**Next week** IrBEA’s 15th National Bioenergy Conference – Wed 3rd February
There’s just over a week to IrBEA's 15th National Bioenergy Conference, Wednesday 3 February 2016 at the Castleknock Hotel and Country Club, Dublin 15. This will be a crucial year for the renewable energy industry in Ireland as a new policy framework is in place (Energy White Paper) and the Bioenergy Plan is being finalised. In the Republic the industry expects more clarity for roll-out of new support schemes for renewable heat and renewable electricity, while the market in the North is responding to recent changes to enabling policy. IrBEA has a strong line up of speakers, both international and national. See agenda and book online here
IrBEA Annual General Meeting, Wed 3rd Feb 2016
The Irish Bioenergy Association’s AGM will commence at 4.15pm immediately after the National Bioenergy Conference (above) at the same venue. Members have until Wednesday January 27th to submit items for the agenda of the AGM to IrBEA Secretary Padraic O’Neill firstname.lastname@example.org The proposed Agenda is:
- Minutes of the AGM 2015
- Matters arising
- 2015 Annual Report
- Report on the Accounts of the Association - Financial Report 2015
- Elections to the Management Committee
- Any other business
We ask any members who will not be able to attend to consider giving their proxy vote to the Secretary, by sending an email as follows: “ I will not be attending the IrBEA AGM of 2016 and I authorise the Secretary to vote on my behalf.” A copy of the current Constitution can be viewed on the website.
IrBEA responding to 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 this work in regard to written consultation process:
* Draft document circulated to members (emailed 20th January)
* Deadline for direct IrBEA member feedback 5pm Tues 26th January
* Document finalised and submitted by 29th January (CER deadline)
Biogas Workshop & Networking - Tuesday 16th Feb, Hillsborough
This free workshop and site visit is the final event under the Biogas 3 Project. (IrBEA is a project partner) and will further explore the potential for biogas on farms and in the food processing sector. Details are in the event flyer and you can register here. We encourage all participants to register early.
IrBEA offer – EBA AGM & German Biogas Association Annual Conference Feb 16-19th
Every year EBA (European Biogas Association) holds its AGM to coincide with the German Biogas Annual Convention – see 2016 convention programme and other details for this year’s event at Nuremburg. The latter includes an optional day excursion to 3 AD plants in the Nuremburg area. There are very good translation services into English. Padraic O’Neill will be attending the EBA AGM on IrBEA’s behalf. Any member who wishes to attend the German Biogas Convention as part of a group from IrBEA should let IrBEA Administrator Teresa O’Brien know as soon as possible. IrBEA will organise tickets and accommodation and recommend flights. Members joining will be responsible for all their own costs – estimate in the range €790 to €1100 per person, depending on flights and hotels. There is a flight (Ryanair) from Dublin to Nuremburg via Stansted. If you are interested, we recommend you make a decision quickly, as there are limited spaces available for the excursion to the AD plants. Contact Teresa email@example.com
BENI-DETI informal discussions at farm visit
On Jan 8th BENI chair John Martin hosted an information event for BENI-IrBEA, including informal discussions with DETI-NI representatives. DETI’s Seamus Hughes said: a) >900 non-domestic RHI applications submitted in month to 18th Nov 2015 (many from poultry) before tiering and tariff rate changes take effect (compared to c.800 applications in the previous 3 years); b) The RHI is guaranteed to eligible boilers for 20 years at the contracted rate. The future of the RHI beyond 2017 is unclear, as is the level of political support for renewable energy generally; c) Emissions controls and sustainability criteria to be retrospective on all boilers, some of which may require modification to comply; d) Relocation of boilers is ok, the contract continues. Sale/transfer of boiler to 3rd party will have to be confirmed with Ofgem; e) DETI are open to including WFQA as part of sustainability regulations going forward.
WFQA notes from January workshop, AGM & Oversight Committee
A busy and informative WFQA event was held earlier this month in Tullamore. There were workshop presentations from Eugene Hendrick (DAFM), Richard Hadfield (Progressive Certification), Tom Kent (Waterford IT), Noel Gavigan (IrBEA) and Pat Murphy (WFQA chair). Subjects addressed included: supplier and consumer knowledge of fuel quality; public promotion; adoption of EU standards; air and stove quality; extending product range; new technologies and energy efficiency; fine-tuning testing systems and procedures; commercial benefits; and growing scheme membership.
The AGM returned Pat Murphy as chair of the Oversight Committee. The EN 17225 parts 1-5 were adopted as the new standard, a 2016 marketing plan is being developed, the WFQA Supplier Stamp will be modified, further discussion needed with DETI-NI on whether WFQA needs to include sustainability certification to be recognised to meet BSL approval in NI. WIT will host a practical workshop on wood fuel quality in conjunction with the WFQA later this year.
Energy imports are 85% of total, costing €5.7 billion in 2014
Ireland is still heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels according to the "Energy Security in Ireland" report published by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The report shows that in 2014, we still import 85% of our energy, at a cost of €5.7 billion to the country. In 2014, 97% of imports were fossil fuels: oil (56%), natural gas (31%) and coal (10%). The remainder was electricity (2%) and biofuels (1%). Indigenous energy production in 2014 comprised of peat (47%), renewable energy sources (44%), natural gas (6%) and non-renewable wastes (3%). Read more
Best policy is reduce emissions from transport, electricity, buildings – Friends of Earth
Friends of the Earth believes the quickest way to reduce Ireland’s emissions is to focus on transport, electricity and buildings. Dr Cara Augustenborg, chair of Friends of the Earth Ireland, said: “We should be addressing those immediately. But the Government’s commentary post COP21 has been dominated by its implications for agriculture. Minister Simon Coveney said ‘no rethink of the State food plan [Food Wise 2025] is required’. However the Paris agreement and the Low Carbon Development Act require a rethink of everything, especially Coveney’s ambition to add 300,000 more methane-producing cows to our national herd.”
Dr Augustenborg, a climate change lecturer at UCD and speaker at IrBEA’s National Bioenergy Conference on 3rd February, added: “The Paris agreement refers to food production in Article 2. Our leaders have latched onto these words as a justification to increase beef and dairy production in keeping with their Food Wise 2025 ambitions. However, they’re ignoring all the words that go before ‘food production’ in the agreement. It says we must increase our ‘ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions in a manner that does not threaten food production’. Article 2 is about resilience to climate change in our food system, not increasing food production to suit national economic interests. There is great potential in forestry and agro-forestry and renewable energy production. Any plans we’ve made in Food Wise 2025 are outdated and must be reviewed in light of the new direction the world is moving,” she said. See full article in Irish Examiner.
Veolia targets double digit growth in Ireland
Veolia has announced expansion in the Irish market, targeting double-digit growth annually over the next five years and creating 300 new jobs. The company says they “now want to challenge the popular narrative that pits environmental concerns against the needs of business”. Veolia predicts that adopting ‘circular economy’ principles could contribute €1.65 billion to the Irish economy and create as many as 5,000 jobs over 10 years. Mayo Renewable Power, Ireland’s largest independent biomass power plant which opens in 2017, will help provide Ireland with 6% of its renewable energy needs.
Bioeconomy Impact 2016 conference, 10th & 11th February, Castleknock Hotel Dublin
The CommBeBiz project has announced the conference “Bioeconomy Impact 2016”, the first in a series of annual events which will challenge bioeconomy researchers to critically think about the value, impact and relevance of their research. Places are free but limited, please register on this website to secure a place.
EU opens up €24bn funding to circular economy
European businesses working on circular economy schemes can now apply for a share of €24bn of innovation funding after the European Commission and European Investment Bank (EIB) agreed to change the rules around credit access. The fund - known as InnovFin - was originally designed as a financial support programme for firms innovating in the industrial and technological sectors. Recent rule changes now mean sustainable businesses will also be able to access credit through the fund, to help develop circular economy projects.
Mid-sized businesses will also have access to InnovFin Advisory, a service to provide firms with financial advice to help businesses get sustainable projects "investment ready".
The InnovFin fund is being run as part of the EU's Horizon 2020 research programme, its flagship €80bn research and innovation initiative that launched last year. The €24bn investment in InnovFin is expected to support €48bn of final research and development investment into Europe's most forward-thinking businesses.
Construction starts on 40-MWe biomass plant in Northumberland
In the UK, construction has begun on the 40-MWe biomass cogeneration facility in Cramlington, Northumberland, England. The £160 million Port Clarence Renewable Energy Plant, funded by UK financial institution Glennmont Partners, is a project originally launched by company Eco2, which secured planning for the plant in 2014 and has partnered with Babcock Wilcox Lagen to construct the facility. The plant will be fueled by wood waste supplied by Stobart Energy. Stobart will source, process and supply 250,000 metric tons of recycled waste wood to the plant annually for 14 years. The plant will generate enough power for 75,000 homes and is scheduled to enter commercial operation in 2018. Around 300 jobs will be created at the peak of the construction and ultimately 30 people will be directly employed at the plant.
ENI rolls out 15% renewable diesel blend to 3,500 stations in Italy
ENI, the Italian oil major that converted its Venice oil refinery to a renewable diesel manufacturing plant, is rolling out its renewable blended product to 3,500 fuel stations across Italy this month. Named ENI Diesel+, the fuel contains 15% renewable diesel produced via the Ecofining process, jointly developed by ENI and Honeywell’s UOP. ENI says ENI Diesel+ extends the life of engines, ensures the highest power output due to clean injectors, improves engine performance reducing consumption by up to 4 percent, helps with cold starts and ensures engine noise reduction. The company claims CO2 emissions are reduced by 5 percent on average, and reductions of unburned hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide up to 40% and 20% less particulate matter.
Wyke Farms signs green gas deal with Sainsbury’s
Wyke Farms, a UK-based independent cheese and milk producer, has signed major new deal with supermarket giant Sainsbury's to supply the retailer with green gas generated from its anaerobic digestion (AD) plant at its dairy farm in Somerset. Wyke says the deal would see enough green gas provided to cover 6% of Sainsbury's total gas use. The move would save 16t of carbon emissions a day and result in savings equivalent to taking 5,000 cars off the road. This is the latest in a series of moves into the green gas market by Sainsbury's, which in 2014 announced a partnership with waste management giant Biffa that allowed it to effectively take its flagship Cannock store off-grid by sourcing energy direct from a local AD plant.
Central London dual-fuel DH development to supply 252 homes
A heat project at the former St Clements Hospital site in Bow, London, will see all 252 homes purchasing heat from a central energy centre and district heat network. The project will provide heat directly to homeowners, which include some social and affordable housing customers, via a long-term heat supply agreement and will use a dual-fuel biomass pellet and gas boiler system provided and maintained by Ardor Energy – a heat project fund set up by Scottish Equity Partners. Ardor believes the Linden Homes project will act as an attractive template for heat and energy provision as a service for multi-tenant housing developments across the UK. Wood Energy has been selected as its installation and long-term O&M partner, with the project due to commence heat supply in February 2016. Further renewable energy developments with care groups and housing associations are being progressed.
Scottish Govt & British Gas to fund biomass DH project for 700 homes
The Scottish Government and British Gas have announced funding for a £10.6 million district heating biomass project in Broomhill, Glasgow. The Cube Housing Association District Heating Project will provide heat and hot water to 701 homes, and aims to reduce fuel poverty in the area. The Glasgow project is being funded partly through SPRUCE (Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centers) via a £5 million loan, with the remainder coming from British Gas, which is carrying out the building and installation work. The project will include three 500-kilowatt wood pellet boilers with thermal heat stores, 1.5 MW of condensing gas boilers for backup, underground heat mains and a new distribution pipe network. The SPRUCE fund has invested in various regeneration projects across Scotland since 2001. It was established with funding from the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund to provide affordable, flexible, repayable loans for project sponsors. The Scottish Government estimates SPRUCE investments will spur an additional £158 million in private funding, creating 4,750 jobs.
Global Organic Resources Congress (GORC), Dublin 3-4 May 2016
Cré, in partnership with the European Compost Network, are organising a global event on the 3 & 4 May 2016 called GORC - Global Organic Resources Congress. GORC will bring together over 200 international sector stakeholders to discuss challenges and opportunities in the bioeconomy and biological treatment sector. EC Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan will address the Congress. See early bird registration and other details www.gorc.ie The previous event in February 2014 (AD Europe 2014) brought in 193 delegates from 22 different countries.
AFBI-NI - CEO position
AFBI-NI is seeking a dynamic, innovative and visionary Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to succeed Professor Seamus Kennedy who has announced his retirement with effect in spring 2016. The Board wishes to appoint an outstanding leader who is capable of inspiring the scientific and support staff of AFBI to achieve its organisational vision and mission.The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) is a leading multidisciplinary science organisation with a strong international reputation for excellence in the areas of animal health and welfare, plant science, food safety and quality, marine and freshwater fisheries and eco systems, the environment and agri-food and rural economics. Closing date: 12:00 noon (UK time) on Monday, 1 February 2016. View