Green Gas Collaborative Network

Hydrogen refueling on the hydrogen filling station on the motor show

Action Renewables is acting as a facilitator for a Collaborative Network trying to stimulate green gas in the transport sector. Partners in the collaborative network are Translink, Belfast City Council, B9 Solutions, Queens University Belfast, Agri AD, Granville Ecoparks, Hydrogen Green Power and Red Kite Management.  These partners have been working together since October 2017. The Network will carry out a scoping study to determine what opportunities exist in the development of a supply chain for the production and distribution of biogas, particularly in respect of the transport sector.

Key objectives are to look at:

  • Technical and cost requirements involved in producing green gas, biogas and green hydrogen
  • The size of the potential market for gaseous biofuels
  • The export potential for gaseous biofuels produced in Northern Ireland
  • Financial return/business models associated with the use of green gas in various sectors
  • How an innovative fuel supply chain in Northern Ireland could align itself in order to comply with the requirements of the new RTFO scheme
  • Benefits of delivering an alternative fuel supply network in terms of emission reduction; air quality; job creation; and potential inward investment
  • Identifying enabling technologies, skills and resources necessary to take advantage of these new opportunities
  • Identifying the relevant skills gaps and how best these can be mitigated against either from within the group or by seeking additional expertise from other sources
  • Recommendations that will best accelerate the longer-term growth of participating companies as a result of having taken part in the project
  • The appetite to create a formal biogas supply chain collaborative network whose members can collectively and individually grow their businesses and the sector

It was Invest Northern Ireland that launched the Collaborative Network Growth Programme in Northern Ireland in December 2016. Invest NI allocated £5.7million funding over five years to help stimulate innovation among local businesses. One hundred per cent funding up to £25,000 is available to industry-led networks requiring facilitation support to scope innovative collaborative projects.

At the launch it was said that “Innovation is absolutely essential to wider economic growth and the Collaborative Growth Programme will support SMEs to combine expertise, funding and contacts to develop new products and services and open up new business opportunities worldwide.

Action Renewables will publish The Green Gas Collaborative Network findings in a report due out in June 2018.

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Warning – Ireland will not achieve renewable energy targets without wind

TurbinesThe Irish Wind Farmers Association said Ireland was well positioned to capitalise on its location at the western edge of Europe to rely on wind energy. Photograph: Getty Images

Developing wind energy in rural Ireland could benefit local economy, says IWFA   

Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 09:43 Updated: Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 09:50 Barry Roche

Ireland’s lack of a detailed policy plan for wind energy means the country will end up “back-sliding” on its targets to such a degree it will not achieve a 100 per cent renewable energy system by 2050, a leading figure in the wind energy sector has warned. Grattan Healy, chairman of Meitheal na Gaoithe or the Irish Wind Farmers Association, said that Ireland was well positioned to capitalise on its location at the western edge of Europe to rely on wind energy instead of fossil fuels but it was failing to do so.

“Ireland’s ‘Energy policy’, or lack thereof, as reflected in the “very vague” White Paper and various moves at EU Council level by Ireland to “water down” the Clean Energy Package, run totally contrary to what the general public, consultants, developers and others want,” said Mr Healy. “Ireland is almost uniquely placed to produce any amount of energy from wind to power the whole country and up to half of Europe. Yet we seem intent on throwing every possible obstacle in our own way and spending €6 billion a year on imported fossil fuels.”

Speaking in advance of the Irish Wind Farmers Association Annual Conference in Kilkenny on Wednesday and Thursday, Mr Healy said the Government’s failure to properly promote wind energy was having a detrimental effect on rural communities which could benefit from such a policy.

“A single wind turbine has the potential to generate tens of thousands of euros for a rural household per annum – the equivalent of another family income,” said Mr Healy whose organisation promotes the development of small to medium scale energy projects by individuals and communities. “By failing to fully develop onshore wind, this is foregone money which could be pumped directly back into the local and regional economy, saving our rural post offices, shops, creating employment and more in some of Ireland’s most disadvantaged rural communities.”

According to Mr Healy, Government policy makers seem “to be intent on pandering” to a small percentage of the population opposed to wind energy and are intent on scaremongering rather than engaging in a meaningful way with communities about the benefits of wind energy. He said Ireland must invest in information campaigns and meaningful discussions about wind energy and “stop the misinformation and scaremongering”.

Mr Healy said the association believes that Ireland urgently needs a proper electricity market design, which is ‘for’ and not ‘against’ renewable energy. He also said that many in the industry see the European Union as being hostile towards the wind energy sector. “Very specific, positive and excellent demands were made by the Citizens Assembly for action in this sector but the prevailing policy seems to be more focused on paying fines rather than taking action,” said Mr Healy who will welcome delegates to the conference at the Lyrath Estate on Wednesday evening.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/warning-ireland-will-not-achieve-renewable-energy-targets-without-wind-1.3292602