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

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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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The Influence of Environmental Conditions in NPA and Arctic Regions

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The key requirement of this work package is the development of a database (and supporting summary report), compiling information for potential renewable energy business and technology solutions to help overcome environmental and climatic challenges in the NPA programme region. Technology solutions cover installation, operation and maintenance of equipment, not the design and manufacture of components.

The objective of the database is to identify the main environmental and climatic challenges, and outline technological and business solutions to these challenges, creating a database of these for 8 different categories of renewable energy technology. It is designed for use by new and existing renewable energy businesses, to inform them of the challenges they may face in developing their business and how these will be overcome.

A range of examples (where available) have been highlighted on how the challenges identified have been overcome. Specific regional related innovations and smart solutions from local business on technology driven RE-solutions have been documented, with the intention of passing on this knowledge to other regions in the NPA not involved in the GREBE Project.

The 8 renewable energy technology categories identified by the GREBE Project partnership are:

  1. Biomass
  2. Wind (Onshore only)
  3. Solar PV
  4. Solar Thermal
  5. Hydro
  6. Ground source heat pump
  7. Air source heat pump
  8. Anaerobic Digestion (farm scale/agricultural)

The database is located on the Renewable Business Platform and can be downloaded here.

GREBE publishes its 9th Project E-zine

GREBE Ezine Sept 2018

The GREBE Project has published its 9th e-zine to showcase the activities and ongoing goals of the project.  

Welcome to the 9th e-zine for the GREBE Project. Since April we have continued to carry out the project activities and meet our objectives. Our 9th partner meeting in Thurso was hosted by the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) and included a site visit to the world famous Old Pultney distillery and Wick District Heating Scheme. It also included our final conference ‘Local opportunities through Nordic cooperation’ on Thursday 24th May 2018. Details may be found on page 2.

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The Renewable Energy Resource Assessment (RERA) Toolkits for Biomass, Wind & Solar Energy are now complete and details may be found on pages 3 & 4. The WDC completed a Regional Heat Study for the Western Region of Ireland and held two workshops on how the WDC can support and develop biomass use in the Western region. Details can be found on page 5. We also have an update of the EES in partner regions on pages 6 & 7 and details of the Action Renewables ‘Proposal for a Renewable Future’ on page 8. We have details on the development of a database based on the Influence of Environmental Conditions in NPA and Arctic Regions on page 9. And finally, we have details of Technology/Knowledge Transfer Cases on page 10.

Our e-zine can be downloaded from the GREBE Project website here.

 

Renewables project aims to continue EES in North Karelia

BlogThe Finnish Forest Centre and Karelia UAS have applied for a project, Renewables – Sustainable Energy Economy in North Karelia – from the Rural Development Programme. The project continues on from the successful work of regional Power from Biomass project, completed in June 2018, and the GREBE project ending this month.

The Renewables project will support the establishment of micro clusters in renewable energy, especially based on biomass (wood and biogas). The project will continue the GREBE service, Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme, by organising tailored mentoring for 8 rural businesses in 2019-2021.

The Renewables will work for the regional renewable energy by supporting the development of biogas production, establishing and supporting the cooperation between energy entrepreneurs especially in firewood supply, introducing new innovations to reduce fine particle emissions, and supporting rural enterprises in sustainable product and service development.  The Renewables will have much benefit from GREBE project results, providing vast knowledge base on renewable energy technologies and supports.

The Renewables supports micro clusters of RE enterprises. Their cooperation aims can be e.g. in establishing joint raw material procurements, joint investment projects, or development of new products/services. In GREBE the EES Service and mentoring process provided successful results in a number of cases. The piloted process has proven to be effective and can be replicated with new participants. The funding applied, can be based on Innovation vouchers (2019) and ERDF funding targeted for enterprises.

The Renewables is scheduled to start in January 2019, and is coordinated by the Finnish Forest Centre. The project will organise active collaboration with international renewable energy research and development, such as starting NPA project Handiheat.

Advice Notes on Hydro Technology Economics for the NPA Region

Hydro

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-Hydro.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.

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Hydropower is of the most reliable and cost-effective methods to generate electricity, as it can immediately respond to variations in electricity demand meeting both base-load and peak-load demand. The key advantage is that hydro power provides a steady and secure source of electricity supply. Furthermore, it very highly efficient (from 70 to 90%), has a long life span and attractive energy pay-back ratio. Other benefits of hydro are that it is a largely predictable resource of renewable energy (the annual generation can be predicted using historical rainfall data/catchment flow data).When considering the payback period for SHP, account should be taken of the lifespan of the system.

A general SHP project cost level is very difficult to predict as they are very project specific contingent on the local surroundings, hydro-technical constructions, turbines and electrical equipment. Small-scale hydropower uses water flowing through a turbine to drive a generator that produces electricity. The amount of a hydropower installation’s potential power output (kW) is directly related to two key variables:

Head – The vertical distance between the water level at the intake point and where the water passes through the turbine. Hydro projects can be categorized into three categories according to the existing head.

  • Low head – up to 10m
  • Medium head – 10m to 50m
  • High head – greater than 50m.

Flow rate – the volume of water flowing through the turbine per second, measured in litres/second (l/s), or cubic metres/second (m3 /s).

Advice Notes on Anaerobic Digestion Economics for the NPA Region

AD

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-AD.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.

Anaerobic Digestion (AD) is the breakdown of organic material by micro-organisms in the absence of oxygen. The term AD commonly refers to low-temperature biological conversion, with the resulting product (biogas) typically being 60% methane and 40% CO 2. AD technology uses vacuum-packed digesters in which a bacterial culture is sustained in anaerobic environments that stimulate the production of methane. Many forms of feedstock are suitable for AD; including food waste, slurry and manure, as well as crops and crop residues. AD produces biogas, a methane-rich gas that can be used in different ways:

  • In an internal combustion engine or turbine to generate electricity, and heat
  • Combustion in a boiler for process steam or hot water
  • Combustion in process equipment
  • Cleaned, compressed and injected into the natural gas grid
  • Cleaned, compressed and used as a road transport fuelAD 2

In addition to biogas the AD produces residual solid fibre and, also known as digestate, which can be used as a fertiliser, depending on the nutrient value of the digitate. Thus, it may have additional value in some circumstances.

New scheme encouraging homeowners to install solar panels launched today

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A new scheme encouraging homeowners to install solar panels has been launched this morning. The pilot scheme offers grants for the installation of solar panels and extra funds to install battery storage systems.  Environment Minister Denis Naughten says the scheme will allow people to turn their home into their very own “renewable power station.” He said homeowners can save around €220 in electricity costs every year by taking advantage of the scheme.

Announcing the grants for homeowners, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD said: “Turning your home into a renewable power station is now one step closer. Microgeneration is an incredibly exciting space that will allow citizens in local communities to generate their own electricity and contribute towards Ireland’s climate action targets. With this grant that I am announcing today, a typical 3-bed semi-detached house would spend about €1,800 on a solar panel system and would save approximately €220 per year on their electricity bills.”

The Minister added: “The pilot scheme will be subject to a 6-month review at which time the costs of installation will be assessed and further opportunities to broaden this scheme to other groups and other technologies will be explored.” The scheme will be funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The grant is available for homes built and occupied before 2011 and details of eligibility criteria and how to apply are set out here. A registered solar PV installer must be used and a full list of registered installers is also available on the SEAI website.

https://www.irishexaminer.com/