Dear IrBEA Members

1. North's RHI to close on 29th February. Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) Minister Jonathan Bell has announced the domestic and non domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) schemes in Northern Ireland will close on the 29th February. The move is a severe blow to the renewable heat sector in the North, to jobs, and will also impact negatively on fuel and equipment suppliers into that market from the Republic. The decision comes following a surge in applications in the run up to the recent scheme changes introduced in November 2015. Responding to the move, John Martin, Chairman of Biomass Energy Northern Ireland (BENI), said the association is "extremely disappointed that DETI has not managed the policy and applications in such a way that would provide longer term certainty to investors and developers in the market". BENI has called for "urgent talks between the NI Government and the heat sector to plan an appropriate way forward". See DETI press releases one (initial announcement) & two (details of date), and BENI press release in response.

2. The Sustainable Energy RD&D call. SEAI has announced the first of two calls for proposals for the Sustainable Energy RD&D Programme. With a total fund of €1m, the programme aims to improve the coherence of Irish energy research and development, building a cleaner and more secure energy future, while enhancing the country's knowledge economy. The deadline for the first call is 1st April. A second call is due to open on 1st May. See guidelines and application form here.

3. IEA Bioenergy report on small scale AD.  This report explores the viability of small scale anaerobic digestion for livestock farming where there is a need to deal with animal manure and slurry in a manner that minimises the emission of greenhouse gases. The report is aimed at energy policy and decision makers as well as operators. IEA Bioenergy, also known as the Implementing Agreement for a Programme of Research, Development and Demonstration on Bioenergy, functions within a Framework created by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Download here.

4. Small-scale biogas workshop, networking & site visit - Tues 16th Feb, AFBI, Hillsborough, Co Down – FREE ENTRY. There is growing interest in small scale biogas possibilities suitable for farms and agri-food processors. In cooperation with AFBI-NI, IrBEA is hosting this Biogas Workshop and Networking event next Tuesday 16th February, starting at 10am. It is the final event under the Biogas3 project. This is your chance to hear speakers & contributors from IrBEA, research and plant providers. Site visits to the AFBI model and an Edina facility at nearby Lisburn are included and will start at 1:30pm and expected to finish around 4pm. See event flyer. The event is free but you must register here

5. Launch of GREBE project & renewable energy seminar, Wed 24 Feb, Ballina, Co Mayo. Western Development Commission are launching the GREBE project and hosting an information and networking seminar for renewable energy businesses, at the Twin Trees Hotel, Ballina, Co. Mayo 9.30-14.00. (GREBE = Generating Renewable Energy Business Enterprise, EU-funded, see blog.) Presentations will include: i) Renewable energy policy and funding mechanisms; ii) The influence of environmental  conditions and challenges for renewable energy business; iii) Linking renewable energy technology and resources in the Northern Periphery & Arctic partner regions; iv) Business models and business development support for renewable energy business; v) Knowledge and technology transfer and business delivery of renewable energy. Register your interest in attending via email to or +353 94 986 1881.  Closing date for registration is Wed 17th February 2016. The event is free, but registration is required. 

Michael Hegarty
IrBEA General Manager

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