Launch of New Wood Fuel Quality Assurance animation

This week we see the launch of the Wood Fuel Quality Assurance animation on the sustainability role of wood fuels in forest management. The focus of this three minute animation is the healthy, working forests providing timber, thinnings for wood fuel, carbon sinks, habitats, public amenity & enterprise for Irish communities. We are excited to promote a positive message on Irish forestry and spread the work about the Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Scheme. Please take 3 minutes to watch this new animation. It can also be view and shared in YouTube HERE

Webinar 31: Ireland’s Forest Resource and it’s Potential to 2040 and launch of IrBEA’s Wood Fuel Animation

A recording of this webinar can be found HERE

View the Irish Bioenergy Association new WFQA Animation HERE

Topic Overview

This webinar opened with the launch of IrBEA’s Wood Fuel Quality Assurance animation detailing the sustainable role of wood fuels in forest management. We were joined by Fergus Moore, from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) who discussed the five central pillars outlined in the Consultation ‘Working Towards Ireland’s Shared Vision for Forestry and a New Forest Strategy’. It included a discussion on the best use of this resource which provides 4 million tonnes per annum today, and is expected to reach 8 million tonnes of sustainable wood material for construction and energy. Our forest resource also provides a multitude of public benefits such as climate mitigation, biodiversity, public amenity and rural development which was also discussed as part of this webinar.

 

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

WEBINAR 30: MyGug Micro Scale Anaerobic Digester – A food waste solution providing renewable gas to small businesses & households

A recording of this webinar can be found  HERE

Topic Overview
Kieran Coffey is a mechanical engineer and has been involved in the design of water and wastewater treatment plants for over 25 years. More recently, Kieran with his team have been involved in designing and installing a micro scale anaerobic digester solution. At this webinar, Kieran presented his innovative MyGug design. MyGug is a food waste treatment system that fully integrates into a households and small food business settings. It will provide a fossil fuel free solution to disposing of food waste. It turns food waste into renewable energy and the only by-product being a biofertilizer for use in your garden.

 

 

Webinar 29: Energy Supply Contracts delivering decarbonised biomass heating without the capex

A live recording of this webinar can be found HERE

TOPIC OVERVIEW
Woodco an Irish manufacturer of biomass boilers has been deploying biomass heating systems under ESCO’s (Energy Supply Contracts) to clients in the healthcare, leisure and hospitality sectors. There are many models of ESCO contracts which exist. Woodco offers businesses the opportunity to decarbonise and lower their heating bills without any capital expenditure. This is a model whereby the heat user pays for the heat it uses over a contracted period of time. The ESCO guarantees to provide energy savings annually compared to the displaced fossil fuel alternative. View this webinar recording find out more.

SPEAKER

Ger Crosse
Woodco Commercial Director

WEBINAR 28: Celignis Analytical – The Role of Analytics in maximizing bioenergy feedstock potential

A recording of this webinar can be found HERE.

TOPIC OVERVIEW
In this webinar we heard from Dan Hayes who is CEO and Founder of Celignis Analytical, an Irish company at the forefront of biomass analytics. Ireland has an abundance of sustainable bioenergy feedstocks for the generation of solid, liquid and gaseous renewable fuels. These different feedstocks have varying potential, depending on use and composition.
This webinar is a useful to anyone developing a business in the biomass, biogas, biofuel or biochar sector, as well as in the emerging bioeconomy space. Participants will extend their knowledge and understanding of the important role that analytics and accurate data can play in the development of sources of bioenergy and new products and services.

SPEAKER
Dan Hayes

Dan Hayes has extensive experience in the analysis of biomass and in the evaluation and development of biomass conversion technologies (particularly those for the production of advanced biofuels).
He received his PhD from the University of Limerick in 2012 and played an important role in the development of the Carbolea Biomass Research Group of the university. Daniel Hayes has been successful in securing project funding for the group from industrial, national, and European sources.

 

WEBINAR 27: Balcas Energy – Delivering decarbonised heat, hot water and process steam through wood pellet biomass.

A live recording of the webinar can be found HERE

TOPIC OVERVIEW
This webinar showcased the contribution of Balcas Energy to the decarbonisation of heat and process steam.  Wood pellets offer substantial opportunity to decarbonise the heating of commercial operations and domestic homes. Balcas Energy manufactures wood pellets utilising heat and electricity generated from their own onsite biomass CHP unit. At this webinar, we were joined by representatives of Balcas Energy who showcased their business and contribution to the sector.

SPEAKER
Colm Hatton
Balcas, Business Development Manager

Paula Keelagher
Balcas, Marketing Development Manager

Seán Finan
IrBEA CEO, MC/Chair

 

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

 

WEBINAR 26 Transport in Ireland: A Pathway to Halving Emissions

A live recording of the webinar can be found HERE

TOPIC OVERVIEW
In Dec 2021, the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) published “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.  At this webinar, the author Dr Paul Deane of UCC MaREI, presented the main findings. This report clearly shows that Ireland has a pathway to halve emissions from Transport through the introduction of a combination of policy interventions and measures including electrification, increased biofuels blending (ethanol and biodiesel), biomethane and driver efficiency measures.
This report was funded through sponsorship contributions from IrBEA, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, Ethanol Europe, Green Biofuels Ireland, Green Generation and 3 Counties Energy Agency.

SPEAKER
Dr Paul Deane – UCC MaREI
PANELLISTS
Paddy Phelan – IrBEA President and 3CEA
James Cogan – Ethanol Europe
Tony Hennebry – Green Biofuels Ireland
Teresa Patton / Billy Costello – Green Generation
Seán Finan, IrBEA CEO, MC/Chair

 

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.”

ENDS

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