Irelands Renewable Heat Incentive scheme to receive €7m in Budget 2018

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Minister Denis Naughton

Irelands Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe announced that a total budget of €17 million will go towards the RHI scheme and the encouragement of greater uptake of electric vehicles as part of Ireland’s commitment to its climate change obligations.

€7 million will be allocated for the government’s long-anticipated Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme in 2018. The allocation is lower than predicted by industry representatives, but with applications only expected to open in the second half of 2018, next year will not be a full operational year for the scheme.  The scheme is aimed at encouraging industrial and commercial heat users, in the Republic of Ireland, to switch to greener technologies.  An RHI scheme was first considered as part of the Bioenergy strategy consultation in 2013, and included in the Draft Bioenergy Plan in 2014.

The RHI will support the replacement of fossil fuel heating systems with renewable energy systems – such as biomass boilers. The scheme will present a significant opportunity for the domestic bioenergy sector benefiting farmers, foresters and rural communities.

Further details on the RHI scheme can be found on the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment website http://www.dccae.gov.ie/en-ie/energy/consultations/Pages/Renewable-Heat-Incentive-Consultation.aspx

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Western Development Commission undertakes biomass survey in Ireland

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The Western Development Commission is undertaking a survey of current and potential biomass use in the Western Region.  The WDC along with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, were tasked to ‘complete a regional renewable energy analysis on the use of biomass as a local contribution to the national renewable heat target and develop a range of actions to support the development of renewable energy in the region’ under the Action Plan for Jobs.

This will inform how we support and develop biomass use in this region.  We are keen to understand more about how you operate your heating systems, any plans you have for further biomass investment or use and your general views on biomass.

All information provided will be treated in strict confidence and we hope you will click here to participate in our on-line questionnaire <www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WDCBiomassSurvey>

Your support in this survey will be greatly appreciated and will help us develop the biomass sector in the Western Region, supporting jobs and growing our low carbon economy.

Further information on this survey and the reasons for undertaking it can be found WDC biomass survey background

 

Energy In Agriculture 2017 event in Gurteen College, Roscrea – Tuesday 22nd August

Energy In Agriculture 2017

The Energy in Agriculture Open Day will take place at Gurteen College, Balingarry, Roscrea next Tuesday (22nd August) from 10am. This large outdoor and indoor event includes practical demonstrations, classroom talks and demonstrations from exhibitors of energy efficient and renewable technologies for the agri-sector.  The inaugural event last year was a huge success with 1500 farmers and 45 exhibitors in attendance.  The brochure for the event can be downloaded here

Energy in Agriculture 2017 will highlight opportunities for farmers with regards to renewable energy and how they can adopt a sustainable approach to their farming processes. The event is FREE to attend. This event will feature talks on all aspects of energy use and generation on the farm, practical demonstrations and sixty industry exhibitors.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD will open the event. He will also take part in a panel discussion on Sustainability in Agriculture facilitated by RTE Countrywide’s Damien O’ Reilly.

The event is being organised by Tipperary County Council in conjunction with Teagasc, Tipperary Energy Agency and the Irish Farmers Association. Paul Kenny, CEO Tipperary Energy Agency said “The full extent of climate change and our obligations are now becoming a reality for policy makers in Ireland. Rural areas will fuel and power the energy transition from imported fossil fuels to sustainable electricity and bio based energy systems. Farmers need to ensure they are up to speed on the potential for growth in this area”. Dr. Phyll Bugler, Cathaoirleach Tipperary County Council added “Tipperary County Council recognises the huge potential for the agricultural community to be part of the energy transition and to generate economic development in rural areas. The Energy in Agriculture Event seeks to highlight opportunities across all renewable energy and efficiency options, to support Ireland’s farming community in becoming leaders in reducing carbon emissions”.

New in 2017 are the FREE 1 to 1 Energy Clinics. Farmers can book an advice clinic to discuss their energy project with an expert. The clinics will be run on the themes of Finance, Legal, Energy Projects, Planning and Tax. You can book your slot in advance on www.energyinagriculture.ie

Case Studies on the day include heating and cooling in Dairy, renewable energy production on pig farms, combined heat and power (CHP) in horticulture and grain drying with straw burning. There will be a total of 18 talks on the day.

The event will also feature numerous practical demonstrations. These include the wind turbine and biomass boiler in use at Gurteen College. Attendees will see an anaerobic digester from Gas Networks Ireland at work on the day. There is also be an opportunity to see a ‘no energy’ water ram pump in action, which offers a cheap alternative to a traditional fuel or electric water pumps.

For further information, see www.energyinagriculture.ie and register online at http://energyinagriculture.ie/register/

GREBE meets with energy engineering students from Galway – Mayo Institute of Technology

 

GMIT visitEnergy engineering students from Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, led by Dr. John Lohan, participated in a study tour to the Aurivo Dairy Ingredients Plant (ADIP) in Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon.  A meeting was held at the Northern & Western Regional Assembly where information about ADIP and renewable energy work in the region was discussed.

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Colin Donohue (Optien), Gerry Lavelle (NWRA), John Lohan (GMIT), Katie Wright (NWRA), Pauline Leonard (WDC & GREBE) and Marty Dervin (Aurivo)

Marty Dervin, Energy Manager at ADIP, explained the background of the dairy ingredients plant and their energy management policy. Aurivo is the largest indigenous agricultural co-operative in the West of Ireland with business activities in consumer foods dairy products, dairy ingredients, retail stores, animal feeds and livestock trading.  Aurivo Dairy Ingredients have a strong focus on energy management and are continuously performing energy reduction projects onsite.

One of the most significant projects undertaken to date is the installation of a large scale biomass boiler for the supply of thermal energy for the site. It was revealed that the site was consuming 8 million litres of heavy fuel oil (HFO) every year, and this was replaced with a 12MW biomass plant in May 2014. This provided an opportunity for a long-term, sustainable energy solution for Aurivos dairy ingredients business. The installation of the biomass boiler has delivered a 60% reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions for the site and is a major part of Aurivos commitment to their Origin Green programme.

Colin Donohue of Optien imparted some of his experiences as an energy engineer.  Optien is focused on providing world class mentoring services to their clients to facilitate performance improvement within their organisations, and specialise in complex and energy intensive industries and leverage a data driven approach to facilitate performance improvement.

Pauline Leonard presented information on GREBE and other EU funded projects to the students, and outlined some of the opportunities available to them, whether through accessing EU funded research as part of their studies, or through innovation and entrepreneurship schemes funded by the EU.

Biomass Atlas – a new biomass tool supporting decision making

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The Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) has been leading the development of the Finnish Biomass Atlas, a web-based GIS platform for assessing biomass potentials within freely delineated geographical areas. The platform will be launched in May (in Finnish), the development of the tool will continue together with the project partners.

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Biomass selector allows the user to select the assortments of interest. The data can be hierarchically organized. In this case the first level consists of three alternatives: Land cover, total biomass production and the potential of primary residues. At the second level forest chips have been selected in this example. Finally, the user has chosen the individual assortments: Small trees (harvested as delimbed stems), Logging residues (only spruce, according to Business as usual scenario) and Stumps (only spruce, according to Business as usual scenario).

In addition to basic map tools like zooming, panning and measurement of distances and areas, the user can delineate a polygon for which Biomass Atlas calculates the total of the selected assortments. The results can be exported into an Excel workbook. The results can also be calculated to predefined regions, e.g., to municipalities or provinces.

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The user can identify a location on the map for which the potentials within a distance are added up. The distance can be calculated as Euclidean distance (straight line) or via road network.

Burning of fresh woodchips – discussion in the Finnish forest energy sector

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In the autumn of 2015, a 10 MW grate boiler plant and a modern flue gas scrubber with a heat pump connection were commissioned at Kauhavan Kaukolämpö Oy’s Kauhava plant. The concept of the plant and operations is based on the burning of fresh woodchips – from harvesting timber through the logistical chain to burning and heat recovery. Based on the operational experience of the past winter, the concept of using fresh woodchips is working very efficiently, providing significant cost savings in the acquisition of fuel to the plant operator. Despite high moisture, the burning of woodchips can be controlled and specific emissions are low. 

As a concept, the burning of fresh woodchips is new and rather heretical. The traditional way to burn woodchips is to store the felled timber on roadsides and allow them to dry before chipping and burning. Practical issues of logistics have also contributed to this model. It can be assumed that the concept of fresh woodchips works efficiently in part because a significant portion of the volatile components contained in timber is included in combustion, rather than allowed to evaporate into air.

The use of fresh woodchips requires a completely new kind of thinking from the plant and logistics. The concept can also be applied to old plants if the structure of the boiler is suitable for burning moist fuel. Fresh fuel also sets some requirements for the fuel storage and fuel supply systems.

An essential part of the system is, however, a flue gas scrubber system that efficiently recovers heat from flue gases, condensing the moisture of the fuel vaporised in the boiler. The scrubber should work reliably and efficiently under all conditions, regardless of the variation in the return temperature of district heating. With a heat pump integrated in the scrubber, flue gases can be cooled efficiently to even below +30°C, making it possible to utilise a significant part of the condensation heat of the water contained in the flue gas. For the purpose of optimising and ensuring the profitability of heat production, a heat pump scrubber has, in practice, been established as the only potential recovery technology for lost heat.

Summarized from article by Mika Nummila: http://www.elomatic.com/en/elomatic/expert-articles/voc-emissions-of-timber-felled-for-fuel-%E2%80%93-a-significant-energy-loss.html

Finnish Forest Sector Economic Outlook, released by Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)

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The Finnish forest industry’s production and export volumes, except for paper, will increase over last year’s. Demand is highest for sawnwood, pulp and cardboard. According to Finnish Forest Sector Economic Outlook, released by Natural Resources Institute Finland, the competition will lead to falls in export prices in all main product groups except plywood this year, but prices will stabilise next year.

The consumption of forest chips is expected to grow to around 8.2 million m3

The low prices of fossil fuels and emissions allowances alongside uncertainties about subsidy policy are holding back investment decisions and curbing growth in forest energy use.

The consumption of forest chips is expected to grow to around 8.2 million m3 (solid volumes) this year, with equal figures forecast for next year. Correspondingly, the average purchase price of forest chips at plants in 2016 and 2017 is expected to remain at almost the same level as in 2015. This year, the production of wood pellets in Finland will remain equal to last year’s level, but will increase by a few percent next year.

Lively timber market with moderate price trends

As the use of timber in the forest industry grows, commercial fellings will rise in Finland this year to 59.5 million m3 and to 61.8 million m3 next year. Roundwood imports will rise slightly this year.

The stumpage prices of spruce sawlogs will rise only slightly this year, as demand for spruce sawnwood is good but export prices are rising only moderately. The increasing use of spruce pulpwood in cardboard manufacturing will raise stump prices slightly. The stumpage prices of other timber assortments will fall this year. Next year, the increase in softwood pulp production will increase demand for pine pulpwood and raise its stump price.

In non-industrial private forestry, gross stumpage earnings will rise this year to around EUR 1.7 billion, and to slightly more next year. The operating profit per hectare of private forests will be EUR 110 in 2016 and EUR 115 in 2017.” (Luke News)

The original news article can be found from the news section of GREBE partner Luke under: https://www.luke.fi/en/news/close-to-record-high-sawnwood-export-volumes/