GREBE Networking Event Enniskillen -Wednesday 8th & Thursday 9th November 2017

GREBE Networking seminar Enniskillen

The GREBE Project is organising a networking workshop and site visits in Enniskillen on Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th November 2017.  We would like to invite stakeholders from Northern Ireland and Ireland in the renewable energy sector to participate in this event.

The aim is to highlight the benefits of renewable energy for SMEs and start-up businesses and give participants the opportunity to meet with biomass experts from the Natural Resources Institute in Finland (https://www.luke.fi/).

Veikko Möttönens area of expertise is wood mechanical properties, drying of wood and sawn timber, further processing of sawn wood, further processing of side streams, wood modification (thermal modification – Thermowood, preservative impregnation) and Saija Rasis area of expertise is in bioenergy production, biogas technology, gas analysis, treatment of biodegradable wastes, biorefineries.  Places are limited for one to one meetings with Veikko and Saija.

GREBE Project partners from Finland, Norway, Iceland and Scotland will be available to share their knowledge.   Participants from the Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme (both SMEs and mentors), and other renewable energy businesses will attend and are happy to share their experiences.

On Thursday 9th November, site visits will be held at the CREST Centre in South West College, Balcas and Ecohog (an Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme participant).

Places are limited, and if you would like to attend, please contact una.porteous@fermanaghomagh.com (Northern Ireland participants), or paulineleonard@wdc.ie (Ireland participants) before 6.00pm on Wednesday 25th October 2017.

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Western Development Commission undertakes biomass survey in Ireland

Wood chip.jpg

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

 

Moving Ireland’s offshore renewable energy sector forward

Lir 01-09-2017
Dr Jimmy Murphy, general manager of Lir, with Irish Climate Action Minister Denis Naughten and Georgina Foley, commercial manager, Lir

A new ocean test facility in Cork offers companies a chance to de-risk and test technologies before they enter the commercial market.

Ministers have called the Lir National Ocean Test facility, which is incorporated in the MaREI Centre and located in the €20.5m purpose-built Beaufort Building, is key to the development of Ireland’s offshore renewable energy industry.

“The diversity of our work at Lir reflects the numerous commercial opportunities that offshore renewable energy presents.  We support companies by de-risking their technologies through our extensive testing capability including towing, installation, performance and survivability testing,” said Dr Jimmy Murphy, general manager, Lir National Ocean Test Facility.

He pointed out that the facility also operates in the broader marine sector as it has the capacity to test any structure that can be fabricated at a smaller scale.

In the past, Lir has tested Oil & Gas platforms, aquaculture cages, vessels, breakwaters and coastal protection structures.

The facilities at Lir, which are available to industry, academia and government agencies nationally and internationally, include four wave tanks that can replicate real ocean conditions and allow testing of various marine technologies and structures at different scales.

Dr Murphy said that in relation to testing of offshore wind, wave and tidal energy technologies, Lir is the only facility with the capacity to link tank testing output to electrical test rigs, that emulate power take off systems, to determine power quality from devices and possible grid integration issues.

By Anne-Marie Causer http://www.maritimejournal.com/news101/industry-news/moving-irelands-offshore-renewable-energy-sector-forward

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/

Interest grows in large-scale solar in Ireland

AR solar 03-08-2017

Irish power utility EBS and wind specialist Bord na Móna are planning a giant solar project across three counties in the middle of Ireland. Meanwhile, large-scale PV projects with a combined capacity of 1.47 GW were submitted to the local grid operator for approval.

Ireland’s state-owned power utility Electricity Supply Board (ESB) and local wind power specialist Bord na Móna announced a plan to develop a giant PV project across four locations in Roscommon, Offaly and Kildare, in the middle of the country.

In their press release, the two companies said the plant will be able to power 150,000 homes and businesses in the area, without releasing additional information. Local media, however, reported that the installation will have a capacity of 570 MW, and that it will require a global investment of around €500 million ($545.9 million).

The Irish Minister for Communications, Climate Action, & Environment Denis Naughten welcomed the co-development agreement between ESB and Bord na Móna claiming that it will place solar technology “at the heart of the solutions needed by the Irish economy and society.”

“Wind will continue to have a major role to play in supporting the decarbonisation of our energy system, but I am acutely conscious of the need to diversify our renewable generation portfolio in order to meet our ambitious climate and energy objectives. I therefore expect other technologies, including solar, to have a growing role,” Naughten said.

This is not the first investment that ESB has made in the Irish solar sector. In October 2016, the company invested €2.5 million to acquire a majority stake in Irish company Terra Solar. “This strategic investment will see the development of multiple solar PV farms within Ireland in the future, which will result in a lower carbon footprint and contribute to increased energy production from renewable sources,” the company said at the time.

That interest in large-scale solar project is increasing in Ireland was confirmed to pv magazine by the local grid operator EirGrid, which revealed that, as of the end of February 2017, it had received approximately 1,474 megawatts of solar applications from approximately 20 developers. All of these applications were for PV projects exceeding 40 MW. “It is worth noting,” said EirGrid, “that this represents a minority of solar generation applications, the majority of which are seeking connection to the distribution system operated by ESB Networks.”

Despite this growing interest for MW-sized PV projects, Ireland has currently an installed PV capacity of around 6 MW (which is almost entirely on rooftops), according to the report Ireland’s Solar Value Chain Opportunity recently published by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.

SEAI said that the main driver for this 6 MW was Part L of the domestic building regulations, which requires a proportion of the energy consumption of a dwelling to be provided by renewable energy sources. According to the report, almost 4,000 new dwellings recorded in the country’s Building Energy Rating (BER) database have included some solar PV generation capacity.

The Irish government has certainly shown a clear commitment to renewable energy sources within the country, but has yet to finalize its renewable energy policy or the financial incentives that will be made available to renewable developments. One thing that makes the country particularly attractive for solar PV development is the growing deployment of energy storage solutions across Ireland, which should make solar technology easier to integrate.

The Irish solar landscape could grow to around 3.7 GW by 2030, said a report released in November 2015 by the Irish Solar Energy Association (ISEA).

The report concluded that the rapid cost reduction of solar seen globally since 2008 could deliver large-scale solar in Ireland at a cost of €150/MWh, and if just €670 million in investment in the sector was forthcoming between 2017 and 2030, the solar industry of Ireland could support around €2 billion of Gross Added Value.

Further information is available at https://www.pv-magazine.com/2017/05/02/ireland-interest-grows-in-large-scale-solar/

Ireland’s first National Mitigation Plan is published

Denis Naughton
Minister Denis Naughton

Irelands Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten T.D., published Ireland’s first statutory National Mitigation Plan last week, in line with its Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act, 2015, and designed to complement the country’s Paris Agreement commitment towards lowering its emissions. The 200-page document, with a foreword by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, it outlines the nation’s next era of energy engagement through to 2030 and 2050.

The first National Mitigation Plan represents an initial step to set Ireland on a pathway to achieve the level of decarbonisation required. It is a whole-of-Government Plan, reflecting in particular the central roles of the key Ministers responsible for the sectors covered by the Plan – Electricity Generation, the Built Environment, Transport and Agriculture, as well as drawing on the perspectives and responsibilities of a range of other Government Departments.

The measures that will be implemented through this first Plan will lay the foundations for transitioning Ireland to a low carbon, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy by 2050. This is the Government’s new blueprint for reducing greenhouse emissions in Ireland by 80 per cent before 2050.  To support this ongoing work, the Plan also includes 106 individual actions for various Ministers and public bodies to take forward as Ireland moves to implementation of what will be a living document. Importantly, the Government recognises that this first Plan does not provide a complete roadmap to achieve the 2050 objective, but begins the process of development of medium to long term mitigation choices for the next and future decades.

Environmental analysis was undertaken as part of the development of the Plan and information on how environmental considerations and the views of consultees and stakeholders influenced the Plan are set out in the Environmental Statement and the final Natura Impact Statement.

The plan has been described by Minister for Climate Action Denis Naughten as the “initial step to set Ireland on a pathway to achieve deep decarbonisation”.

The National Mitigation Plan can be downloaded from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment website Here

What is the cost of Ireland not achieving its renewable energy targets?

Can we remain hopeful despite not achieving renewable targets? Michael Doran, Director, Action Renewables and GREBE project partner discusses the issues surrounding Ireland’s progress towards 2020 energy targets in his article Ireland’s Inconvenient Truth, We face a triple cost for not achieving our energy targets by 2020′

Ireland is not close to achieving its energy and emissions targets. We are currently one of four countries in Europe expected to miss the 2020 targets set out by the European Directive. The other countries set to fall short are Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Ireland is approximately 7% short of the 16% target. These legally binding targets from the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive, were set with the goal of reducing the greenhouse effect, securing energy supply, maximising renewables and saving money.

According to the SEAI, the cost to Ireland will be between €100-€150 million for each percentage point the country is short of the target. The SEAI report on Ireland’s Energy Targets: Progress, Ambition and Impacts depict the current progress towards achieving the targets, shown in the graph below, Figure 1.

AR 14-06-2017

The full article can be downloaded from the Action Renewables website here