Webinar 2: District Heating Decarbonising our Heat Demands

On Wednesday June 24th, IrBEA hosted a second webinar as part of the recently commenced IrBEA Bioenergy Webinar Series 2020. The webinar included informative presentations from John O’Shea who is responsible for energy systems analysis at Codema (Dublin Energy Agency). The webinar outlined the potential for district heating in Ireland alongside an examination of potential heat sources. John updated us on the Dublin District Heating System (DDHS) which is now at Phase 2 and Dublin City Council have initiated  procuring a Consultant to examine the strategies for managing and administering the project. The District Heating (DH) network will cover the Docklands and Poolbeg areas which will recover and distribute the waste heat from plants located primarily on the Poolbeg peninsula.

Steve Richmond from REHAU UK also presented, this company are experts in District Heating and Polymer pipe solution technology. He shared valuable technological expertise and financial modelling as well as commentaries on District Heating installation in the UK. REHAU employ over 20,000 people worldwide and are one of the UK market leaders in polymer district heating pipework.

If you would like to see the webinar view here

If you would like to see the webinar presentation slides view here

 

Webinar 1: Using the right fuel, the right way, in the right appliance

Noel Gavigan and Eugene Hendrick had an information packed one hour presentation on domestic and commercial renewable heating. They discussed the differences between wood pellet and woodchip boilers and stoves. This was followed by discussing the choice of appliances and the need to move toward efficient low carbon options such as eco-design stoves. Wood fuel was discussed in detail and the need for the fuel to be certified through the WFQA Scheme which insures below 20% moisture content which both increases efficiency of heating but also minimises emissions to air for the consumer. Finally there was a discussion on industrial use for wood fuel. It was emphasised that wood chip and wood pellets offer the only viable solution for renewable supply of heat or steam. It is has in fact got the lowest carbon footprint for heat of all the fuel options and we now have the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat available for commercial projects which gives grants for a 15 year period.

If you would like to see the webinar please view here

If you would like to view the presentation slides please view here

 

PRESS RELEASE: The Irish Bioenergy opportunity is immense – New IrBEA President Paddy Phelan


This week the new President and Vice President of the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) were elected by the Management Executive Committee of the organisation. Paddy Phelan, CEO of 3 County Energy Agency was elected the new President and  Maurice Ryan, Director and Business Development at Green Belt was elected the new Vice President. They both take up their roles at a time of great opportunity for the organisation and the Irish Bioenergy sector as the economy begins to reopens again following Covid 19.

Accepting the new role, IrBEA President Paddy Phelan said “I am delighted to take on the role of IrBEA President. I look forward to working with members and all stakeholders for the betterment and advancement of the sector. The Irish Bioenergy opportunity is immense. This opportunity has yet to be recognised at a political or policy level with adequate action and support measures which are necessary for the widespread deployment of bioenergy. Sustainably produced bioenergy will play a key role in Irelands transition from a fossil-fuel based economy to a low carbon economy. The bioenergy sectors covering biomass, biogas, biofuels, energy crops and wood fuels, are a key part of the overall bioeconomy and have a significant part to play in its growth and development. As well as contributing towards Ireland’s renewable energy targets, the sector can be the catalyst to drive jobs and economic growth in rural Ireland while assisting to address the climate change and emissions reduction challenges we face as a country and people”.

Paddy Phelan continued “I’m committed to working with the IrBEA membership and broader stakeholders to promote the deployment of bioenergy produced in locally energy supply networks. In IrBEA, we continue to lobby and advocate for supports to ensure that bioenergy contributes as part of a mix of renewable energy technologies. Our objective should be to provide 100% of our energy demand by 2050 from renewable sources. Promoting local energy supply is very important. Rural Ireland can provide energy to nearby urban centres which need renewable and dispatchable bioenergy to support industry and particularly the Agri food-industry. This is all linked back to the broader rural Agri sector. The capacity for agricultural diversification and for agriculture to be a net contributor to carbon sequestration through bioenergy production is immense. Bioenergy is a mature industry across Europe and alongside other renewable energy technologies makes up the majority of energy production in many regions. This means that the region retains the value of that energy. When consumers buy that energy they are buying local”

Maurice Ryan, IrBEA Vice President said  “I am delighted to have been elected to the role of Vice President of IrBEA. IrBEA has proved to be an invaluable organisation for the bioenergy sector and a great support to promote the mobilisation of timber from the private sector. I look forward to promoting the broad value bioenergy brings to the country, and the future opportunities that will present over the next number of years. The team is extremely strong and positive and will certainly deliver value to all members and stakeholders.”

The organisation would like to acknowledge the work of Des O’Toole who has concluded a 3 year term as IrBEA President.

Paddy Phelan concluded “I would like to acknowledge the work of my predecessor Des O’Toole and thank him for his efforts and commitment to the development of the organisation and sector during his time in the role. Everyone in IrBEA wishes Des the best of luck in his career.”

Video of Paddy Phelan speaking HERE

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For Further information please contact: Seán Finan IrBEA CEO at 0874146480

IrBEA’s Proposals for ‘Programme for Government’ 20/05/2020

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) in recent weeks has circulated its Programme for Government proposals to political representatives across all political parties and independent groups. The organisation continues to lobby for the Programme for Government to incorporate bioenergy measures and supports to assist economic recovery, emissions reduction targets and climate action. To read the full press release please click here

PRESS RELEASE: IrBEA presents bioenergy proposals for economic recovery and climate action in Programme for Government 15/05/20

Press Release for Immediate Release:

15/05/2020

IrBEA presents bioenergy proposals for economic recovery and climate action in Programme for Government

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) in recent weeks has circulated its Programme for Government proposals to political representatives across all political parties and independent groups. The organisation continues to lobby for the Programme for Government to incorporate bioenergy measures and supports to assist economic recovery, emissions reduction targets and climate action.

Seán Finan CEO of IrBEA said “we are calling on all political parties and independent groupings to embrace renewable energy as a robust means to rebuild the Irish economy after Covid 19. Our detailed document reflects the views of the association’s members across the island of Ireland. It lays out the opportunities through bioenergy for job creation, addressing the climate emergency, enhancing Irelands trade balance and encouraging rural economic activity while at the same time delivering cost savings for many energy users”.

Ireland has a considerable natural advantage when It comes to growing fuel crops such as wood fuel, biomass energy crops and feedstock for anaerobic digestion. Ireland is second last of EU member states in terms of its use of renewable heat. Ireland has had the best part of the last decade to meet renewable energy targets and has failed.

Noel Gavigan, Technical Executive of IrBEA said “the new government must now focus on the serious task of meeting 2030 emissions targets and must place this at the centre of its policy agenda moving forward. 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, reducing emissions and addressing climate change through quadrupling our bioenergy industry is a remarkable opportunity. All the sectors of bioenergy including biomass, biogas, biofuels, energy crops and wood fuels offer significant potential for growth through policy incentives and measures”

In conclusion, Seán Finan IrBEA CEO said “the world is in the middle of the Covid 19 crisis. Economic recovery is a task that will involve all of society and a new approach.  Embracing the opportunities presented by the bioenergy sectors are immense. Dedicated supports and measures to the sector are required to make this opportunity a reality ”.

 

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For Further information contact

Seán Finan, IrBEA CEO, 0874146480

Notes to Editors:

 

Summary of the Bioenergy measures which IrBEA would like to see included in the Programme for Government covering the sectors of Biomass, Biogas, Biofuels, Energy Crops and Wood Fuels include:

 

  • Greater financial resources to fully implement the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) to expand the timescale, size and scope of the support scheme via a ring-fenced budget allocation allied to aggressive promotion to ensure growth in renewable heat through biomass and biogas.
  • Advocating for mandatory renewable heating use to be in place by all public bodies by 2035.
  • Introduction of statutory regulation of the moisture content of wood fuels in accordance with the international wood fuel standard – ISO 17225. This is needed to deliver cleaner air, enhance public health and drive the transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy at a domestic level.
  • Calling on the Government to re-establish the Energy Crops support scheme considering market development through the SSRH. This scheme would assist in meeting local biomass demand, to promote diversification of agriculture and to provide alternative income for farmers.
  • Calling for the proposed Biogas support scheme for medium to large scale cooperative style biogas plants detailed in the IrBEA/Cré Biogas policy paper to be implemented on a phased basis.
  • Calling for the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) to ringfence funding for modern bioenergy-based technologies such as combined heat and power, providing efficiencies up to and above 90%. Importantly these technologies have the added advantages of providing dispatchable power with grid stability benefits, community involvement and rural development in line with existing climate change polices.
  • The transition to higher blending rates of E12 Biodiesel blend over a period. This means upping the % of Biodiesel in diesel to 12% which comes at no extra cost to the consumer or the exchequer and requires no investment or change in infrastructure or vehicles.
  • The immediate transition to higher blending rates of E10 ethanol petrol blend. This means upping the % of ethanol in petrol to 10% which comes at no extra cost to the consumer or the exchequer and requires no investment or change in infrastructure or vehicles.
  • Introduction of a fuel price support for biomethane as a fuel for heavy goods and industrial vehicles to maximise proven environmental benefits.

 

YOU can make a difference WFQA Certified Irish Firewood

Follow the video below of Cotter Bros Firewood operations, it’s a film they made some time ago of the firewood processing routine each year. Logs that have been cut last fall are air dried to under 30% first and then setup for processing and further drying to under 25% moisture to make WFQA certified wood. The Sawdust is extracted and bagged and sold as animal bedding – nothing is wasted. Cotter Bros Firewood source all their wood locally from local forest owners and also use local people to work all the plant machinery and timber handling. When you are choosing your home heating, by choosing wood you can make savings of up to 50% on oil, to really make a difference pick a WFQA certified firewood producer. Hope you enjoy the film.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkmoIeWraFM&feature=emb_title

Everything you need to know about the phasing out of the polluting domestic fuels in England.

From next year, sales of the most polluting domestic fuels, coal and wet wood, will be phased out in England. What will this mean for households, the environment and the traditional roaring open fire?
Everyone knows coal, but what is wet wood?As the name suggests, this is a type of fuel – usually in the form of undried fuel logs – with a moisture content of at least 20% that is burned in stoves and fireplaces. Also known as green or unseasoned wood, it is cheap and widely available in DIY or garden centres, where it is usually sold in sacks or nets. An estimated 2.5m homes in the UK rely on this or coal for heating.
Why is the government stopping sales of it?The moisture in the wood is a vector for pollutants that can cause breathing problems, heart ailments and lung cancer. When burned, damp wood produces more smoke than dry logs. This includes tiny particulates known as PM2.5 that are more harmful than bigger flakes of soot because they can penetrate deep into the respiratory system and bloodstream. Government figures show coal and wet wood is responsible for 38% of PM2.5 pollution in the UK, three times as much as road transport.
Why now?Action is long overdue. Even in London, which has had smoke control areas for more than 60 years, wood burning accounts for up to 31% of PM2.5, according to a study by King’s College. The mayor’s office says almost 8 million residents of the city live in places where this form of air pollution exceeds World Health Organization guidelines by at least 50%. At least a dozen other towns and cities, including Scunthorpe, Manchester, Swansea and Gillingham, have even higher levels of pollution.

READ FULL ARTICLE FROM THE GUARDIAN 21 02 2020: 
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/21/coal-wet-wood-how-uk-restrictions-work

Bioenergy Europe Switch for Air Campaign

WFQA are associate members of Bioenergy Europe is one of Europe largest renewable energy players, they are taking the lead in improving air quality, they support the objective of increasing the share of renewable energy across Europe while reducing air emissions. Buildings are central to air quality and bioheat provides most of the renewable heating to households. Modern woody biomass installations have substantially reduced emissions in comparison with old appliances. By encouraging the switch, we are committed to decarbonise our economy and reduce pollutants whose high concentrations can be harmful for humans (particulate matter, nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and benzo(a)pyrene). Bioenergy Europe call for the immediate deployment of political and economic frameworks that favour a swift replacement of traditional fossil heating solutions and open fires with available bioheat modern appliances. View the Switch for Air Campaign here, it includes an European Air Quality Index Map, where you read air quality reading around Europe.

PRESS: Stakeholders gather in Croke Park for major bioenergy conference

Stakeholders from Ireland’s bioenergy and renewables sector gathered in Croke Park today, Wednesday, February 26, for a major conference exploring the “untapped potential” for biomass, biogass, biofuels and other alternative energy sources.

The IrBEA (Irish Bioenergy Association) National Bioenergy Conference was sponsored by Bord na Móna, and looked at several opportunities to expand Ireland’s bioenergy sector – including opportunities for agriculture in terms of on-farm bioenergy. Read the full article HERE

PRESS: Money from Grass, Gas and Glass – Farmers Journal talks to Seán Finan

In the Land Use Supplement of the Farmers Journal Amii McKeever reports on-farm renewable energy opportunities amongst the experts who contributed to this article Seán Finan  IrBEA CEO talks about the potential for domestic and non-domestic biomass heating and the potential for medium/large scale agriculture based biomethane plants to be developed by farm communities.  View the full article HERE