Dear IrBEA Members

1. Trócaire urges Govt to divest ISI Fund involvement from fossil fuel industry. Trócaire, the international development organisation, last week launched a major new campaign calling on the incoming government to fully divest public money from the fossil fuel industry and to prohibit all future public investments in the industry. Last year Ireland had investments of approximately €72m in the fossil fuel industry through the Irish Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), the successor to the National Pension Reserve Fund. Trócaire Executive Director Éamonn Meehan said: “There are currently 60 million people across the developing world suffering food shortages due to drought. Irish people have consistently responded to humanitarian emergencies brought about by climate change, but these investments undermine those efforts. By investing in fossil fuel industries, Ireland is funding climate change. Ireland has committed itself to phasing-out fossil fuels as part of its role in combatting climate change. It makes no sense for the government to continue to invest in the very industry it is committed to phasing-out." See launch details here.
The UN Paris Agreement was signed in New York last Friday, April 22nd. This Agreement commits governments around the world to decarbonisation, limiting global warming to well below two degrees Celsius, while pursuing a more ambitious limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

2. RTE coverage of renewable energy and climate change. RTE recently provided some increased coverage of climate change issues and perspectives, in the lead-up to the signing of the UN Paris Agreement. See a short written analysis piece by RTE's business editor David Murphy entitled 'Ireland misses pollution targets by a mile'. Then RTE Drivetime last Friday 22nd April had a clip with an intro statement saying "...failure to address climate change targets could through Ireland back into recession". The item states Ireland needs to de-carbonise the economy by 6.5% per annum through to 2020, but in 2015 carbon use increased by 5.5%. Fines of €10bn over 10 years are possible from 2020 (upper end of the scale). An interview with John Fitzgerald, chair of the Climate Change Advisory Council is included in the audio clip. To listen, click http://www.rte.ie/radio1/drivetime/ then Friday 22 April 2016 – the 10 minute clip starts at 1min:42sec.

3. Global Organic Resources Congress (GORC) 3rd & 4th May Dublin. Organised by Cre in association with the European Compost Network. See programme and register here.
Key Presentations
  • Circular Economy
  • Draft EU Fertiliser Regulations
  • Trading carbon credits for a composting facility
  • Generating biobased plastics from a biogas process
  • Healthy soils
  • Recovering ammonia and phosphorus from digestate and manure
  • A biogas and compost plant which utilises all its by-products
  • The largest biogas and compost plant in Italy – 365,000 tonnes per year
  • Integration of biochar production into an existing composting plant

4. eTender: Verification of CH4 emissions and sinks over Ireland. The School of Physics, NUI Galway through funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) require a Research and Development Service to develop a combined measurement and modelling system to verify CH4 sources and sinks over Ireland. The main measurements with be sourced from Ireland's ICOS network while the main modelling system for verification will be FLEXPART/INVERT. The duration is expected to be a maximum of 14 months. The scope of the service is to apply the FLEXPART/FLEXINVERT modelling tools to the Irish environment, to, in conjunction with assembling relevant methane datasets, produce and evaluation and verification of the sources and sinks of methane across the Irish domain (and regions affecting the Irish domain). In addition, the services will include engaging with pan-European networks focused on producing improved assessments of greenhouse gas sources and sinks across relevant sectors and member states. The latter service is expected to result in participation in a H2020 collaborative project. This project is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). For full details of requirements please consult the Invitation to Tender document which is available for downloading from www.etenders.gov.ie.

5. eTenders: Coillte - 2017 Forestry Crop Establishment. This Crop Establishment contract covers all aspects of work required to deliver a crop to a specified standard as defined within the relevant tender documents – Free Growing Contracts, 1 & 2 Year Short Term Contracts and Cultivation Only contracts. To access tender documentation for this competition please log on to www.coillte.ie and click on the link to Coillte’s Supplier Management System (SMS) on the right hand side of the site, or click on this link.

Finally, just to inform all members that I am leaving IrBEA at the end of this week (last day 29th April 2016). I hope and expect the Irish Bioenergy Association will continue to grow and strengthen, I also hope I have contributed positively to this journey, and I wish you all the best for what should be a bright future for bioenergy on the island of Ireland. Contact persons for IrBEA will continue to be Noel Gavigan (technical aspects), Teresa O'Brien (membership & admin), Trish Lawlor (accounts) and Orlaith McVeigh (Northern Ireland).

Michael Hegarty
IrBEA General Manager

Copyright © 2016 Irish Bioenergy Association, All rights reserved.


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