Webinar 24: Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) Seminar for Heat Users

TOPIC OVERVIEW

This online webinar was aimed at heat users who can potentially avail of the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) by transitioning from fossil fuel based heating systems to renewable heat. The SSRH is a government funded initiative designed to increase the energy generated from renewable sources in the heat sector. The scheme is open to commercial, industrial, agricultural, district heating, public sector and other non-domestic heat users.
Energy requirements in many sectors such as hospitality, sport centres, care homes and residential apartments is often very high. Reliable and cost-efficient, woodchip and wood pellet boilers are the ideal solution to reducing your heating costs. Many businesses will be eligible for the Scheme, it will effectively allow high energy demanding businesses to dramatically reduce their heating bills for 15 years. Depending on the heat usage and the size of the installation, up to €25,000/€30,000 per year is available for eligible applications, by switching from fossil, oil and gas to more sustainable biomass or biofuel sources.
This event included contributions the welcome address from William Walsh (SEAI, CEO) and presentations from Ray Langton (SEAI Program Manager SSRH), Noel Gavigan (IrBEA) Joanne Sheehan (Enterprise Ireland) Micheal Fogarty (Katestone Global) and SSRH grant recipients who have already been successful.

LIVE RECORDING – You can view the Presentation here

 

PRESS RELEASE:   Oireachtas Committee report fails to recognise the potential for biogas and bioliquids in decarbonising transport – IrBEA

For Immediate Release

16/06/2021

Oireachtas Committee report fails to recognise the potential for biogas and bioliquids in decarbonising transport – IrBEA

The Joint Committee on Environment and Climate Action recently published its report on “Reducing emissions in the transport sector by 51% by 2030”. The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) is disappointed and dismayed that the report fails to recognise the potential and role of bioliquids and biogas as part of the technology and fuel mix to decarbonise and reduce transport emissions by 2030.

James Cogan of Ethanol Europe and chair of the IrBEA Transport Committee said “The report title is promising and the ideas are great including the ending of road building, reverse urban sprawl, free public transport, reduced need for travel, cycling superhighways to name but a few. However, there is no further mention of 51% or 2030 after the title and no mention of cost or feasibility. That’s where the report falls short. We believe that the report should have aimed for more of a balance between a vision for a better Ireland and what’s actually doable to get 51% emissions cuts in 8 years”

The significant role and potential of bioenergy including biogas and bioliquids including bioethanol and biodiesel has not been considered in the report at all despite their significant contribution to date and the continued overwhelming dominance of combustion engine technology in Ireland’s transport system.

The Biofuels Obligation Scheme (BOS) was first introduced in 2010 and requires suppliers of road transport fuels to include a certain percentage of environmentally sustainable biofuels across their general fuel mix. The BOS has resulted in hundreds of thousands of tonnes of CO2 savings and emissions reductions annually.

Seán Finan CEO of the Irish Bioenergy Association said “Considering the important role that the BOS has played in the last decade in transport emissions reduction, we are surprised the BOS has not been mentioned once in the Oireachtas Committee report. This shows a complete and utter lack of awareness and understanding by the political establishment of the current emissions reduction policy instruments deployed by the state”.

Seán Finan continued “IrBEA calls for the further development of the BOS and for the broadening of the BOS to ensure that it is a central vehicle for the development of an Irish biogas industry. We reiterate our call for the immediate increase in substitution rates of Ethanol from 5% up to 10% in petrol (E10) and of biodiesel from 7% to 12% in Diesel (E12). With political will, the increased biofuel substitution measures can be introduced immediately at no cost to the consumer or exchequer and with no need for investment in fueling infrastructure. The introduction of E10 in Ireland alone would follow the recent announcement of its introduction in the UK and would result in the cutting of  carbon emissions in the transport sector by 200,000 tonnes annually, bringing the same reduction as approximately 100,000 electric cars at no cost to the exchequer”

The Committee report favours the re-engineering of living patterns and reductions in travel demand as the solution – a welcome measure but which extends way beyond the 2030 timeframe – seemingly to the exclusion of existing available technologies such as biogas and bioliquids.  It is undisputed by world climate experts that ALL measures will be needed to the maximum extent possible. The report mentions the potential for hydrogen which is not yet commercially available and for which there is no infrastructure. The report fails to consider biogas, which is a mainstream technology deployed across Europe with huge potential to be used to decarbonise the heavy goods vehicle  fleet.  Biogas utilises farm and industrial wastes and residues. It provides economic and employment opportunities to farmers and waste reduction solutions to industry.

The report reaffirms the welcome introduction of one million electric vehicles in the fleet by 2030 but omits to note that all expert evaluations of this measure to date point to (a) a risk that the target may not be reached due to the costs involved and (b) that if reached, while the measure will certainly help prevent further rises in transport emissions, it does not result in significant emissions reductions, as the economy and population continue to grow.   It may sound like a tired mantra by now, but it is still the case that “all climate measures in transport are vital”.

Seán Finan concluded “IrBEA issued a full briefing note to the Environment and Climate committee in April 2021 as they were preparing their report. Our note clearly highlighted the bioenergy options for decarbonising transport, with associated emissions reductions. We are acutely surprised and disappointed that the committee is turning a blind eye to the contents of that briefing by failing to recognise the potential for sustainable liquid and gaseous biofuels. Given the scale of the challenge that exist there are simply no grounds for it, while all solutions and fuels need to be on the table.”

James Cogan concluded “Right now we’re still increasing by 1 – 2% the amount of fossil fuel used each year in transport, like a couch potato putting on more weight. So let’s start by making an actual plan to turn this into a 1% reduction in oil use per year, starting this year. And if that’s doable then try doubling it to 2% per year, and so on, like a couch to 5k challenge”

ENDS

WEBINAR 23: Bioenergy’s contribution to a 40% renewable heat target by 2030

TOPIC OVERVIEW

Last month Renewable Energy Ireland (REI) launched 40by30 – a renewable heat vision which delivers 40% renewable heat by 2030, developed by XD Consulting it is the country’s first Renewable Heat Plan which sets out an agreed vision from industry for the renewable heat sector. It calls on the  Government to set an ambitious 40% renewable heat target by 2030 in the revised Climate Action Plan. The target can be provided by renewable sources primarily from bioenergy, heat pumps, renewable gas and district heating networks. We can heat our homes, schools, hospitals and businesses using a combination of several different heating technology options. The purpose of this IrBEA webinar was focused on the contribution of bioenergy, including solid biomass and biogas, to the ambitious 40% renewable heat target and outline the main findings and recommendations within the report.  The webinar will include contributions from Paddy Phelan IrBEA President, Dr. Tanya Harrington Chairperson of REI and the report’s author, Xavier Dubuisson of XD Consulting.

LIVE RECORDING

View the live recording here

 

Webinar 22: One Stop Shop – A platform to assist community Energy Projects

TOPIC OVERVIEW

This webinar focused on the opportunities to support community energy projects through an online collaborative platform called the One Stop Shop. It will outline the particular scope for enabling bioenergy projects, assisting the sector’s growth by developing public recognition, buy-in from stakeholders, and supportive policy measures from the government. The digital ‘One Stop Shop’ (OSS) aims to provide all necessary resources and tools to enable citizens to partake in renewable energy projects, helping them overcome technical and organisational barriers that may be holding them back at present. The OSS provides a space for connection and collaboration to share knowledge and experience of a range of projects, to help more ventures develop and increase the spread of local renewable energy generation. Participants of the site can work collectively to foster the growth of these projects on a national and international scale.

LIVE RECORDING

View live recording here

 

WEBINAR: 40by30 – A 40% Renewable Heat Vision by 2030

Location: Online Wednesday 24th May 10.30 – 11.30am

This webinar organised by Renewable Energy Ireland (REI) will present details of the recently launched 40by30 Renewable Heat Plan Report. This report shares an agreed Industry vision, which calls on the Government to set an ambitious 40% renewable heat target by 2030 in the revised Climate Action Plan. The report identifies a large number of urgent policy interventions required from Government and Industry to deliver the 40by30 vision.

SPEAKERS

Dr. Tanya Harrington – Chairperson of Renewable Energy Ireland (REI)
Xavier Dubuisson – XD Consulting (Report Author)
Marie Donnelly – Chairperson of Climate Change Advisory Council
Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) Representative

REGISTRATION

Register in advance for this webinar:
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ozttrSoySSKo0DJwmosfrA

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Report Link here

Webinar 21: Incorporating Bioenergy in District Heating Networks

TOPIC OVERVIEW
This presentation was given by IrBEA members REHAU, who specialises in piping and pipe networks. Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) would like to thank Technical Team Leader Alexandra Leedham and Area Sales Manager Rory Grogan who provided a great presentation on the benefits of using bioenergy fuels in District Heating Networks. They provided an insight into the opportunities which exist for district heating and discussed some interesting projects completed by the company.

LIVE RECORDING
You can view the live recording here

PRESS RELEASE: 40by30 –  Renewable Heat Plan launched

After over a year’s work, the Renewable Energy Ireland (REI) Renewable Heat Plan, 40by30, a roadmap to an Ireland where 40 per cent of our heat can come from renewables by 2030, has been published today.  This report has been developed by XD consulting on behalf of Renewable Energy Ireland. IrBEA are one of the main sponsors of the report and has acted in an administrative role on behalf of Renewable Energy Ireland for the development of this report. This Renewable Heat Plan will assist our lobbying efforts to encourage Minister Ryan and his department officials to adopt an ambitious 40% targets for renewable heat in the upcoming revision of the Climate Action Plan similar to the way the 70/30 report resulted in an ambitious target for the renewable electricity sector. There is a place for all renewable technologies and resources to be deployed in achieving this target. There is a particularly strong role for Bioenergy including solid biomass and biogas / biomethane given that bioenergy heating solutions can be deployed across all sectors and all temperature ranges. If you have any feedback and comments on the report or would like to discuss any aspect of it further please do not hesitate to get in touch with Seán Finan IrBEA CEO seanfinan@irbea.org

Link to report: https://renewableenergyireland.ie/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Renewable-Energy-Ireland_Renewable-Heat-Plan_-Final.pdf

PRESS RELEASE

Immediate Release:  Thursday 6th May

Renewable Energy Ireland launches country’s first heat plan
United call for target of 40 per cent renewable heat by 2030

Renewable Energy Ireland (REI) publishes today 40by30, a roadmap to an Ireland where 40 per cent of our heat can come from renewables by 2030. This would reduce our CO2 emissions by 7 per cent annually in line with the Climate Action Bill.

This plan was developed by XD Consulting on behalf of REI and with the expert advice of organisations working in district heating, bioenergy, heat pumps, renewable gas and geothermal.

The plan clearly shows that 40 per cent of Ireland’s heat can be provided by renewable sources primarily from bioenergy, heat pumps, renewable gas and district heating networks. There is no single solution to decarbonising our heating system but we can heat our homes, schools, hospitals and businesses using a combination of several different heating technologies.

Speaking at the launch of the plan Dr Tanya Harrington, Chairperson of REI, said:
“This plan shows how the renewable heat industry can play our part in delivering the ambition of a 7 per cent reduction in our CO2 emissions. This report is an agreed vision from across our industry and a call to action for the Government to set an ambitious 40 per cent renewable heat target by 2030 in the revised Climate Action Plan.”

The report identifies a large number of urgent policy interventions required from Government and industry to deliver 40by30 including:

  • Update the building regulations and BER assessment methodology to accurately reflect the decarbonisation benefits of renewable heat.
  • Make it simpler and easier for consumers/businesses to apply for  the financial incentives for renewable heat technologies.
  • Implement Article 23 of the Renewable Energy Directive (REDII) under the EU Clean Energy Package with a mandatory high ambition of at least 3% per annum.
  • Set Green Procurement targets for the public sector requiring a minimum annual increase in using renewable heat of 20% of demand and mandate that all new or replacement public sector heating systems must be 100% renewable.
  • Widen the supports for renewable heat in the Home Energy Grants and in the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) and incentivise large heat users to adopt renewable heat solutions.

Report Author, Xavier Dubuisson of XD Consulting, said:
“The 40by30 report provides decision-makers at national and local level a roadmap on how we can heat our homes, businesses, hospitals and industrial processes using Ireland’s vast renewable energy resources, and have a big impact on our climate challenge. The analysis we’ve conducted demonstrates that we can meet 40% of heat demand with renewable energy cost-effectively, making a direct contribution to Ireland’s 7% annual target in greenhouse gas emissions reduction, and creating 23,000 new permanent, fulltime jobs over this decade.”

Donna Gartland, CEO of the District Energy Association (IrDEA) said:
“This heat plan is the first of its kind in Ireland, bringing together all of the key industries in the Irish renewable heat sector and providing much needed input to the Government’s new ambitious CO2 targets for 2030. Based on the detailed cost-benefit analysis conducted, the findings highlight the key role district heating can play in decarbonising heat in Ireland, allowing us to deliver all types of large-scale renewable and low-carbon heat through the network with few or no changes required from the consumer.

“The reports shows district heating can provide 10 per cent of Ireland’s heating needs by 2030, meaning a rollout of district heating connecting 1% of the heat market per year, a target that has been achieved by climate leading countries in Europe since the 1960s.”

Paddy Phelan, President of the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) said:
“We are delighted to support the development of this vision for the renewable heat sector by Renewable Energy Ireland and its members across all of the renewable sectors and technologies. Bioenergy, including solid biomass and biogas/biomethane, as an indigenous, locally sourced, dispatchable energy source can deliver large emissions reductions across each heat sector and temperature range in Ireland.

“This plan sets a new vision and a clear pathway for how the Irish Government can deliver a 40% renewable heat target by 2030 while at the same time achieving the 7% carbon emissions per annum reductions.

“I call on Minister Ryan and the Government to adopt the 40by30 Renewable Heat Plan in the upcoming revision of the Climate Action Plan and to ramp up the supports for bioenergy to transition the heat sector away from fossil fuels such as imported gas and oil to deliver significant emissions reductions through widespread deployment of bioenergy”.

PJ Mc Carthy, CEO of Renewable Gas Forum Ireland (RGFI) said:
“On behalf of members in the agri-food, beverages and biopharma industries as well as developers and shippers,  RGFI  was pleased to contribute to this wider partnership of sustainable energy associations and its shared vision.  This collaborative approach is the only way to achieve the 7% annual  COreduction  and will, we hope, be supported by Government . RGFI is already pursuing some of the measures and policy recommendations identified, such as the early implementation of Article 23 REDII . We are advocating and supporting consumer and sector led initiatives to decarbonise industrial heat demand requirements, with an independent business case for AD biomethane production, which also benefits the environment and rural economy.

“However,  a just energy transition in Ireland requires a range of approaches and affordability. Renewable gas (biomethane and BioLPG) plays an important role both on and off the gas grid, alongside other renewable heat technologies. Over 500,000 Irish properties have no connection to the natural gas distribution network; two-thirds currently rely on oil boilers for heating and fuel. BioLPG as a drop-in fuel, delivers up to 90% certified carbon emission savings compared to conventional fossil fuels.”

ENDS

Contact:
Seán Finan, CEO Irish Bioenergy Association and Administration for Renewable Heat Plan on behalf of REI, 0874146480

About Renewable Energy Ireland;
This report is the result of a study commissioned by Renewable Energy Ireland (REI). REI was established in January 2019 as an open partnership of sustainable energy associations working collectively to support the energy transition in Ireland. The shared vision is that by 2050 Ireland will be energy independent through using indigenous, clean, carbon-free renewable energy supported by, and supporting, communities across our country. Further details of the work of REI can be found at: https://renewableenergyireland.ie/

Key numbers in the 40by30 Report:

  • 40% Renewable Heat by 2030.
  • Achieves Programme for Government target of 7% CO2 reduction per annum.
  • Realising the 7% CO2 reduction with switching over 40% of our heat supply to indigenous renewable energy sources would result in the creation of an estimated 23,000 new permanent, full-time jobs over this decade.
  • Thermal energy use accounted for 40% (41 TWh/yr) of all energy used in 2018.
  • Thermal energy accounts for circa 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions in 2018.
  • Heat is responsible for 14 million tonnes of CO2 per year, a fifth of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions.
  • €3 billion was spent on heating in 2018 by domestic, business, public and industrial customers.
  • Ireland depends on fossil fuel imports for about 65% of its thermal energy use.
  • Reaching the 40% target would halve CO2 emissions from the heating sector to 7 MtCO2 by 2030.
  • Over two-thirds of the national heat demand is in buildings.
  • One third of the national heat demand is in industry.
  • Focus on the industrial sector is all the more important in that economic growth is projected to drive up the national heat demand by 14%.
  • Achieving the 40% renewable heat share, and delivering the 7% CO2 reduction per year required, is under 7% more costly than continuing with currently policy, which will deliver just over 20% renewable heat.
  • The extra overall system cost projected at ~€250 million per year will result in a saving of almost €600 million on imported fossil fuels.

Hitting the target would reduce Ireland’s dependency on total energy imports from 50% to 34%.

Wood as a Fuel – A newly published book, volumes 1 – 5

WOOD AS A FUEL comprises five volumes which describe the main woodfuels: firewood, woodchip and wood pellets. They comprehensively outline raw material sources, seasoning, drying and production processes, transportation and quality issues. Many examples of ways to improve product quality and efficiency are provided, designed to enable readers to produce and use high quality woodfuels.

The history of woodfuels, an outline of what wood is, and why it makes such a useful and versatile fuel are covered in the opening volume. Standards, the backbone of woodfuel trade, are outlined. Trade itself, and other relevant aspects of transacting woodfuel, round out the introductory volume. The final concluding volume comprises two parts. First combustion, wood ash and embedded energy are covered, while the second part deals with economic and sustainability aspects of woodfuels, including one of the main rationales for their use: tackling the climate emergency. Other topics covered include sustainable harvesting, and how modern bioenergy use leads to clean combustion. These volumes open a new window into woodfuels, providing an essential and comprehensive reference for all those engaged along the woodfuel chain.

The book costs €49.50, including postage and packing, and can bought through the books tab at Arrow Management

https://arrowmanagement.ie/products/?filters=product_cat%5Bbooks%5D

IrBEA Working Groups

IrBEA relaunches Biogas Subgroup

A successful relaunch meeting of the IrBEA Biogas Policy subgroup took place in February 2021. The meeting was very well attended by IrBEA members who are involved or interested in the biogas sector. It was agreed at the meeting that a survey of IrBEA biogas members would be completed.  Anyone interested in being part of this working group should contact Sean Finan at seanfinan@irbea.org

IrBEA hold successful member consultation on the Renewable Heat Plan

IrBEA held a successful online consultation meeting with members on Thursday 21st January 2021. The meeting was chaired by IrBEA President Paddy Phelan. IrBEA members were given an update on the main findings to date in the Renewable Heat plan. Xavier Dubuisson from XD Consulting presented an update on his work to date. Members provided their feedback on the policy measures required to develop the Renewable Heat sector in Ireland.
IrBEA through Renewable Energy Ireland is administering the development of the Renewable Heat Plan for Ireland. This plan is being developed with financial contributions from IrBEA, Renewable Energy Ireland and the Irish District Energy Association (IrDEA). The plan will demonstrate the potential contribution of renewable heat through a mix of technologies to the overall renewable energy target that Ireland must achieve by 2030 with a view to 2050. The report is examining the available resources and technology options that can be used at the different temperature ranges and within the different sectors to decarbonise heat.
IrBEA through the steering group is inputting on the biomass and biogas areas on behalf of our members. The final report will demonstrate the key role of bioenergy including biomass and biogas will have in addressing renewable heat targets at all levels and temperature ranges. The plan will be finalised and launched in the coming weeks.

Update on the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH)

IrBEA continues to hold a weekly meeting with SEAI senior management to address implementation issues associated with the SSRH. Progress is being made on the SSRH implementation by SEAI with inspections of completed systems taking place and more project entering the payments cycle. This progress is a welcome development and IrBEA will continued to work closely with SEAI. If any member has any specific queries or feedback on the SSRH, please contact IrBEA CEO Sean Finan at seanfinan@irbea.org

Katestone Global Air Emissions Report approval expected

In March 2020, IrBEA became aware that there was an issued on EPA licenced sites where the maximum size of biomass boiler that could be installed on licensed sites was 250Kw without triggering a full EPA licence review. In response and following discussions with the EPA and the SEAI, IrBEA commissioned Katestone Global who specialise in air modelling to undertake a study. The objective of this study was to provide detailed and technical information to the EPA so as that a positive decision could be made by the EPA to increase the biomass boiler size limit that could be installed on licensed sites without triggering a license review. A screening framework has been developed to determine what size boiler can be installed on an EPA licensed site and comply with air quality legislative requirements. If approved, this study and the screening framework tool will means that the 250kw boiler limit won’t be a barrier to biomass uptake on most licenced sites and it will unlock the potential of the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) on these sites. The modelling work associated with this report has been very complicated and technical. IrBEA, Katestone Global and the EPA have worked closely on the technical items which arose during the work. IrBEA expects approval by the EPA in the next few weeks. The full report will be available to members once approved by the EPA.

 

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

Speakers:

Noel Gavigan – IrBEA Technical Executive

Sean Finan – IrBEA CEO