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Bioenergy a driving force to achieve renewable heat, transport and electricity targets – IrBEA

Bioenergy - Inspiring the industry with opportunity and vision is the theme of the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) National Bioenergy Conference, sponsored by Bord an Móna and taking place in Croke Park, Dublin on February 26, 2020. The conference focuses on the untapped potential that bioenergy presents in the form of biomass, biogas, biofuels, energy crops and wood fuels to achieve renewable energy targets in heat, transport, and electricity.

Paddy Phelan (left) Vice President IrBEA and Manager Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency (CKEA), Sean Finan CEO IrBEA, and Tom Egan Head of Bioenergy Operations and Power Generation at Bord na Móna during the IrBEA National Bioenergy Conference held on February 26, 2020, in Croke Park, Dublin (photo courtesy IrBEA).

Speaking at the conference Seán Finan CEO of IrBEA said that mobilising Irish indigenous biomass and brash (logging residues) is “crucial to achieving our Renewable Energy targets in both the electricity and heating sector. Addressing the challenges of mobilisation of our private forestry estate will need to be overcome. Bord na Móna, our conference premium sponsors is pleased to be helping unlock the biomass opportunity in Ireland as an outlet for material while helping to decarbonise Ireland’s electricity grid.”

He also noted that the renewable heat agenda will be served by improving access to Irish biomass supplies, enabled by improvements to the biomass supply chain infrastructure from mobilisation of the private forestry supply and also the promotion of energy crops.

Tom Egan, Head of Bioenergy Operations and Power Generation at Bord na Móna said that Bord na Móna are “leaders in the Irish biomass industry, and on an exciting transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy at its Edenderry Power Station in Co, Offaly.”

According to Tom Egan, Bord na Móna’s Edenderry Power station is on a course towards 100 percent renewable electricity generation by as soon as 2024.

The biomass contribution at Edenderry makes it the biggest supplier of ‘on-demand’ renewable energy on the island of Ireland. This means that when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine Edenderry can guarantee a supply of renewable energy to the grid; this adds flexibility to the grid to install more wind and solar generation. Edenderry Power continues to transition towards ever-increasing levels of biomass, which is sustainable, and 80 percent of which is indigenous from local Irish suppliers. This helps Bord na Móna continue to drive the economic and growth agenda in rural Ireland, the midlands and beyond -supporting what are sustainable jobs, sourcing sustainable Irish biomass feedstocks over the ‘Just Transition’ period and beyond. Bord na Móna uses mainly residual forest material. Bord na Móna wants to secure increasing indigenous biomass from the well-documented availability from private forestry and also want to help realise the energy crop opportunity that exists for farmers, concluded Tom Egan.

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