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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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

Bioenergy 2017: The Irish Bioenergy Association hosts the National Bioenergy Conference

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A strong attendance list of 190 were present at the annual IrBEA Bioenergy Conference in Dublin on Thursday 9th February.

The programme featured four sessions, the first session focused on policy where Fergus Leamy, CEO of Coillte, the leading forestry, land owning, renewable energy and panel products business in Ireland, provided high-level insights on how we in Ireland can optimize our bioenergy potential. Matthew Clancy, Programme Manager for Low-Carbon Technologies at the SEAI talked about the detailed outlook and challenges for bioenergy in Ireland.

The timing of this conference was particularly appropriate in light of the final consultation on the Government’s proposed introduction of a renewable heat incentive (RHI). This very welcome development can be the key to unlocking the potential of bioenergy in Ireland. Getting to our renewable energy and climate change targets, generating energy from indigenous resources, reducing our dependence on imported fossil fuels, and promoting jobs and economic activity across the entire country, are just some of the benefits.

Reflecting the importance of this challenge we had a session on the RHI consultation delivered by Tom Bruton in the mid-morning sessions. Key speakers and advisors were present at the conference, and the attendees were given the opportunity to partake in a Q&A session to drum up ideas for a response to the consultation. IrBEA will submit a consultation response in mid-March.

After lunch, Session 3 concentrated on Project Finance. Garrett Monaghan of Arthur Cox covered the area of executing and financing biomass projects. He confirmed that capital is available for biomass projects but stressed the importance of planning, having experts on hand, and using funders as allies to help you get the job done. Garrett also looked at RHI implementation and addressed some of the current issues. Russell Smyth (KPMG) walked us through many projects scenarios which are up and running in the AD and W-E sector; commenting that there was a robust equity investment appetite for the sector.

Franceso Panzeri of Demetra gave the history of engineering and designing the ADBag. The solution is a modular system based on a prefabricated plastic bag, which is easy to be installed and maintained. Frank Donnelly of Northway Mushrooms detailed hands-on experiences of his farming business and how his dependence on different renewable energy supplies including biomass boilers and large solar panel investment has helped keep his business viable in changing economic times.

Further information about the Irish Bioenergy Association can be found on their website: http://www.irbea.org/

The IrBEA National Bioenergy Conference – Thursday 9th February 2017

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‘Bioenergy 2017’ – The IrBEA National Bioenergy Conference will be held at the Castleknock Hotel, Dublin on Thursday 9th February.

2017 looks to be a pivotal year for Ireland’s energy policy; the industry expects clarity by then for the roll-out of a Renewable Heat Incentive.  It’s imperative that the Irish Government develops an energy policy that allows for greater growth in the bioenergy sector. This will be under discussion at the conference.

The conference will have a strong line up of speakers, both international and national, presenting industry models, policy perspectives and investment opportunities to stimulate lively discussion and strong media coverage.

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More on what will be discussed at the event can be found on the IrBEA website: http://www.irbea.org/bioenergy-2017-irbea-national-bioenergy-conference/

Bioenergy 2017 – The IrBEA National Bioenergy Conference – 9th February 2017

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2017 will be a pivotal year for Ireland’s energy policy; the industry expects clarity by then for roll-out of a Renewable Heat Incentive.  It’s agreed that we need to move towards clean technologies, currently in Ireland we have a renewable market share of 8.7% – Bioenergy contributed to 2% of this. It’s imperative that the Irish government builds an energy policy that allow for greater growth in the Bioenergy sector – this will be under discussion at the IrBEA National Bioenergy Conference.

IrBEA will again have a strong line up of speakers, both international and national, presenting industry models, policy perspectives and investment opportunities to stimulate lively discussion and strong media coverage.  Speakers will discuss their experiences of working in Ireland with the current energy policy framework.  A full agenda for the conference can be downloaded here

Recent budget spending announcements will also be discussed, how would we like to see the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) spend their extra €50m budget or the capital spend of €90m on climate change actions which was announced.

The conference will give delegates and exhibitors an opportunity to network. IrBEA also plan to organise a network dinner after the event around 6.00pm. Organisations interested in sponsoring elements of the conference (whole or parts of) are asked to contact Teresa O’Brien contact@irbea.ie

Register here for Bioenergy 2017

Irish Bioenergy Associations Study Tour to Denmark featured in the Irish Farmers Journal

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In September GREBE Project Coordinator Pauline Leonard, participated in a Study Tour to Denmark with the Irish Bioenergy Association who are an Associated Partner in the GREBE project.  Other participants included representatives from a broad range of sectors including Irish biomass boiler manufacturers, Coillte, private forestry and farming interests, pellet producers, representatives from Údarás na Gaeltachta, and other government agencies focusing on building sustainable rural energy projects.

Donal Magnier from the Irish Farmers Journal was part of the group and wrote an article in the papers forestry section with details of the groups meeting with the State of Green, who outlined the vision of the Danish Government and renewable energy stakeholders, and details of the site visits undertaken by the group.  Donal also explored what Ireland can learn from the Danes Danes in renewable energy development.

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Further information on this can be found on the Irish Farmers Journal website http://www.farmersjournal.ie/denmarks-vision-for-a-green-economy-by-2050-229556

GREBEs Associated Partner, the Irish Bioenergy Association holds its’ National Bioenergy Conference.

IrBEA Annual Conference 2016

Eamonn Confrey (Principal Officer Decarbonisation, DCENR), Cara Augustenborg (Friends of the Earth), Fred Tottenham (outgoing IrBEA President), Eamonn McGrath (Gaelectric, conference sponsor) and Michael Doran (incoming IrBEA President)

 

IrBEAs 15th National Bioenergy Conference on Wednesday 3rd February in Dublin saw a 200 strong attendance from across the bioenergy sector, both North and South of Ireland.

There was a focus on the early introduction of the RHI in the Republic of Ireland, which will act as a key factor towards achieving the switch to bioenergy and the creation of over 3,000 new jobs. The conference finished with a strong message for political parties and candidates involved in the general election, who were urged to declare their positions on the environment and make climate change a priority going forward.

New IrBEA President, Michael Doran of Action Renewables and GREBE, said: “The bioenergy sector sits at the intersection of energy, agriculture and climate change policies. It is also unique in that it is a truly regionalised, ground-up industry that stimulates economic activity locally for farmers, those involved in designing and installing bioenergy systems and the businesses and consumers that benefit from effective, secure and sustainable heating. We need to accelerate the switch to renewable sources of power right across our economy, in electricity, in transport and in heating. This is our obligation under international treaties to prevent potentially catastrophic climate change, and in our own self-interest as a society and an island economy that is dependent on imported, polluting fossil fuels for 85% of our energy needs.”