Dear IrBEA Members

1. CER Review of Connection and Grid Access Policy. The CER has published a Consultation Paper on the Review of Connection and Grid Access Policy. It initiates a review of existing connection policy and requests views on the CER's proposals for the enduring connection policy regime which will be developed over the course of 2016 and on proposals for transitional arrangements to be decided upon in early 2016. IrBEA has asked Tom Bruton/BioXL to lead and coordinate the following work in regard to written consultation process:
* Draft document prepared for member circulation by 20th January
* Deadline for direct IrBEA member feedback 5pm 26th January
* Document finalised and submitted by 29th January (CER deadline)

2. NI discussion paper on the prospect of a Climate Bill. The Department of the Environment in the North has released a discussion paper on the prospect of a Climate Bill for Northern Ireland. See here. The proposals include the introduction of a binding carbon target to be reviewed at intervals, government carbon budgets and increased and independent reporting and research into adaptation work that is specific to NI. Deadline for comments is Friday 29th January. 

3. DAFM land availability for forestry – report launch.  Prepared by the Council for Forest Research and Development (COFORD), this Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine report launched on 14 January outlines the physical land resource that is potentially available for afforestation and makes a series of recommendations on how to increase the level of planting. The report states: “On lands classified as being ‘limited’ for agriculture, representing 1.8 million hectares, there is wider scope for afforestation. These lands have a higher proportion of difficult soils, often economically marginal for agriculture, with forestry presenting a viable alternative land use option.” See press release and link to document

4. Reports on world Waste to Energy (WtE) and AD/Biogas markets. Visiongain has published a 2015 report on energy-from-waste (EfW) companies, which ranks and profiles the 25 leading operators of waste-to-energy plants in the 244 million tonnes per annum global market. There's a second new report on the Global Anaerobic Digestion (AD) Market 2016-2026: Forecasts for Anaerobic Digester Facilities with Agricultural and Waste Feedstocks for Biogas Production. 

Michael Hegarty
IrBEA General Manager

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