Forest Service is severely impacting the forest sector. Forestry has huge potential and a very important role to play in supporting the agriculture industry in reducing our emissions. Forestry delivers timber, energy and for the bioeconomy. Forestry can promote biodiversity and land use improvement. These are mutually important topics and need to be part of future discussions.”

The failure to achieve 2020 renewable energy targets was acknowledgement at the meeting. It was noted that investing the 50 million euro fine paid by the Irish taxpayer for not achieving Renewable Heat target since 2010 would have been better invested over the years in Renewable Heat supports which promoted sustainable local biomass supply chains for supply of renewable fuel.

Seán Finan CEO of IrBEA said “Growth in Bioenergy needs to be recognised as one of the key climate actions to deliver sustainable clean energy for heat, transport and electricity that compliments jobs and enterprise through local value chains replacing imported fossil fuels.  Lack of supports historically for Bioenergy has resulted in failed renewable energy target delivery in Ireland.  In IrBEA, we will work with Minister Ryan, his department and SEAI to assist in the delivery of the challenging renewable energy targets for 2030 and always highlight the key role that Bioenergy has in this regard. Bioenergy has many socio-economic benefits locally and regionally which justify the need to invest in the required supports for Biomass, Biogas and Biofuels instead of buying the Renewable Energy credits from other EU members states”.

Paddy Phelan IrBEA President concluded “I was encouraged by the commitment from the Minister to the Climate Targets for 2030 and highlighting the role IrBEA members have in decarbonising the heat, electricity and transport sector in Ireland through increased use of Bioenergy including Biomass, Biogas and Biofuels. Lack of supports historically in heat and transport resulted in failed renewable heat target delivery in 2020.  The revised EU Emissions targets of 55% reduction by 2030 is key and IrBEA will be collaborating with the Minister, his Department and the SEAI in the development of the revised National Climate Action Plan in 2021.”

Ends

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

Notes to Editors:
The main items discussed at the meeting included:

  • SSRH: Need for full roll out of the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) in 2021 now that project inspections and payments have commenced by SEAI in late 2020.
  • Biomethane Support Scheme: Potential for a support scheme for Biomethane injection was discussed with the Minister but no positive indication was given by the Minister whether there would be a support or not in the future. The Minister cited concerns regarding biodiversity, potential increased use of chemical fertilizer and further intensification of agriculture associated with a medium to large scale biomethane industry. IrBEA highlighted that our policy paper “Mobilising an Irish Biogas Industry with Policy and Action” (Reference[1]) developed jointly with our partners Industry partners Cré addresses Minister Ryan’s concerns.
  • Farm scale Biogas: IrBEA briefed the Minister on the work of the Association through our Department of Agriculture funded European Innovation Partnership project to demonstrate the potential for small scale farm based Anaerobic Digestion plants on Irish farms.
  • Dry Wood Fuels: The campaign by IrBEA for the introduction of regulation of the moisture content of firewood for sale to address air emissions issues was positively received by the Minister.
  • Heat Plan: The development of a Heat Plan for Ireland through Renewable Energy Ireland which IrBEA is a member of was highlighted. The role of bioenergy to decarbonise heat at all temperature ranges and across all sectors was emphasised. The example of Danone Milk Powder Plant in Wexford was cited as a great example of local woodchip supply chains meeting climate targets and for its achievement in being certification as the first carbon neutral baby formula plant in the world using local wood fuel biomass. (Reference [2])
  • Transport Plan: IrBEA outlined its proposal to develop a plan for decarbonisation of the transport sector which will be ready for publication in Q2 2021.
  • Forest Sector: The impact of delays in the forestry licensing system and impact was highlighted.

References:

  1. https://www.irbea.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/IrBEA-Cre-Biogas-Policy-Paper-Final_1.pdf
  2. https://www.danone.com/stories/articles-list/danone-wexford-becoming-the-first-carbon-neutral-baby-formula-plant-in-the-world.html

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

 

Speaker
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
CEO IrBEA

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

Speaker
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
CEO IrBEA

Noel Gavigan
Technical Executive IrBEA

Webinar 10: Digestate from Biogas as a Biofertiliser

The circular economy is complemented by  Anaerobic Digestion (AD) through the efficient recycling of valuable nutrients from organic wastes like farm manures and food waste.  This recycling is vital to ensure the long term sustainability of Irish agriculture. In this webinar, we will explore how biogas plants, using AD technology in addition to producing renewable energy in the form of biogas, also recycles these resources and nutrients and produces digestate. Our guest speaker, Stephen Nolan from Green Generation outlined some of the latest developments in the recycling process and the resulting production of a biofertiliser or digestate from the AD process. Stephen completed his studies with NUIG and Teagasc researching nutrient recovery and the positive effects of AD in reducing pathogens and reducing emissions of nutrients to watercourses through the use of digestate rather than raw slurry.

View the live Webinar presentation here and the Presentation slides here

Speaker
Stephen Nolan
General Manager and Agri-Environmentalist Specialist at Green Generation

IRBEA Panellists
Seán Finan
CEO IrBEA

Noel Gavigan
Technical Executive IrBEA

IrBEA Launched INTERREG NW Europe funded THREE C Project on 20th October 2020

The Irish Bioenergy Association launched the THREE C project to the Irish stakeholders as part of the Bioeconomy Ireland Week 2020. With over 100 registered for the webinar, attendees were given an introduction to the bioeconomy sector and its potential here in Ireland. This was followed by an overview of the THREE C workplan and the type of biochar based products and services that are being considered as part of the project. Attendees also heard from Welsh neighbours and THREE C project partners about their involvement in the project and plans at a farm level. Pioneering biochar product development was the topic of the final presentation and this was followed by a question and answers session and panel discussion.

If you were unable to attend you can view the live recording here  and presentations here

If you wish to find out more or to get involved in the project, please contact stephenmccormack@irbea.org

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 were joined by Tim Clarke a biogas expert with many decades experience incorporating biogas plants onto farms.

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
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.

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