Minister Naughten called on to set target to supply 70% of electricity from renewables by 2030

Irbea post
Speakers: Dr John FitzGerald (Climate Change Advisory Council), Des O’Toole (IrBEA President), Marie Donnelly (Former Directorate General for Energy), Michael McCarthy (CEO of ISEA), Dr David Connolly (CEO of IWEA)

Eight organisations representing renewable energy in Ireland united today to call on Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten TD to set a target to supply 70 per cent of electricity from renewables by 2030.

These 8 organisations are as follows:

  • Irish Wind Energy Association
  • Irish Solar Energy Association
  • Irish Bioenergy Association
  • Irish Wind Farmers Association
  • Host in Ireland
  • Irish Energy Storage Association
  • Marine Renewables Industry Association
  • Smart Grid Ireland

In June 2018 the European Union agreed that 32 per cent of the EU’s energy – across electricity, heat and transport – will come from renewables by 2030. Ireland’s share of that target will be negotiated with the EU in the coming months.

A comprehensive report from leading energy and utilities experts Baringa may be downloaded here. It says it is technically possible and cost neutral to the consumer for Ireland to use renewable energy to supply 70 per cent of our electricity by 2030, which would go a long way towards reaching the EU target. A summary of the report can be found here.

It follows confirmation from the Climate Change Advisory Council in July that Ireland will miss its overall 2020 target for renewable energy, warnings from the Environmental Protection Agency highlighting the failure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and comes as the International Panel on Climate Change meets in Korea.

In September the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action began meeting to respond to the calls from the Citizens’ Assembly earlier this year for Ireland to become a leader in tackling climate change. Currently, approximately 30 per cent of Irish electricity comes from renewables and while Ireland will fall short of its overall 2020 target it is expected to still reach its 40 per cent electricity target.

In June 2018 the EU agreed to increase the share of renewables in energy to 32 per cent by 2030 and in December the Irish Government will publish its draft National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP). This plan will set out Ireland’s 2030 renewable energy target and likely will, like the 2020 target, be broken down across the electricity, heat and transport sectors. It is expected that Ireland will be one of two EU countries to miss our 2020 target of 16 per cent renewable energy although our target of 40 per cent renewable electricity is still achievable.

A copy of the Baringa study is available here.

A summary of the report can be found here.

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Advice Notes on Solar PV Technology Economics for the NPA Region

Solar PV

The Advice Notes aim to provide introductory material for entrepreneurs, startups and SME’s, considering to enter into the renewable energy sphere and based in the NPA regions partners to GREBE. The scope of the Advice Note covers regional, trade and industry, renewable energy (RE), technology information from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Iceland and Finland. Different partner regions have different level of deployment of the various RE technologies covered by the Advice Notes. Thus, the level of information will vary depending on the level of deployment for each technology. For example, wind is not deployed on a large scale in North Karelia (Finland); however, it is widely deployed in Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Full details are available on the GREBE website:

http://grebeproject.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/GREBE-Advice-Notes-SOLAR-PV.pdf

The focus of the Advice Notes is on regional information of some of the main economic characteristics sited as imperative, when making an informed choice, regarding which RE technology may be the optimal choice for a new business venture:

  • Costs and economics associated with the relevant technology
  • Support schemes available, relevant to the technology
  • Government allowance/exemptions, relevant to the technology
  • Funding available for capital costs of the relevant technology
  • List of the relevant to the technology suppliers/developers, with focus on local/regional, suppliers/developers and the products and services they offer.

As seen in the in the solar irradiation map below, the NPA Region’s average sum of solar irradiation is well below most parts of Europe. However, during the summer period, the countries based in the NPA region get around 17 to 19 hours of daylight and those in the Arctic Circle get 24 hours. Solar PV requires daylight (solar irradiation), rather than sunshine and high temperatures, which makes it a viable technology choice for businesses in the NPA region.Map

Financial incentive schemes and massive global deployment and development of solar PV panels has facilitated to address the relatively high capital costs of photovoltaics, by reducing the typical payback period and making it more financially viable investment. Solar PV technology uses solar cells, which are grouped together in panels, to produce electricity when exposed to sunlight. Solar PV is a highly modular technology that can be incorporated into buildings (roofs and facades) and infrastructure objects such as noise barriers, railways, and roads.

This makes PV an apt technology choice for use in urban and industrial areas. At the same time solar PV is appropriate for rural areas as well. This is particularly because solar PV delivers an economical and clean solution for the electrification of remote rural areas where the power from the grid is not available or very expensive. In most cases Solar PV systems may need to be accompanied by energy storage equipment or auxiliary power units, to supply electricity when the sun is not available.

Solar cells and modules come in many different forms that vary greatly in performance and degree of development. Solar PV is characterised by its versatility. Panels can be effectively employed at a very wide range of scales and in different locations and applications range from consumer products (mW) to small-scale systems for rural use (tens or hundreds of watts), to building integrated systems (kW) and large-scale power plants (mW/gW).2

The technology costs have dropped tremendously due to economies of scale in production and technological advances in manufacturing. A price decrease of 50% had been achieved in Europe from 2006 to 2011 and there is a potential to lower the generation cost by 50% by 2020. Furthermore, solar PV takes less time to plan and install, compared to other RE technologies.

Energy Efficiency and Entrepreneurship

AR Blog

Becoming an entrepreneur can be challenging, therefore it’s important to stay ahead of the curve. Most business owners now recognise the importance of energy efficiency measures and sourcing renewable energy where possible. This is due to the cost savings these options can offer, allowing businesses to reinvest in other activities. Saving 20% on your energy bills can generate returns which are equivalent to a 5% increase in sales1.. Additionally, as consumers are becoming more environmentally aware, there are increasing expectations on suppliers, across all sectors, to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, particularly in relation to renewable energy.

A survey completed by Orsted, highlighted that 73% 2. of consumers would choose a retailer that used renewable energy over one that didn’t. Improving your reputation and becoming environmentally conscious needn’t be something that will interrupt or hinder your businesses operations – it can significantly increase your competitiveness.

Committing to renewable energy:

  • Businesses who want to commit to renewable energy can do so through Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) either from an electricity supplier or direct engagement with a renewable electricity generator, in more recent times this has been referred to as a Corporate Power Purchase Agreement.
  • Alternatively, a business can invest in renewable technology to generate renewable electricity, which satisfies either part or all the businesses electricity demand. On a global scale, RE100 is a collaborative initiative, which some of the world’s most influential companies have joined and committed to 100% renewable electricity. Companies who have committed to RE100 primarily adopt the methods mentioned above to ensure they achieve their targets.

With a steady uptake of ‘green procurement’, which focuses on sourcing and purchasing products and services that use fewer resources and minimises their impact on the environment, there is certainly reason to get your business ‘going green’. In Northern Ireland, the ‘Sustainable Development strategy’ recognises the importance of responsible procurement in the public sector to ensure the effective and efficient use of resources. This was developed to select suppliers who have a sound environmental standing. Therefore, with environmental awareness and targets only set to increase in the future, it stands to sense for businesses to begin exploring their options in relation to sourcing renewable energy, if they have not already done so. This will enable them to ensure business operation remains competitive.

1 https://www.carbontrust.com/resources/guides/energy-efficiency/better-business-guide-to- energy-saving/

2 https://www.energyvoice.com/otherenergy/176726/orsted-claim-73-of-customers-prefer-renewable-energy-retailer/

3 http://there100.org/re100

Government approves scheme to diversify green energy

DNaughten

A new scheme designed to diversify the State’s renewable energy production and boost its chances of meeting key EU targets has been approved by the Government. The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) is designed to help the State meet its renewable pledges up to 2030. Its first priority is to boost renewable energy production quickly to help turn 16 per cent of the State’s energy needs “green” by 2020. The scheme will incentivise the introduction of sufficient renewable electricity generation by promoting investment by community groups in green projects. Offshore wind and tidal projects will be central if the State is to meet its targets, while it is expected to also support an immediate scale-up of solar projects. Projects looking for support under the scheme will need to meet pre-qualification criteria, including offering the community an opportunity to invest in and take ownership of a portion of renewable projects in their local area.

Auction system

The RESS scheme introduces a new auction system where types of energy will bid for State support. It is proposed that the scheme be funded through the Public Service Obligation Levy, which is a charge on consumers to support the generation of electricity from renewable sources. Individual projects will not be capped, but the Government will limit the amount that a single technology, such as wind or tidal, can win in a single auction. The auctions will be held at frequent intervals throughout the lifetime of the scheme to allow the State to take advantage of falling technology costs. The first auction in 2019 will prioritise “shovel-ready projects”. “By not auctioning all the required capacity at once, we will not be locking in higher costs for consumers for the entirety of the scheme,” Minister for the Environment Denis Naughten said. In effect it should make it easier for solar and offshore wind to get investment, yielding multiple billions for green projects over the next 15 years.

2020 vision

It is hoped renewable energy will represent 40 per cent of the State’s gross electricity consumption by 2020, and 55 per cent by 2030, subject to determining the cost-effective level that will be set out in the draft National Energy and Climate Plan, which must be approved by the EU and in place by the end of 2019. In addition the scheme is intended to deliver broader energy policy objectives, including enhancing security of supply. “This scheme will mark a shift from guaranteed fixed prices for renewable generators to a more market-oriented mechanism [auctions] where the cost of support will be determined by competitive bidding between renewable generators,” said Mr Naughten. The next step for the Government is to secure EU approval for the package, which typically takes six to nine months. It is estimated that the first auction will be in the second half of next year.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/government-approves-scheme-to-diversify-green-energy-1.3575492

Advice Notes on Wind Technology Economics for the NPA Region

Biomass

The Advice Notes aim to provide introductory material for entrepreneurs, startups and SME’s, considering to enter into the renewable energy sphere and based in the NPA regions partners to GREBE. The scope of the Advice Note covers regional, trade and industry, renewable energy (RE), technology information from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Iceland and Finland. Different partner regions have different level of deployment of the various RE technologies covered by the Advice Notes. Thus, the level of information will vary depending on the level of deployment for each technology. For example, wind is not deployed on a large scale in North Karelia (Finland); however, it is widely deployed in Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Full details are available on the GREBE website:

http://grebeproject.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/GREBE-Advice-Notes-Biomass.pdf

The focus of the Advice Notes is on regional information of some of the main economic characteristics sited as imperative, when making an informed choice, regarding which RE technology may be the optimal choice for a new business venture:

  • Costs and economics associated with the relevant technology
  • Support schemes available, relevant to the technology
  • Government allowance/exemptions, relevant to the technology
  • Funding available for capital costs of the relevant technology
  • List of the relevant to the technology suppliers/developers, with focus on local/regional, suppliers/developers and the products and services they offer.

The economics of a biomass system are governed by the capital cost, the biomass fuel cost, the offset fuel costs and the incentives available. The capital cost of a biomass boiler is dependent upon the size, fuel type used and level of automation of the system.

Biomass is the world’s fourth largest energy source, contributing to nearly 14% of the world’s primary energy demand. The most common fuel is wood, which can be supplied in three forms; logs, chips and compressed wood pellets. However, biomass energy also includes energy crops, food waste streams, agricultural residues, industrial wastes and residues which can be used for heating in certain, specific circumstances. A range of biomass boilers are available, in sizes to suit homes, small businesses, community buildings through to large hospitals and industrial processes. A reliable feedstock supply chain is vital for the economic viability of a biomass boiler system.

Fuel costs are central when considering the levelled cost of electricity, since ongoing running costs far outweigh capital investment. Thus, it is imperative before considering investment in a biomass boiler system to ensure that the right fuel can be sourced locally. Economic benefits of biomass include relatively inexpensive resources; locally distributed energy sources provide constancy and reliability, price stability and generation of employment opportunities in rural communities. Risks included price volatility and availability of feedstock.

New mobile charging units launched for electric vehicles on Irish roads

aaemergencycharger

AA Roadwatch has unveiled plans for a new mobile charging unit for electric vehicles, the first of their kind in Europe. As a result of the growing number of electric cars on Irish roads, the company say the charging units will address the concerns of motorists that drive electric powered vehicles and who worry about potentially running out of power. The breakdown assistance provider has teamed up with Australian company Club Logistics Solutions to develop the charging units, which will be powered directly by the AA rescue van as opposed to a separate generator.

Commenting on the unveiling Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs stated: “Our AA Rescue team have a long and proud history of going above and beyond to meet the needs of broken down motorists across the country, and the purchase of these mobile charging units is the next step on that journey. In that time electric cars have evolved significantly and along the way we’ve seen a similar evolution in charging and emergency assistance options for EVs. Of all the mobile units we have seen this is by far the most impressive, easily deployed and environmentally friendly options.”

Mr Faughnan added that the launch of the units will address the concern of running out of power. “This is a huge step forward for electric vehicle owners in Ireland and a significant innovation for our AA Rescue team as they continue to meet the demands of our members. We know from research that we’ve undertaken in the past that the fear of running out of power is a major concern of Irish motorists when it comes to going electric and we hope that knowing this solution exists will help some people ditch petrol and diesel powered cars.” According to the AA, it will take 20 minutes for the company to provide 15pc of battery charge using the mobile charging unit.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/new-mobile-charging-units-launched-for-electric-vehicles-on-irish-roads-37118495.html

Energy in Agriculture 2018 – Innovation Showcase

Freed

Save the date for Ireland’s largest energy specific event for the agricultural community, Energy in Agriculture 2018!

In 2017 it had over 60 exhibitors and attracted over 2500 attendees, proving to be a highly successful, informative and productive day for all.

The 2018 event will take place again at Gurteen College, Co. Tipperary on Tuesday 21st August 2018. It will be bigger and better this year, informing visitors of the greater energy opportunities in agriculture – Support Scheme for Renewable Heat, Microgeneration Grant Scheme and the further development of the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme.

You can read the full programme here: Energy in Agriculture Programme

An exciting new addition to the line-up for the day is the Innovation Showcase – taking place in the main EXPO Arena at 3:30pm.

The Energy in Agriculture team is currently looking for entries for the Innovation Showcase.  If you have an innovative product that aims to increase efficiency and sustainability on farms, then you should apply to be included in the INNOVATION SHOWCASEInnovation Showcase – Call for entries

Not only will you get the chance to showcase your product/service to a niche target audience, all successful applicants will also be in with the chance of receiving the overall ‘Energy in Agriculture Innovation Award’ for the best innovation that improves efficiencies on Irish farms or contributes to the de-carbonisation of agriculture.  There are also an additional two categories of sponsored awards with significant prizes attached (see below).

Please register HERE to attend the event or apply for the showcase!