Dear IrBEA Members

1. 1st April closure of NIRO to large scale onshore wind. We have just received the following communication from the Renewable Electricity Branch of DETI. 
In September 2015, DETI published a 2 week consultation on proposed early closure of Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation (NIRO) to onshore wind in 2016.  This Minister has now published his response to the consultation.
The response confirms closure of the NIRO to large scale onshore wind from 1 April 2016 with exceptions in the form of grace periods for eligible projects. The NIRO will remain open for the time being to small scale wind until further consultation is completed.  The Minister will consult further on closure arrangements for small scale onshore wind, which must now be set in the context of DECC’s intention to protect GB consumers if Northern Ireland does not close the NIRO on equivalent terms to GB.
The proposed closure to large scale wind will be adopted in a Renewables Obligation Closure Order (Northern Ireland) 2016 which is intended to come into operation in mid March. The consultation response can be viewed at https://www.detini.gov.uk/consultations/closure-niro-new-onshore-wind-2016


2. Briefing notes meeting of WG2 for Bioenergy Plan. IrBEA Director Padraic O'Neill represented IrBEA on Wed 2nd March at the first meeting for wider stakeholders of the Transport Working Group for the Bioenergy Plan. Here are Padraic's briefing notes.
I attended along with 14 others, plus the DCENR party. There were presentations from Cathy O’Connor (DCENR), Eimear Cotter (SEAI and Chair of WG2) and David Wall (in place of Jerry Murphy, UCC). Denise Keohane of DTTAS was to present, but was unwell.
They have reviewed the RHI submissions (around 350) and have collected them under 6 headings, and will be giving us some details when Cathy O'Connor circulates her presentation. They are halfway through the 800 submissions they got on RESS (electricity). She mentioned WG1 (Supply/RHI), is producing suggestions on how the Bioenergy draft Plan should be amended. There was a lot of discussion about the economic assessment of biogas, which is about to go to tender. They insist they have the funding, despite the current political climate. Most inputs were to ensure that a sufficiently broad assessment of cross-sectoral benefits will be covered, as well as acknowledging the wide range of AD configurations.


3. Bioenergy Insight Magazine free subscription offer to IrBEA members. The offer includes a weekly Bioenergy Insight news e-bulletin and bi-monthly print versions delivered by post. You can subscribe here.
   
4. BENI represented at All Party Working Group on Renewable Energy at Stormont. An All Party Working group on Renewable Energy ‘Bio energy in Northern Ireland’ was held at the Parliament Buildings, Stormont on Monday 22nd February. The meeting was held to highlight the bio energy sector, how it is currently used in Northern Ireland and its potential for the future. Speakers from across the sector attended, including William Robinson from B9 Organics, Chris Johnston from AFBI, Michael Doran from Action Renewables and the BENI chair, John Martin. Michael Hegarty IrBEA was also in attendance. While the level of cross-party attendance was disappointing, nevertheless the event and presentations will go on the record. See link to short report, presentations and photos here on BENI website.

5. Liquidation tender sale notice biomass wood pellet plant - Milliní Adhmaid Dhún Na Ngall Teoranta (In Voluntary Liquidation). A liquidation tender sale notice has been issued for this biomass wood pellet manufacturing plant, recently installed and commercially unused. This plant is being offered for sale for removal or in situ subject to the buyer leasing the property.
Tender Sale: Wednesday 30 March 2016 by 12.00 noon GMT
Viewing: By prior appointment only; Please Telephone 00353 1 490 3130 or email info@mckay.ie.
Full Tender Catalogue & Document (i.e. Conditions of Sale) along with photos can be viewed from the website, www.mckay.ie From the home page, click on “Current Sales” (top right) and then click on the assignment in question.

6. CAFRE workshop Tues 8 March, Enniskillen Campus. This workshop, in association with the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Hillsborough, and Biomass Energy – Northern Ireland (BENI), on “Making the best use of using renewable heat from biomass, Production, Processing and Utilisation” will be held at Enniskillen Campus, Levaghy from 10.30am next Tuesday 8th March. There will be an opportunity to learn about the management of biomass boilers, production and processing of energy crops, design and construction of drying floors, wood quality, boiler combustion and emissions to ensure optimum efficiency and wood pellet production. It is advisable to book your place in advance. For further information on the On-farm Biomass workshop, please contact Cathal Ellis at cathal.ellis@dardni.gov.uk or by telephone 028 9442 6793. See programme and speaker line-up.

Michael Hegarty
IrBEA General Manager

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