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

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