Action Renewables document highlights areas for improvement in north’s renewable landscape

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A leading company that provides renewable energy advice has released its latest policy document which outlines areas for improvement for the north’s renewable landscape. ‘Proposal for a renewable future’ produced by Action Renewables, focuses on issues such as energy efficiency, green gas, renewable transport, security of supply, renewable heat and job security. Each focus comes with recommendation’s which are aimed at encouraging debate within the sector and driving forward the development of new policies and goals.

The document emphasizes the growing threat to the renewables industry in the north highlighting the potential loss of more than 3,000 jobs in the sector due to a ‘lack of clear policy and withdrawal of incentives’. According to the report one-third of total energy consumption in the north occurs through the transport sector with 94 per cent of this associated with petrol and diesel in road vehicles. The document also draws upon the possibility of imported fossil fuel prices rising post-Brexit and suggests generating renewable energy from local sources.

Action Renewables announced the launch of its most recent policy document at the European Energy Policy Forum which had over 100 delegates in attendance. Topics covered at the event included renewable energy opportunities for SME’s, hydropower energy recovery technology, and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Michael Doran, managing director at Action Renewables said: “The large turnout for our first European Energy Policy Forum highlights the appetite in Northern Ireland to continue to develop and implement renewable energy technologies to help reach our renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction targets. Developed in 2010 with a ten-year implementation plan and 2020 targets for heat and electricity, the Strategic Energy Framework’s deadlines are looming, and with the current policy vacuum in place within our government, Action Renewables has produced our most recent policy document to encourage conversation and continued growth within the sector to meet these targets and improve the long-term forecast for renewable energy in Northern Ireland.

“We look forward to stimulating debate and ultimately driving our renewables sector forward locally following distribution of this document and with the on-going work of our collaborative networking organisation, AREA, which provides expert renewable energy advice to members.”

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Claremorris and Western District Energy Co-operative develops mobile demonstration unit for biogas

Claremorris and Western District Energy Co-operative is a community enterprise focused on the development and commercialization of renewable energy technologies. The group’s focus is to develop financially viable renewable energy projects through education programmes with key competencies in district heating, solar, biogas, and Micro grid applications. The Co-Op also aims to educate the community on the benefits of community ownership, and renewable energy, on what it is and its impacts.

The AD Demonstration unit (trailer) for biogas with support from Gas Networks Ireland to overcome the lack of understanding of anaerobic digestion and the elements which contribute to development of biogas solutions.

The Co-Op developed a mobile demonstration unit for biogas with support from the Renewable Gas Forum Group / Gas Networks Ireland to educate the public on the benefits of biogas. One of the barriers to entry for this technology is that landowners and local residents’ interests often oppose AD projects believing it may impact on land values, businesses or cause smells and so want to restrict the development of anaerobic digestion plants. The development of this demonstration unit allows communities to ask good questions about technologies and to gain an understanding of how AD operates.

As a result of the demonstration stand at the National Ploughing Championships in 2015, the Co-Op has been invited to demonstrate the unit to 27 different groups. The co-op has developed the original anaerobic digestion demonstration unit to include CO2 extraction, iodine, biogas compression and storage, and consider how CO2 emissions might be addressed. It highlights a means of addressing CO2 emissions from agriculture.

http://grebeproject.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Anaerobic-Digestion-Claremorris-Energy-Cooperative-Ireland.pdf

 

 

 

Finnish experience in co-operative partnerships in small forest-based local heating energy businesses – outcomes from the MADIE project

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The MADIE project published a booklet which highlights the economics and organizational aspects of small local heating energy supply schemes set up in rural regions as a market-driven business by their owners for earning them a profit and, apart from private self-interests, for promoting the social claims of their stakeholders.

The booklet tells about the Finnish experience in co-operative partnerships, especially in small forest-based local heating energy businesses. Start-up entrepreneurs and their partners need inspiration and guidance in how to establish and operate their business successfully. Besides technical and market information, for starting and organizing a business, multifaceted upfront information is needed. Here, decisions as to the legal form, ownership, liabilities, participation rights and selecting the right partners, are crucial for the continuity of the business. There is a need for arguments that help persuade stakeholders about the legitimacy of the business and related social benefits.

The booklet addresses, among others, forest owners, rural entrepreneurs and their public stakeholders. Policy makers have been attracted by a business model that meets the triple bottom line: by offering an attractive return to investment, providing support to renewable energy transition, and creating jobs and income in rural economies. Co-operatives have been able to demonstrate to be a convenient participatory model of organizing joint business activities.

The booklet, with its focus on renewable energy co-operatives, contributes to the outcomes of the MADIE-project, an initiative supported by the European Union’s Erasmus programme, which offers a comprehensive range of views on multifunctional agriculture as a driver for innovation in rural Europe.

MADIE is funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and coordinated by the German Starkmacher e.V. with partners Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE, Finland), County Governor of Hordaland (Norway), NAK Nonprofit Kft. (Hungary) and Terre di loppiano srl (Italy).

The booklet “Co-operatives and forest-based heating entrepreneurship in a rural setting – the Finnish experience” can be found from here or from the library at https://www.ruralacademy.org/contents

The booklet is available in English and also in Finnish (as summary report from the English version).

Information gained during the MADIE project are beneficial also for the GREBE project and are supporting the activity towards a guideline supporting enterprises in introducing new to market energy solutions.

Let’s get food from geothermal heat

ICI Blog
The idealists who got first and second place in the competition. First place: Rearing insects on geothermal energy – TULCIS – The insect Farm to feed the future by Torsten Ullrich and Christin Irma Schröder. Second place: Geothermal shrimp culturing by Magnús Þ. Bjarnason and Þorgerður Þorleifsdóttir

On June 13th 2018 Eimur introduced the 14 ideas submitted in their idea challenge on the utilization of low to medium enthalpy water resources in food processing. Eimur is a public-private partnership/cluster in the field of energy, increased utilization of geothermal resources and innovation in north Iceland.

The ideas were all around food processing and were all various, ambitious, innovative and with high possibility of growth so the judges had difficulties choosing between. The idea that won first place in the competition evolves around an innovative vision on utilization of insects. They want to develop a solution from variable resources, biomass, geothermal and fishing industry. Then they looked at the insects which are also a part of the nature. Therefore decrease the pressure on fishing industry with a new and growing industry, the insect culturing. The second place had vision around shrimp farming and more specifically geothermal water shrimp farming. Here below are some pictures of the winners.

In an interview with the general manager of Eimur, he described how difficult it was to choose between these 20 ideas. All of them were very well thought and professionally organized. He furthermore talked about the necessity of innovation around our pure natural resources in a rather low polluted environment and therefore create products with certain quality.

Source: https://www.eimur.is/is/frettir/skordyraraekt-bar-sigur-ur-bytum

Online Presentation on the Community Farming Model and the REDIRECT project, Thursday 21st June from 11am – 12pm

Online Discussion

The ReDirect Ireland project would like to invite you to an online meeting on Thursday 21st June from 11am – 12pm. This is an opportunity to hear the details of a ReDirect Partner approach. In Wales a community trust called ‘Cwm Harry’ are taking existing residual biomass, putting it through the ‘IFBB’ process, followed by a pyrolysis, with the intent of producing biochar or activated carbon products and by-products for sale in the economy. They are in the process of getting the site operational. 

An online discussion around the community farm model experience in FFarm Moelyci (Wales) and the RE-DIRECT project aims to utilise waste or low value biomass for the production of energy and value added carbon products such as biochar and activated carbon.

Click here to register.

Contact:

Mr. Stephen McCormack, stephenmccormack@wdc.ie with any queries.

Albatern WaveNet Device – Isle of Muck Deployment

Albatern was founded in 2007 by David Finlay, supported by his father and brother. From 2007 until 2010 the development of the technology was very much on a self-funded basis, to come up with the concept and develop early models. It was validated in test environments, going from the bath to open waters.

Isle of Muck is the smallest of four main islands in the Small Isles, part of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. It is situated on the west coast of Scotland.

The project was a collaboration between Albatern and Marine Harvest Scotland. Albatern owns the technology, while the site is provided by Marine Harvest Scotland. The project in itself is a demonstrator project aiming to corroborate the supply of supplementary power to working fish farms by testing the 6-Series WaveNET arrays.

Motivation behind the project lays in the fact that aquaculture is one of Albatern’s targeted markets. They believe that their device – WaveNET, is perfectly apt to deliver power to isolated off-shore fish farm sites, which currently rely on diesel generators.

http://grebeproject.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Wave-Energy-Albatern-WaveNet-Scotland.pdf

IrBEA Seeks to Appoint a Chief Executive

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A New chief executive is being recruited for the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) to champion the case of the growing bioenergy sector, including wood energy, biomass, anaerobic digestion and biogas and energy crops.

The new recruit will lead and manage the busy Association’s activities and will operate under the direction of the President and the Board of Directors. He/she will also lead, manage and oversee the administration and business of the Association, Des O’Toole, IrBEA President, said.

“IrBEA is looking for candidates with a minimum of three years proven management and leadership in a member association, or an SME, with a degree-level qualification, familiarity with good corporate governance practice and an understanding of the Renewable Energy/Bioenergy sectors in Ireland. They should have some experience of working with stakeholders in the sector and in the relevant Government Departments.”

IrBEA is a members’ association with approximately 170 members. It features a number of sub-groups covering, typically, Bioenergy Northern Ireland, Biogas and Anaerobic Digestion, District Heating, Domestic Biomass Fuels, Energy Crops, REFIT and Grid Connections, Renewable Heat Incentive. The Association sponsors and provides administrative support to the Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Scheme.

The new Chief Executive will be required to work with the President and Board of Directors to define and implement strategy in accordance with the constitution of the association. He/she will provide effective leadership to the staff of the Association and be responsible and accountable for the proper management and safeguarding of all funds under the control of the Association, consistent with good financial management.

The position will be offered as a two-year contract, with a 6-month probationary period. The new Chief Executive will be expected to work full-time from the IrBEA office which is currently located in DCU Alpha, Glasnevin. The salary is negotiable.

  • Completed applications should be emailed to the IrBEA secretary, Padraic O’Neill, at padraic@envirovalue.ie by 12 pm on Friday 6th July 2018. A detailed job specification including the full requirements of the application process are available on the Association’s website irbea.org