Launch of joint IrBEA-Cré biogas manifesto – Thurs 29 Oct
IrBEA and Cré are launching a joint biogas manifesto from 10am on Thursday 29 October in Buswells Hotel, Dublin 2. The event is targeted at policy makers primarily. Members with active projects in the AD sector are welcome to attend. It will be beneficial to have members there who can network and speak with expertise. The event will be over by 11am. The purpose is to highlight to politicians, media and wider biogas interests the significant opportunities for development of the biogas sector in Ireland. These include: achieving national renewable energy targets; and delivering climate, environmental, societal and economic benefits – such as permanent and construction phase jobs, delivering electricity to power 20% of Irish homes or replace 7.5% of the fossil-based natural gas with 'green' gas, and attracting new foreign direct investment into Ireland.
DCENR consultation on Biofuels Obligation Scheme
A consultation on changes to the Biofuels Obligation Scheme has been initiated by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR), view here. Submissions close Friday 30 October. It asks two questions:
1. The first increase to the biofuels obligation – to 6% by volume - took effect from 1 January 2013. Further increases will be required to achieve the legally binding target of 10% RES-T in 2020. What are your views as to what the obligation rate should be with effect from 1 January 2016?: a) 7% by volume; b) 8% by volume; c) Other. Please provide a reason for your answer.
2. What are the challenges and considerations DCENR should take into account in the context of preparing for further increases to the obligation rate for the period between 2017 and 2020?
IrBEA has assigned Tom Bruton of BioXL Consultants to prepare a draft IrBEA response. If you have any feedback, please forward to firstname.lastname@example.org by next Wednesday 28 October. Members are of course welcome to use IrBEA material in their own submissions directly to DCENR.
Alternative fuels infrastructure consultation by 23 Nov 2015
The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) is tasked with the transposition of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (2014/94/EU.) Given the close relationship between transport and energy, the Department is working closely with DCENR and have started work developing a National Policy Framework to support the deployment of alternative fuels in Ireland by jointly issuing an initial public consultation on the topic. The Commission's view was that a major obstacle to market uptake of alternative fuels was the slow establishment of supporting infrastructure, and a lack of associated common technical standards across the EU. As a result, a Directive to address these issues was proposed. Following negotiation, Directive 2014/94/EU was published in November 2014. The Directive outlines the main fuel options that could provide alternatives to oil in transport (both road and maritime). The Directive requires Member States to adopt and publish National Policy Frameworks (NPFs) that will support the provision of refuelling infrastructure for alternative fuels, common technical standards and appropriate consumer/user information. Submissions for this particular consultation close 23 November 2015. We will be in touch further.
IrBEA Networking & Christmas Dinner, Friday 4 December **** SAVE THE DATE ***
Following its successful introduction last year, IrBEA will host a Networking and Christmas Dinner on Friday 4 December – drinks from 6pm, dinner 7pm. Roganstown Hotel and Country Club, Swords, Co Dublin, is the attractive venue – chosen also because its heating is provided by a biomass boiler. Intended to be a lively event, bring colleagues, spouses/partners – all are welcome. Booking details available shortly including options for overnight stay.
Gaelectric to sponsor IrBEA National Bioenergy Conference, Wed 3rd Feb 2016
IrBEA is delighted to announce that Gaelectric will be the principal sponsor of the 2016 IrBEA National Bioenergy Conference. Established in 2004 and with offices in Ireland, UK and USA, Gaelectric has developed considerable portfolios across the renewable energy sector. The 2016 Conference will again be held 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 should be in place in the Energy White Paper and a finalised Bioenergy Plan. In the Republic the industry expects considerable clarity for roll-out of a Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RES-E), while the market in the North wants consistent enabling policy following UK-wide elections in 2015. IrBEA will again have a strong line up of speakers, currently being finalised, and media coverage. It will be an opportunity for delegates and exhibitors to network and discuss future plans. We also plan to organise a network dinner on the evening of the event, as this was a successful addition to the 2015 conference. Organisations interested in exhibiting at the conference contact Teresa O'Brien email@example.com.
Jump in WFQA membership
As we approach winter, the Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Scheme (WFQA) has reached the notable milestone of 20 participating members/suppliers. Minister of State Tom Hayes presented WFQA certificates to eight companies from across Ireland at the National Ploughing Championships. The scheme, managed by IrBEA, is designed to provide consumers with good quality logs, chips and pellets, and provide assurance that the fuels they are using are a clean, climate friendly source of heat and power. Three of the companies are new participants in WFQA – BCH Transport Cork, Fireside Products Ltd Cavan, and Coillte Donegal – while five completed the certification renewal procedure. Minister Hayes said: "My Department supports the scheme as part of our commitment to fostering forest-based jobs and developing rural economies. Wood fuel production from forests is growing and is supporting new jobs in rural Ireland." See full press release
Keen interest at IrBEA Wood Energy Conference
Around 70 people took part in the IrBEA Wood Energy Conference in Portlaoise on 7th October, sponsored by Bord na Mona PowerGen. Forestry Minister Tom Hayes noted last year’s total harvest reached a record 3.1 million cubic metres of timber – energy use accounted for over a third of this, showing the close linkages between wood products and forest-based biomass. Other presentations included market opportunities to supply Bord na Mona, implementation of EU Timber Reg (EUTR) in Ireland, torrefied fuel technologies, a presentation on the IrBEA RHI report, and the WFQA in the context of an emerging RHI and RES-E support. IrBEA called for a speeding up of policy supports, particularly introduction of an RHI. A DCENR representative contributed to a lively discussion prior to a site visit to nearby Laois Sawmills. View presentations
EU extends duties on US biodiesel as US imports hike up
The EU has extended duties on U.S. biodiesel. EU Regulations 2015/1518 and 2015/1519 were published September 15th in the EU Official Journal. The regulations extend both the antidumping and antisubsidy duties on U.S. biodiesel for an additional five years. The U.S. biodiesel trade association says the decision is unfair and protectionist. Read Biodiesel Magazine article
Renewable energy included in new UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030
A "substantial increase in the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix" is a target in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. The renewables target is part of Goal number 7 – "Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all". There is also a pledge to "double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency" through:
– enhanced international cooperation for access to clean energy research and technology;
– expanding infrastructure and upgrading technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries
There was steep resistance from many countries to including a climate change goal, which is primarily governed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The 21st meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UNFCCC is to take place in Paris in December, aiming to achieve a legally binding agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global temperature increases. European countries, and the EC, had been pushing for its inclusion as a development goal, recognising that growth needs to be decoupled from environmental impact, and that climate change will hit developing countries hardest. View sustainable development goals
€1.36 billion investment needed in Irish renewable energy infrastructure to 2020
A new study concludes €1.36bn investment is needed in Irish renewable energy infrastructure through to 2020 as part of a huge overall expansion package for data centre operations. The Irish Wind Energy Association commissioned report says a significant list of global and indigenous companies are set to establish data centre operations in Ireland and the current pipeline of proposed projects could constitute overall investment of €3.7bn. With data centre companies increasingly looking to power their operations using clean and renewable power sources, the increase in electricity capacity required to meet the demand of new data centre developments is expected to be met by Irish wind and renewable energy. The study includes analysis of EirGrid data including applications for connection to the Irish electricity grid, and notes that companies seeking to develop data centre operations over the next five years include Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, IBM, Vodafone, eBay, Yahoo, BT, Eircom, EMC, Equinix and others. Commitments by companies to power their data centres by 100 percent renewable energy and Ireland’s national target of achieving 40% of all electricity produced by renewable energy by 2020 will require each MW of data centre capacity to be matched by one MW of renewable energy. Read and download study
€3 million invested across 140 building energy upgrades in Waterford
The Government's Better Energy programme has provided €3m support across a variety of energy upgrade projects in Co Waterford. A recent event, hosted by Waterford City and County Council and EcoMerit, together with SEAI, showcased the range of works on 140 local buildings and the benefits to locals from lower energy bills and improved community facilities. Waterford City and County Council are coordinating the Deise energy efficiency upgrades where 134 buildings are being retrofitted. EcoMerit, a national energy efficiency community initiative, is upgrading 16 buildings including Waterford Institute of Technology and Woodstown Residential & Activity Centre. In addition to insulation, heating and lighting upgrades, renewable energy technologies are being funded under both Waterford initiatives. The projects, involving the installation of a combined heat and power plant and photovoltaic solar panels, have the potential to generate enough electricity to power 30 homes. View
Use the brown bin to cut your waste bill
Recycling Food waste is gaining momentum in Ireland, as Environment Minister Alan Kelly launched the www.brownbin.ie website at OD Agri Limited, Tipperary. Since July 2015 the provision of a separate collection service for food waste has been implemented. This is an important development as pay-by-weight comes on stream and more householders are encouraged to recycle food waste. The correct use of the brown bin will increase the amount of food waste recovered for production of energy, compost and digestate, bringing opportunities for added value through job creation – the essence of the circular economy. View Press Release
Green Public Procurement – Enterprise Ireland info
Green Public Procurement or GPP is becoming an embedded business strategy in the private and increasingly the public sector. Organisations are recognising green procurement as smart procurement. Public Authorities in Ireland are major consumers with total purchasing power estimated at over €15billion. The scale of this procurement is such that if environmental criteria are incorporated into the procurement process this can act to stimulate the market in the public and private sector for sustainable goods and services. GPP has a key role to play in EU efforts to become a more resource-efficient economy. More information on GPP on the Enterprise Ireland website including the Tender section for Green procurement. The EU GPP group have events running across Europe which maybe of interest. View
New standard helps assess bioenergy sustainability
A new international standard to help assess the sustainability of bioenergy products and processes has been developed. ISO 13065, 'Sustainability criteria for bioenergy', was published by the International Organization on Standardization (ISO) on 15 September. The standard sets out a practical framework for considering the environmental, social and economic impacts of bioenergy production and products, supply chains and applications. It can be applied to part of or the whole supply chain, or to a single process. It is intended to apply to all forms of bioenergy, regardless of raw material, geographical location, technology or end use. ISO expects the standard to be useful for bioenergy producers and buyers, to make comparing sustainability information easier and more transparent. But ISO 13065 does not set threshold values for bioenergy or determine whether a fuel or process is sustainable. Nor is it intended to replace national legislation or certification systems. ISO hopes the new standard will influence government agencies and the development of other standards and certification by serving as a source of information on sustainability and as a basis for encouraging legal compliance.
2015 call for research proposals announced
A new Call for research proposals has been announced to help drive innovation in the agri-food sector as envisaged in Food Wise 2025. This Call will fund high quality and research designed to make the Irish Agri food sector more competitive and environmentally and economically sustainable. The content is heavily informed by the strategic research agendas SHARP and FORI, which were developed following broad stakeholder engagement, and included input from the Department’s National Agri-Food Research & Innovation (NAFRI) Group chaired by industry. The areas covered by Call 2015 included animal and crop production, food processing, forest management production and resource utilisation, the wider bio-economy as well as the sustainability of the supply chain. The deadline for proposal applications is Thursday 10th December 2015 at 1.00pm. View call for proposals documentation here
Miscanthus used to dry grain in Tullow
The Farmers Journal (issue 15 October) has a report by Andy Doyle about Patrick Nolan from Tullow who has installed a 2.5MW biomass burner to burn Miscanthus to provide the heat source to dry 40,000 tonnes of grain. Miscanthus growers have been dogged by low yields and poor market demand which has impacted on its potential profitability. The article explores seed quality and crop management, fuel and burner management and maintenance and financial aspects.View full article Farmers Journal
UK National Trust targets biomass heating in ancient castles
The National Trust, a charity dedicated to preserving the United Kingdom’s most priceless historic sites, is including biomass heat in its ambitious transition toward renewable energy. It is committing £30 million to an initiative that would replace fossil fuel energy inputs at its properties with renewable replacements, including biomass. Read how they are doing it in this Biomass Magazine article, including details of a pilot project with Croft Castle.
Great renewable energy potential in Africa
The African continent could generate nearly a quarter of its energy needs through the use of indigenous, clean, renewable energy by 2030, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Africa 2030—a comprehensive roadmap for Africa’s energy transition—finds that a combination of modern renewable technology could realistically meet 22 percent of Africa’s energy needs by 2030, a more than a four-fold increase from just five per cent in 2013. The report also finds that scaling up modern renewables in Africa is an affordable means to help meet fast-growing energy demand while increasing energy access, improving health and achieving sustainability goals. According to IRENA, Africa holds some of the best renewable energy resources in the world in the form of biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind. This, combined with the precipitous drop of renewable energy technology costs, creates a massive opportunity for African countries to both transform and expand their energy systems while providing a pathway for low-carbon economic growth. Read full Biomass Magazine article
Native Woodland Conservation Scheme launched
The Native Woodland Conservation Scheme was launched in late September by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Marine. Funding is provided under the Scheme to restore Ireland's native woodlands, which are rich complex ecosystems and an invaluable part of Ireland’s natural heritage. View details here
Tender for wood pellets NUI Galway
Supply of Wood pellets to NUI Galway, prices to include all applicable costs of fuel , fuel delivery etc. Deadline for application: 2 November, view tender