IrBEA Tour of Biomass Process and Heating Facilities

IrBEA plan to run a morning tour of biomass processing and heating facilities in Wexford on Wednesday 26 September. It will include visits to industrial and commercial biomass clients. Participants will be taken from Kilmokea Country House in Wexford and brought to 3 sites of interest followed by lunch and one 20-minute seminar with Q&A session. There will also be an opportunity to meet the IrBEA committee and other members.

Start :  Kilmokea Country House, Campile, Wexford
09:00    Kilmokea Country House – Tea & Coffee – Bus departs at 09.30
09:40    Wexford Tomatoes, Horeswood Nurseries – (2MW load out is approx. 7.5GWh/pa)
Walking tour from Owen Power (Enerpower)
11.00     Clonroche Biomass Supply Facilities – Walking tour from Tom Sheehy (Clearpower)
12.30     Forest Park Leisure Park, Courtown – (0.55MW load out is approx. 1.5GWh/pa)
Walking tour from Owen Power (Enerpower)
02:30    Lunch & Talk at Kilmokea House – Maurice Ryan (Greenbelt) Presenting:
              Mobilising Biomass Supply from the Forestry Management Perspective
03:30    Finish- Optional complimentary short talk and entry to the organic gardens at Kilmokea House

IrBEA are partners in the RE-DIRECT project and in conjunction with this event IrBEA will have a representative available for discussion or one-to-one meetings about the concept of decentralised production of biochar and activated carbon from biomass residues at this event.

Tour Route

Update on Support Scheme for Renewable Heat from Energy Agriculture Event

IrBEA reported earlier in the month that Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) published the draft terms and conditions (including eligibility and sustainability criteria) for the Support Scheme Renewable Heat (SSRH). The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, T.D. has welcomed the publication and commented.
The Support Scheme for Renewable Heat is a key measure to increase renewable energy in the heat sector and decrease emissions.  The scheme will also create new commercial opportunities for Ireland’s bioenergy and renewable heat industries.  The draft Terms & Conditions are designed to ensure that the heat generated under the SSRH will be sustainable, applied for useful purposes and represent value for money for the taxpayer, said Minister Naughten.

The Support Scheme for Renewable Heat will financially support the replacement of fossil fuel heating systems with renewable energy for non-domestic heat users.  The scheme will consist of two types of support mechanism – an operational support for biomass and anaerobic digestion (AD) heating systems and an installation grant for heat pumps. IrBEA believes right now that the levels of support for biomass heating and for biogas appear unchanged from those indicated in December 2017. Furthermore, IrBEA understands from conversations with SEAI that SSRH will be available for all commercial applications – with no lower limit and that the budget for the scheme for biomass has been €18 million per annum for 15 years. 

Update on SSRH from Energy in Agriculture Event in August
Delegates and Exhibitors did hear an update from Ray Langton (SEAI Programme Manager of SSRH) this week at the Energy in Agriculture event, he confirmed that heat pumps will open for applications next month but they are still waiting for the state aid approval for the biomass side of the scheme and they hoped this will open before the end of the year. Ray talked through the application process which lined-up broadly into two categories, firstly online application procedures followed by inspections.
Online Application Guidelines
Online Application Portal
Project Assessment Application Form
Letter of Offer
Project Installation and Commissioning
Project Inspection and Verification
Payment Stage and Contract
Ongoing Obligation
Eligibility Criteria’s were discussed including eligibility of applicants, eligibility of heat, heat use in building, energy efficiency, heat technology, installation standards and project funding. He said all these criteria’s would be closely assessed in the application process before contracts were offered.
Ray Langton commented that the SSRH scheme is going to help meet 2020 targets and help bridge the gap by increasing the renewable heat target by 3% getting closer to 16% target set by the EU Directive. He hopes that the main beneficiaries are commercial, industry, agriculture, district heating, public sector and agriculture. In a Q&A session he commented that any grandfathering terms (biomass installations already completed) will be determined by State Aid rules and they will only be able to accept applications after the date set by EU regulators.

View Ray Langton’s Presentation from the day here

Report from Energy in Agriculture on the 21 August 2018

Several hundred farmers attended the annual farm energy open day, where according to journalist Thomas Hubert discussions swung between progress on Government support and continuing hurdles to renewable projects. Farmers and renewable energy professionals showed both eagerness for the imminent launch of support schemes and frustration at delays, the scheme itself has be promised for years and now many farmers are frustrated at the endless wait and planning bureaucracy  associated with connection to the national electricity grid. Along with an array of talks and presentations on renewable energy and schemes in the pipeline there was also several impressive demos including a Wind Demo, Solar PV Demo, Wood Mobilisation, and Anaerobic Digestion Demo. Padraic O’Neill, Noel Gavigan and Michael Doran all members of IrBEA management  presented at this event and we hope to make all the presentations available shortly.

WFQA Stand                                                                                     Box Media talk to Trish Lawlor on the IrBEA Stand          Denis Naughten talks with Owen Power  from Enerpower    Padraic O’Neill talks at the Biogas Demo



AEBIOM Becomes Bioenergy Europe

AEBIOM started representing the interests of the bioenergy sector in Brussels 30 year ago. They have now  decided to move to a new identity, establishing more clearly the central role of the organisation in the European marketplace. Discover more in this launch video here and visit Bioenergy Europe’s new website.


Ireland Way Off Course to Meet Greenhouse Gas Emissions for 2020

At the publication of its Annual Review 2018, the Climate Change Advisory Council chairman Prof John FitzGerald said the policies being pursued to try to reverse Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions were inadequate. Ireland cannot meet targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and is completely off the course if it wants to achieve other carbon reduction goals. He believes that in order to decarbonise the economy by 2050, Ireland needs to produce 1 million fewer tonnes of carbon per year, which would require a complete reversal of the current trend.
Prof FitzGerald said “the problem is there isn’t a policy framework” to try to reach the targets. There was a need to increase carbon taxes to drive alternative energy approaches but this required cross-party consensus in a Dáil where the Government did not have an overall majority is problematic. Responding to the report, the Minister for Climate Action Denis Naughten said he shared the council’s frustration and that latest progressions on green house gas emissions were “deeply disappointing”. He said the transport and agriculture sectors and Ireland’s growing economy had “contributed significantly” to the increases but that the Government was “doing everything it can to ensure that we, as an absolute minimum, meet our 2030 target”. The council has called for an increase in carbon tax from €20 per tonne to €30 per tonne and Naughten has said the Department of Finance was finalising a review of the State’s carbon tax policy.

UK Retailers Could Face Limit on Sales of Wet Wood

Retailers could face restrictions on selling wet wood as a fuel for household heating, under plans announced by UK government this week (17 August) to tackle particulate air pollution. This is among the measures set out in a call for evidence, outlining further plans for legislation on the burning of solid fuels like wood and coal, following on from the launch of the government’s Clean Air Strategy this summer. According to Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs, UK (DEFRA), the burning of wood and coal in the home is the largest single contributor to particulate matter pollution – and has been identified by the World Health Organization as the most damaging air pollutant. Domestic burning contributes 38% of particulate matter pollution, compared with 16% from industrial combustion and only 12% from road transport, it is claimed.
The consultation proposes a series of measures aimed at reducing particulate matter emissions from domestic fuel combustion, including restricting the sale of wet wood for domestic burning, applying sulphur standards and smoke emission limits to all solid fuels and phasing out the sale of traditional house coal. The government has said it will also ensure that “only the cleanest stoves” are available for sale by 2022.

Related links
-Air Quality News article in full here

Consultation on cleaner domestic burning of solid fuels and wood 

Biomethane on the National Gas Grid – A First for Ireland’s Bio-Economy

In 2018, Gas Networks Ireland will introduce renewable gas onto the Irish gas network for the first time writes Pádraic Ó hUiginn. Renewable gas, also known as biogas or greengas, will be introduced into the Irish market as a means of further reducing emissions. As natural gas and biomethane are interchangeable, renewable gas can be used in the same way and in the same appliances as natural gas. Customers, business and domestic, would never be aware that the gas they are using is a renewable alternative. 
Gas Networks Ireland
is part of the Ervia commercial semistate company that owns and operates the national gas grid in Ireland and together with project partner NUI Galway,  it is leading the European Union co-funded Causeway project. Causeway, funded under the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), will deliver a clean energy project for Ireland’s transport sector, and in doing so, provide a template for the rest of Europe. Full article here

Support Scheme for Renewable Heat – Proposed Terms and Conditions

SEAI have now published draft Terms and Conditions for the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat. The levels of support for Biomass Heating and for biogas appear unchanged from those indicated in December last.

We also understand from conversations with SEAI  that

  • SSRH will be available for all commercial applications – with no lower limit.
  • The budget for the scheme is €18m per year for 15 years, the €18m budget is for biomass alone.
  • It is planned that the online portal for applications will be open in September, this will allow people to become familiar with the requirements.

IrBEA will be reviewing the terms and conditions and if required will formulate a response to SEAI. Should any members have comments on same please contact