Dear IrBEA Members

1. 'Accelerated actions needed to reach 2020 targets' – new  SEAI report. Ireland still has massive challenges to meet 2020 renewable energy targets. And deep decarbonisation of the energy sector needs to start now if 2030 and 2050 benchmarks are to be achieved. These are just two of the key conclusions in a well-presented new report by SEAI on the current state of play, launched at the Energy Show in Dublin this past week.
SEAI notes that "while 40,000 homes and 550 businesses are already using some form of renewable heat technologies, this level needs to increase sevenfold. The use of biofuels added to traditional transport fuels needs to treble. And new electric vehicle registrations need to grow from less than 1% of new car sales to 20% within the next five years."  
The increased level of effort required by Ireland to achieve its energy efficiency and renewable energy targets includes: 
  • 300,000 homes or 3,000 services/ public sector buildings or 200 large industrial sites must be encouraged to install renewable heat options such as biomass boilers, solar thermal, and biomass CHP systems.
  See SEAI media release and downloadable report; and SiliconRepublic article.

2. Jim Gannon new ceo of SEAI. We hear that Jim Gannon has been appointed the new ceo of SEAI. Jim has been with RPS consultants group since 2003, latterly as a Director with responsibility for the operational and financial management of the Energy, Environment, and Health and Safety sectors. He is a long-standing IrBEA member and supporter. Jim replaces Brian Motherway who has moved to the International Energy Agency in Paris.

3. DECC proposing significant changes to RHI in UK.  Interesting to note the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is proposing eliminating banding in their RHI (which is aligned with IrBEA's RHI recommendation for Ireland) and going with 2-tier pricing (also aligned with our thinking). However, DECC is targeting larger (MWs) schemes rather than small systems. The tariff level is also to reduce significantly – approx. 2.8p/kWh for first 8,760 x 20% of rated output, and less than 2p/kWh thereafter. The consultation, briefly highlighted in our Weekly Noticeboard 12 March, closes on 27 April, see here. This has no effect on Northern Ireland's RHI, which closed on 29 February. 

4. Notes from EBA circular economy workshop (relevance to digestate for AD). The European Biogas Association held a workshop on the Circular Economy last Wednesday in Brussels. There were approximately 40 delegates and IrBEA was represented by Noel Gavigan, whose attendance was part funded by the Renewable Gas Forum Ireland (RGFI). Of particular relevance for AD/biogas were:
  • The opening presentation from the DIGESMART project which focuses on separating nutrients from digestate through ammonia stripping to remove and concentrate nitrogen, and utilising struvite crystallisation to remove and concentrate phosphate.
  • The Commission is proposing a standard for digestate, which would be CE marked. This process is expected to take 2-3 years, and would operate simultaneously with national digestate standards. CE marked digestate would be free to cross borders, would meet end of waste criteria, and would also cover Animal By-Products Regulations. The CE mark would not include human sludge.
  •  Other discussions on the day included proposals to strengthen requirements for separate waste collection, and that the current ban on landfilling separated fractions (i.e. food waste) should be extended to ban the recovery (incineration) of separated fractions.
 Anyone interested in further details can contact Noel Gavigan directly 87 684 5977. 

5. Tender – removal of gas fired boilers and replace with new boilers at National Aquatic Centre, Dublin. The tender requests the removal of 5 no. 700kw Viessmann Gas Fired Boilers within the Basement Level Boiler room and replacement of these boilers with 4 new modular cascade type boiler assemblies each containing 6 no. 115kw boilers in the National Aquatic Centre, Dublin. IrBEA will write to the National Aquatic Centre suggesting this would be an ideal site for a biomass heating plant, noting also that DCENR has committed to introducing a renewable heat incentive in 2016 and have already accepted the principle of grandfathering backdated to July 2014.


Michael Hegarty
IrBEA General Manager

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