Invitation to the Midlands Bioenergy Development Project Information Seminar Series 2023 – Tullamore Event (Friday 24th November)

Information roadshow – Business opportunities in bioenergy

Are you curious about bioenergy?

What is bioenergy? The sector covers solid biomass (woodfuels), liquid biofuels, biogas/biomethane, energy crops, and biochar.

Perhaps you are looking to upskill or diversify, move to a renewable fuel, start a new business or product line or looking at the options available to you?

Why not join us at this free event to find out more.

Registration is required to attend click the link here

Free business mentoring programme

The National Just Transition Fund supported Midlands Bioenergy Development Project delivered by the Irish Bioenergy Association is offering a business mentoring programme in the form of non-financial and technical support to start-ups and existing businesses seeking to diversify, switch fuels and/or start a new bioenergy business. You can learn more about this project and how to express interest in this free business mentoring programme at:

https://irbea.org/mbdp

Agenda

  • Introduction to Bioenergy (sectors and fuels)
  • Explaining the National JTF Midlands Bioenergy Development Project (MBDP) and opportunity to get involved in the free business mentoring programme.
  • Update on the bioenergy feedstock and energy users’ analysis reports completed for the midland’s region.
  • Update on the supports available for solid biomass and biogas through the SEAI’s Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH).
  • Industry updates on the policy and developments in the biomethane/biogas, biomass, and biochar sectors.
  • Open discussion and Q&A.

These information roadshows events and mentoring programme are being organised under the auspices of the National Just Transition funded Midlands Bioenergy Development Programme.

Press Release: Ireland must immediately activate Bioenergy’s essential role in emissions reduction and achieving renewable energy targets

Pictured here: L to R Padraig Fleming, Biomethane Programme Manager at Gas Networks Ireland (GNI), Shannon Oldfield, Events Manager, Gas Network Ireland, Seán Finan, IrBEA CEO, Minister Eamon Ryan T.D., Leader of the Green Party and Minister for Environment, Climate, Communications and Transport, Paddy Phelan, IrBEA President & CEO Southeast Energy Agency, Brendan Kelly, Head of Commercial at Bord na Móna Renewable Energy.

IrBEA’s 22nd National Bioenergy Conference took place last week (Thursday 12th of October) at the Royal Marine Hotel, Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin.

Bioenergy is the largest source of renewable energy globally. Today’s national bioenergy conference is focusing on the need to accelerate the uptake of bioenergy’s recognition in both policy and technology deployment in Ireland.  Solid biomass, biogas/biomethane, liquid biofuels and biochar all have a significant role to play in a broader mix of technology and fuelling options to reduce emissions and promote a transition to renewable energy.

Paddy Phelan, Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) President and CEO of the Southeast Energy Agency said: “We need all renewable technologies and renewable fuels to be deployed as part of a broad renewable energy policy in Ireland. The conference title ‘Bioenergy’s essential role in emissions reduction and the energy transition’ is very appropriate in the current environment of a climate crisis and worries about energy security. IrBEA members have the technologies and fuelling solutions which will address all those concerns.”

Phelan continued “Our pursuit of renewable energy, specifically bioenergy, stands at a crossroads in Ireland. We must address policy gaps and foster wider adoption to ensure that all sectors can participate in carbon neutrality, Environmental, Sustainability and Governance (ESG) excellence, and insulation from energy price volatility. Together, we can overcome challenges and seize the opportunities presented by bioenergy to create a greener, more sustainable, and resilient Ireland for future generations.”

Bord na Móna and Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) are the co- sponsors of the 22nd national bioenergy conference. Bord na Móna has plans to deploy a wide range of renewable energy generation. Specifically in bioenergy this includes 100% biomass use at Edenderry Power limited and the development of biomethane production capacity. Gas Networks Ireland is actively engaged in encouraging the development of an indigenous biomethane industry here.

From 2024 onwards, Bord na Móna’s Edenderry Power Plant will operate off 100% biomass. This shows the potential of bioenergy and how it can help Ireland transition from fossil fuels to low carbon, renewable energy generation. By 2024, Bord na Móna’s Edenderry Power Plant will be supplying 100% renewable electricity to the national grid. As a dispatchable plant, this will help support the national grid when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine. It will also stabilise the national grid and enable more MW of intermittent renewable energy (such as wind and solar) to be brought onto the system to help Ireland achieve its Climate goals. Upwards of 80% of the Biomass material used at Bord na Móna’s Edenderry Power Plant is supplied by Irish suppliers. The company’s focus is on maximizing indigenous biomass supplies in the coming years. Bord na Móna only sources sustainable biomass meeting the strict criteria outlined in the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive. Bord na Móna’s biomass requirement provides a significant socio-economic benefit to rural Irish communities.

Brendan Kelly, Commercial Manager, Bord na Móna Renewable Energy said: “Bord na Móna is delighted to co-sponsor the 2023 IrBEA National Bioenergy Conference which highlights the critical role Bioenergy is playing and will continue to play in Ireland’s drive towards Net Zero. Leveraging biomass as a carbon-neutral energy source through its Edenderry Power Plant forms an important part of Bord na Móna’s climate solutions offering.  Edenderry Power Plant will operate off 100% biomass from January 2024, assisting Ireland meet its vital climate action targets. We welcome the ambition of IrBEA and the wider industry in looking to play an even bigger role in helping Ireland reach its Climate Action Plan targets.”

A Biomethane Energy Report has been compiled and published by Gas Networks Ireland based upon Request for Information (RFI) responses and outlines the development of the gas network to prepare for increased biomethane connections and injection.

Key facts and figures from the Gas Networks Ireland Biomethane Energy Report:

  • 176 prospective producer responses received
  • in volume terms, responses total to 14.8 TWh annual production
  • Median plant production capacity is 40 GWh per annum
  • Median distance from producers to the gas network is 5km
  • Emissions reductions from 14.8 TWh of biomethane of 3.94 Mt CO2 eq per annum by 2030

Padraig Fleming, Biomethane Programme Manager at Gas Networks Ireland said “Gas Networks Ireland is delighted to co-sponsor the 2023 IrBEA National Bioenergy Conference. The RFI response in terms of production volumes is more than two and a half times that of Ireland’s stated ambition of 5.7 TWh of biomethane production by 2030.  Responses, both in number and volume terms, serve to underline the robustness of the Government’s 2030 biomethane ambition. Furthermore, analysis of current domestic consumption of natural gas relative to the estimates for the national biomethane production potential in 2030 from the RFI indicates that 26% of total gas demand could be met by biomethane.”

Fleming continued “Biomethane is one of the renewable gases of the future and is available today to decarbonise the energy system.  Ireland has a real opportunity to develop a biomethane industry at scale, which will offer numerous benefits for our agricultural industry, the decarbonisation of our economy and the development of a key indigenous energy resource in the coming years.”

Seán Finan, Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) CEO concluded: “IrBEA is active in the promotion and deployment of solid, liquid or gaseous bioenergy. Today, we explore the many aspects associated with our industry including its potential and opportunity as well as hearing from experts in the emerging carbon removals sector. IrBEA members are keenly focused on developing and delivering clean, renewable enRergy, along with carbon storage and resource recovery solutions.”

Picture Caption: L to R Padraig Fleming, Biomethane Programme Manager at Gas Networks Ireland (GNI), Shannon Oldfield, Events Manager, Gas Network Ireland, Seán Finan, IrBEA CEO, Minister Eamon Ryan T.D., Leader of the Green Party and Minister for Environment, Climate, Communications and Transport, Paddy Phelan, IrBEA President & CEO Southeast Energy Agency, Brendan Kelly, Head of Commercial at Bord na Móna Renewable Energy.

Press Release: Bioenergy’s essential role in emissions reduction and the energy transition

For Immediate Release:

09/10/2023

Bioenergy’s essential role in emissions reduction and the energy transition

IrBEA announces details of upcoming National Bioenergy Conference

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) 22nd National Bioenergy Conference will take place on Thursday 12th of October at the Royal Marine Hotel, Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin.

Bioenergy is uniquely placed in providing a solution to the current challenges which Ireland faces in terms of emissions reduction and the energy transition. IrBEA looks forward to welcoming a wide and diverse range of stakeholders to this flagship event. At this year’s conference, the focus will be on the need to accelerate the uptake of bioenergy’s recognition in both policy and technology deployment in Ireland.

Seán Finan, Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) CEO said: “We need all renewable technologies and renewable fuels to be deployed as part of a broad renewable energy policy in Ireland. The conference title ‘Bioenergy’s essential role in emissions reduction and the energy transition’ is very appropriate in the current environment of a climate crisis and worries about energy security. IrBEA members have the technologies and fuelling solutions which will address all of those concerns.”

Bord na Móna and Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) are the co- sponsors of the 22nd national bioenergy conference. Bord na Móna has plans to deploy a wide range of renewable energy generation. Specifically in bioenergy this includes 100% biomass use at Edenderry Power limited and the development of biomethane production capacity. Gas Networks Ireland is actively engaged in encouraging the development of an indigenous biomethane industry here.

Finan continued: “We are very pleased that both Bord na Móna and Gas Networks Ireland have agreed to co-sponsor the conference. Both companies are keenly focused on developing and delivering clean, renewable energy, along with carbon storage and resource recovery solutions.”

Some of the highlights at the national bioenergy conference will include:

  • Insight to the hotel’s biomass heating system
  • The role of bioenergy in Ireland’s renewable heat, transport and agricultural policy
  • Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) delivery so far and future plans
  • Indigenous Irish biofuel production – delivering a circular economy approach
  • Update on Gas Network Ireland’s biomethane energy report
  • Mobilising the solid biomass supply chain
  • Bord na Móna’s Edenderry plant – Powering ahead with bioenergy
  • Opportunity for bioenergy and perspective from the Climate Change Advisory Council
  • Conversations with leading industry pioneers
  • An international perspective on the emerging biochar and carbon dioxide removal industry
  • Implementing the Irish biomethane strategy and market development opportunities for biomethane
  • Latest updates from Europe and the UK on biomass and biogas/biomethane developments

Finan concluded:  “All those involved in this year’s conference are active in the promotion and deployment of solid, liquid or gaseous bioenergy. We look forward to welcoming a broad range of delegates to Dún Laoghaire for intensive engagement on many aspects associated with our industry including its potential and opportunity as well as hearing from experts in the emerging carbon removals sector.”

ENDS.

IrBEA’s 22nd National Bioenergy Conference – Thursday 12th October 2023

In two weeks time…book now!

The 2023 National Bioenergy Conference will focus on the theme ‘Bioenergy’s essential role in emissions reduction and the energy transition’. The conference will be an opportunity for all stakeholders to discuss how bioenergy can be embraced as part of the energy transition to renewable energy technologies. The conference agenda will cover renewable heat, transport and electricity.

In order to meet the Government’s ambitious targets for renewable energy and decarbonisation, Ireland must rapidly transition to renewable energy. Ireland must support sustainable, efficient and competitive renewable technologies that can also help deliver on security of supply. Bioenergy is well placed to satisfy these requirements.

Ireland has readily available feedstocks that can be mobilised to drive the bioenergy sector. Solid biomass plays a substantial role in the domestic, commercial and industrial setting, replacing coal, oil and gas. Renewable gas in the form of biogas/biomethane can be produced by using anaerobic digestion (AD) technology from a range of biomass resources, readily available in Ireland. Liquid biofuels are making a strong contribution in terms of transport emissions reduction.

We will also look to emerging markets such as biochar, bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and carbon dioxide removals (CDR).

Kindly sponsored by Bord na Móna and Gas Networks Ireland the conference will discuss how Ireland can further embrace bioenergy within the energy mix and discuss the positive impact the technology can make in emissions reduction and the energy transition.
#bioenergy #biomass #biogas #biofuels #biochar #forestry #sustainability #circulareconomy

BOOK NOW: https://NationalbioenergyconferenceIRE23.eventbrite.ie

SPEAKERS: https://www.nationalbioenergyconference.ie/speakers-2023.html

IrBEA’s Biochar Conference highlights the potential for growth in the sector

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) were delighted to run a successful National Biochar and Carbon Products Conference last Wednesday on the 3rd of May in the Landmark Hotel, Carrick-On-Shannon, Co Leitrim. 122 enthusiastic participants attended, representing a cross section of stakeholders and businesses from this emerging sector. This event brought together experts, innovators, and entrepreneurs to discuss the potential of biochar and the development of carbon products.

We were delighted to welcome Bernard Harris from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine who gave the keynote address and Colm Markey MEP for Midlands North West who reported on the critical contribution of carbon farming from a European perspective.

This event was run by Stephen McCormack IrBEA Executive, through the Interreg North West Europe (NWE) THREE C project of which IrBEA is an Irish partner. All the THREE C partners travelled to Ireland for this key event.

We are thankful to all our speakers who came from across Europe and Ireland to share their knowledge and insights on the day.

Photo: Speakers on the day.
Back row (L to R) Maurice Deasy, Dan Hayes, Philip Masterson, Alex Wilcox Brooke, Tim Scholze, Sander Lubberhuizen, Cordner Peacocke, Robert Johnson, Maurice Ryan, Moritz Kormann.
Middle row (L to R)
Gary Lyons, Teresa O’Brien, David Robinson, Noel Gavigan, James MacPhail, Stephen McCormack
Front row (L to R)
Colin Keyse, Seán Finan, Luned Roberts, Geraldine McLoughlin
Speakers not in this picture include Bernard Dunne, Colm Markey, Kim McCall and Bernard Carey.
Photo credit: John Ohle Photography

Press Release: Biomethane strategy must include medium- to long-term market supports. – IrBEA

For immediate release

9 May 2023

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) highlights that it is essential that there be meaningful engagement with key stakeholders and anaerobic digestion (AD) facility operators in the development of the Government’s promised biomethane strategy.

CEO of IrBEA, Mr Seán Finan, on behalf of its members is also emphasising that:

“The promised biomethane strategy must include medium- to long-term market supports, similar to what has been demonstrated to work in other renewable energy sectors in Ireland and across Europe.”

 

Last week, IrBEA highlighted to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Oireachtas Agriculture Committee) that the promised biomethane strategy needs to:

  • “be developed in association with key stakeholders and AD facility operators who understand the cost of production and economic models to develop these facilities.
  • contain details of what medium- to long-term supports, incentives and measures are going to mobilise the Government target by 2030. The gap between cost of production and the market return has closed in recent times with the increased fossil energy prices, but still exists. This cost-gap must be bridged through long-term policy, support, incentives, and measures.
  • the support introduced needs to be adequate to give market certainty and ensure that it is enough to be able to develop, operate and maintain facilities and pay for feedstocks over the long-term.
  • recognise that a fair return is required along the supply chain for all stakeholders, from the farmer growing grass silage as a feedstock to the operator who is running the plant and all those involved in between.
  • deliver the Government target on a phased basis where lessons can be learned with all phases and amendments made as required; and
  • ensure that the biomethane sector is complementary to our agricultural and farming systems rather than compete with them.”

A range of invited speakers at the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee, including from IrBEA, and its members Biocore Environmental and Gas Networks Ireland, pointed out that there is both an energy opportunity and a nutrient recovery or transition opportunity, diversifying from imported chemical farm fertiliser produced from fossil gas, for Ireland in developing a biogas/biomethane sector.

In reflecting on the Oireachtas Committee meeting and looking ahead to IrBEA’s biogas/biomethane webinar this week, Pádraic Ó hUiginn, Project Executive at IrBEA said:

“Digestate from a biogas/biomethane industry is a circular economy, bioeconomy, and environmental opportunity, in terms of potentially enabling a transition from imported chemical fertilisers, and land-spreading of slurry, to this locally-recovered and more nutrient-available fertiliser. It offers a better pathway for fertilising farm-land, reducing the potential impact of run-off, as well as the broader energy and environmental benefits. AD offers more than just sustainable and renewable energy. However, it will require policy and regulatory understanding and support to enable it to happen.”

This week, IrBEA maintains a spotlight on the biogas/biomethane sector, with one of its Wednesday webinars, on a new report produced by bioeconomy consultants NNFCC on current deployment of AD in Ireland.

“We look forward to tomorrow’s webinar: ‘NNFCC’s 2023 Irish anaerobic digestion report explores current deployment ahead of expected biogas and biomethane market growth’, with guest presenter Andrea Muñoz García. NNFCC has worked with Irish project partners for over a decade, particularly in supporting innovation and business development for anaerobic digestion technologies for biogas, biomethane and digestate, through EU-funded projects like Bio Base NWE and BioBase4SME. I have been fortunate to have been part of international teams with NNFCC on those projects. It’s important in a post-Brexit environment that the biogas/biomethane sector can continue to find ways to work alongside UK-based organisations such as NNFCC, including in an island of Ireland context,” commented Mr Pádraic Ó hUiginn, Project Executive at IrBEA.

To register for tomorrow’s IrBEA webinar (Wednesday, 10th of May, at 09.30am), please access this link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_lXXtREopQzSaTBmjTPgvjQ#/registration

A recording of the webinar will be available on the IrBEA website www.irbea.org subsequently.

ENDS

For further information contact: Seán Finan IrBEA CEO on 087 4146480

 

Access the recording of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine here: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/committees/33/agriculture-food-and-the-marine/videos/

 

PRESS RELEASE: IrBEA launches National Biochar and Carbon Products conference

For immediate release

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) is delighted to launch its upcoming National Biochar and Carbon Products conference, which will take place on Wednesday 3rd of May in the Landmark Hotel , Carrick-On-Shannon, Co Leitrim. IrBEA, as the national representative body for the biochar and carbon products sector, seeks to raise the profile of these sectors here in Ireland. Biochar is a stable form of charcoal, produced from a wide variety of biomass streams using pyrolysis (heating without oxygen) technology. It is increasingly recognised for the important role it can play in environmental or agricultural applications.

IrBEA project executive Stephen McCormack, said: “ we look forward to welcoming delegates to this conference and we are delighted that Leitrim County Council Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Ita Reynolds Flynn could  join us for the launch photograph. This event will bring together farmers,  foresters, biochar producers, users and practitioners from around Ireland and Europe to discuss the potential of biochar and the development of carbon products and their role in a modern world.”

Speakers at the conference will be covering the topics of carbon farming and the potential for biochar, use of biochar within construction materials, biochar’s role within water quality ,its role within our farming community and the benefit it can have a soil or slurry amendment,  and also its role as a growing media within the horticultural sector. The event  will be sponsored by Arigna Fuels and Celignis Analytical , two key players within the sector in Ireland.

Brendan Layden, Managing Director of Arigna Fuels said: “Arigna Fuels produce both high quality biochar and Harvest Flame, a 100% renewable biomass product aimed at the home heating market. We are delighted to sponsor this National Biochar and Carbon products conference, here in the North West- as early innovators in the sector , it is great to see the interest around this grow and we look forward to welcoming attendees on the day.”

Danial Hayes , of Celignis Analytical  said “We here at Celignis have seen the emergence of this sector grow over the past few years, leading to us developing a suite of testing packages capable of serving the needs of Irish companies. By providing access to quality data and analysis as well as research, we hope to support the sector as it develops further.

Biochar and renewable carbon based products have seen a surge in growth globally in the last decade. But many people are still unaware of exactly what it is, the role it can play in carbon sequestration, how it is being used for environmental or agricultural applications or even its role in adding value to residual biomass or for the provision of bioenergy. IrBEA have been involved in a series of Interreg NWE funded projects (THREE C- Creating the circular carbon economy) exploring these topics and it is through this work we hope to continue to raise awareness and shine a light on the many potential benefits this emerging sector can offer.

Seán Finan, CEO of IrBEA concluded” We look forward to welcoming our European colleagues to Ireland , who we have worked closely with over a number of years through our involvement in the EU funded Interreg NWE programme. The conference delegates will hear from a European political perspective, with  Midlands North West Colm Markey MEP providing an insight into the current policy discussions in the European Parliament on carbon farming and the potential opportunity for Irish farmers and business.”

Further information regarding the conference please visit  www.irbea.org

Ends

National Biochar and Carbon Products Conference 2023

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) is delighted to announce details of the National Biochar and Carbon Products Conference 2023. We delighted to announce that Celignis and Arigna Fuels are main sponsors of this event, we are grateful for their support and look forward to their presentation on the day.

This event will bring together experts, innovators, and entrepreneurs from around Ireland and Europe to discuss the potential of biochar and the development of carbon products and their role in a greener and healthier future.

Biochar is a stable form of charcoal, produced from a wide variety of biomass streams using pyrolysis technology. It is increasingly recognised for the important role it can play in environmental or agricultural applications, to be utilised as an effective carbon sequestration method and in its ability to decarbonise heating requirements.

There is an ever growing list of uses for biochar, many of which are only just being developed in the last few years. At this conference, you will have the opportunity to learn more about some of the latest developments and the positive contribution biochar production can have in many areas of society.

We invite stakeholders including policy makers, local and national government officials and elected representatives, stakeholders from the water, wastewater, agricultural and horticultural sectors, as well SMEs, research and academic institutes and interested individuals to attend and to contribute to the discussions on the day. This conference aims to build understanding and knowledge, provide information, raise awareness, and help showcase the potential for biochar and carbon products in Ireland.

This conference is being organised under the auspices of the Interreg Northwest Europe funded THREE C Project – Creating and sustaining Charcoal value chains to promote a Circular  Carbon economy in NWE Europe. The conference will highlight both Irish stakeholders who are currently working in the biochar and carbon products sector, but also partners from the THREE C project who have interesting stories and products to share. The THREE C partners from the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium, France and Wales will be participating and will share their research, knowledge and biochar journeys so far. We look forward to welcoming you to this event.

AGENDA

REGISTRATION

This event is free but you must register your attendance below. Further information is available from: Stephen McCormack Email: stephenmccormack@irbea.org

PRESS RELEASE: IrBEA welcomes provision for Irish-produced biofuels in newly signed transport regulations.

For Immediate Release:

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) welcomes the inclusion of additional renewable certificates for biodiesel produced from category one tallow in the renewable transport fuel regulations 2023. Initially,  the Department of Transport’s draft regulation gave an enhanced multiplier to Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO) over Irish-produced biodiesel. This had the potential to wipe out indigenous biofuel production in favour of imported HVO. If implemented, this would have been detrimental to Irish biofuels producers, placing them at a distinct disadvantage over imported biofuels. It would also have had significant adverse impacts on the rendering and animal processing sectors, who depend on biodiesel production as a circular economy outlet for their tallows and fats.

IrBEA CEO Seán Finan said “We are happy that the direct interventions of IrBEA, with and on behalf of our members, has resulted in the inclusion of biodiesel produced from category one tallow in the newly signed transport regulations. Direct jobs in the biofuel businesses impacted and indirect jobs in the broader supply chain were in jeopardy if the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan T.D. had not included biodiesel produced from category one tallow in the regulation.”

Finan continued “Irish biodiesel producers use animal fats (tallow) from the meat processing sector and used cooking oil (UCO) to produce biodiesel. This sustainable biofuel production and its viability was threatened if HVO received the additional renewable energy certificate and Irish produced biodiesel did not. We would like to acknowledge and thank Minister Ryan and his officials for listening to our concerns and including indigenous biodiesel production from category one tallow in the newly signed regulations.”

The National Oil Reserves Agency Act (additional certificates for renewable transport fuel) Regulation 2023 also contains provision for additional renewable fuel certificates for biomethane and mandates the inclusion of a minimum percentage volume of ethanol in petrol.

Finan concluded “For many years, IrBEA with our members, have campaigned for an increased ethanol blending mandate in petrol (E10). The introduction of E10 will result in an immediate reduction in transport carbon emissions. This cumulative emissions reduction per year is equivalent to taking tens of thousands of cars off the road. The additional certificates for biomethane are another step forward for the deployment of biomethane in the transport sector and the development of a mainstream Irish biomethane sector. We strongly encourage the Government to actively promote the development of the indigenous biofuels production sector and recognise it sufficiently in policy. Indigenous biofuel production is the sleeping giant of transport decarbonisation while simultaneously boosting Irish industry”.

ENDS

For Further Information Contact: Seán Finan IrBEA CEO on 087 4146480

New transport fuel rules will close the Irish biofuels sector and threatens meat processors and farmers – IrBEA

For Immediate Release:

28th March 2023

New rules due to be signed this week by Minister Ryan will close down the Irish biofuels sector in favour of imported Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO) and threaten the Irish meat processing sector and farmers. Irish fuel suppliers have been required to blend in a proportion of biofuel into all road transport fuels since 2010. However, new rules due to be introduced by the Minister will put Irish biofuels producers at a distinct disadvantage over imported biofuels. The Minister’s proposal will give an enhanced multiplier to HVO over Irish-produced biodiesel with the potential to wipe out indigenous biofuel production in favour of imported HVO.

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) CEO Seán Finan said “Irish biodiesel producers use animal fats (tallow) from the meat processing sector and used cooking oil (UCO) to produce biodiesel. This sustainable biofuel production and its viability is threatened with the new proposals.  This will collapse Irish biofuel production at the stroke of a pen. The market for Irish tallow will disappear overnight. This will cause interruptions to the rendering and meat processing sectors. This disruptive change will impact their ability to process fallen animals, specified risk materials and fats.”

Finan continued “Over the last decade the vast majority of renewable transport diesel fuel has come from this sector. In 2020, Biofuel blending in Ireland avoided approximately 520,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions”.

The stark impacts of this proposal are:

  • Multipliers given to HVO will automatically severely and negatively impact Irish biodiesel production facilities.
  • Loss of indigenous production undermines security of supply of locally-produced biodiesel.
  • Loss of direct jobs in rural Ireland and hundreds of jobs in the supply chain.
  • Biofuel producers would close in the short-term.
  • Loss of an Irish industry in favour of imports.
  • Loss of the green circular bioeconomy opportunity which has been created by Irish biofuel producers over 15 years.
  • In the medium term, there is no mechanism for export of Category 1 tallow which would cause an immediate impact on all meat processors and impact fallen animal collectors, resulting in disruption to farmers.
  • It puts the emerging biomethane sector at risk.

Finan concluded “Biofuel producers have already reported demand dissipation for Irish biodiesel and biomethane and a fall in market prices, accelerated by anticipation of the implementation of the regulation. IrBEA appeals to Minister Ryan not to proceed with the signing of the regulation. Why would the government give an extra multiplier to imported HVO which would be detrimental, give unfair advantage and discriminate against Irish biodiesel production which promotes the Irish green circular bioeconomy and puts the development of an emerging biomethane sector at risk? If the new regulation is implemented, Ireland would be the first in Europe to discriminate against biodiesel in favour of imported fuels and would have massive negative repercussions for Ireland’s biofuels producers. How can Minister Ryan stand over the destruction of a sustainable and indigenous biofuel industry and is he fully aware of the implications of signing the regulations?”

 

ENDS

For Further Information Contact: Seán Finan IrBEA CEO on 087 4146480

Notes to Editors:

The draft regulation can be found here. https://www.gov.ie/pdf/?file=https://assets.gov.ie/249274/051f6db2-7f7c-4306-a948-ba49a57ca623.pdf#page=null