Eamonn Confrey (Principal Officer Decarbonisation, DCENR), Cara Augustenborg (Friends of the Earth), Fred Tottenham (outgoing IrBEA President), Eamonn McGrath (Gaelectric, conference sponsor) and Michael Doran (incoming IrBEA President)
IrBEAs 15th National Bioenergy Conference on Wednesday 3rd February in Dublin saw a 200 strong attendance from across the bioenergy sector, both North and South of Ireland.
There was a focus on the early introduction of the RHI in the Republic of Ireland, which will act as a key factor towards achieving the switch to bioenergy and the creation of over 3,000 new jobs. The conference finished with a strong message for political parties and candidates involved in the general election, who were urged to declare their positions on the environment and make climate change a priority going forward.
New IrBEA President, Michael Doran of Action Renewables and GREBE, said: “The bioenergy sector sits at the intersection of energy, agriculture and climate change policies. It is also unique in that it is a truly regionalised, ground-up industry that stimulates economic activity locally for farmers, those involved in designing and installing bioenergy systems and the businesses and consumers that benefit from effective, secure and sustainable heating. We need to accelerate the switch to renewable sources of power right across our economy, in electricity, in transport and in heating. This is our obligation under international treaties to prevent potentially catastrophic climate change, and in our own self-interest as a society and an island economy that is dependent on imported, polluting fossil fuels for 85% of our energy needs.”