Gussing, Austria – Policy Learnings for BioPAD

Over the last 30 years Austria has moved from a country reliant on imported fossil fuels into one which now generates almost 60% of its energy requirement from indigenous sources, none more so that the town of Güssing, which has transformed itself, over the last 15 years into a centre of excellence for the production of energy from local sources.

The region of Burgenland, in which Güssing is situated, aims to source its energy requirements sustainably. It already has a biomass gasification plant producing electricity and heat, and a centralised district heating system.  The town also hosts the European Centre for Renewable Energy, to share its research and experiences, which has added to the region’s knowledge and reputation and provided more local employment.

The BioPAD group benefitted from the opportunity to learn from the experiences gained during this transformation as part of a study tour in 2013. The policy learnings from this tour can be found in the document below:

Güssing, Austria – Policy Learning for BioPAD

Western Development Commission participate in ROKWOOD partner meeting in Goslar, Germany

The 4th ROKWOOD project partners meeting (and mid-term meeting) took place in Goslar, Germany on 3rd – 6th June last.   Goslar is a historic town in Lower Saxony, located on the north western slopes of the Harz Mountains.  The old town of Goslar and the Mines of Rammelsberg are an UNESCO World Heritage Site.   This region enjoys a mainly temperate climate and lies between the maritime climate of the north and the continental climate of the east behind the Harz Mountains.  The area close to Goslar, around Braunschwieg is characterized by very good soils, and farmers grow sugar-beet, corn and other grains.

This project meeting was attended by 28 partners from the six cluster regions representing Germany, Poland, Sweden, Spain, England and Ireland.   The Western Development Commission is the public sector partner for the Irish Cluster.  Discussions at the project meeting included a workshop on the Joint Action Plan (which is considered as one of the main outputs of the project), project activities reports on the identification of additional European and international clusters, development of international co-operation strategies, exchange of best practices, site visits, staff exchanges, policy brief development for the future implementation strategies, joint publications, development of promotional and information material.

Site visits were organised by the German partners TTZ and AGRA.   There is currently c. 500 hectares of short rotation plantations in the lower Saxony region, most of which is planted with poplar, and some with willow.  Much of this land is planted for direct use in biomass heating plants.  For example, the pelletizer and heat contractor ECH Heidelberg is running a pelletizer site close to Gottingen with a capacity with 60,000 tonnes of pellets per year.  Their target is to grow c. 40 hectares of SRP per annum.

Other site visits included an example of a self-supply heating project on small scale farms.  In this case, the farmer works 60 hectares of arable land and has installed a wood chip boilers of 90 kW to heat all the farm buildings.  Between 2009 and 2011, the farmer planted 5 hectares of poplar on less valuable fields to achieve an independent fuel supply.  Previously, the fuel consumption was 10,000 litres of oil.

4 year old poplar

Image 1: 4 year old poplar plantation

Poplar planting machine

Image 2: Machine used for planting poplar

A visit took place to the bioenergy village of Beuchte, where in 2008, a 2.5km district heating network was established with two (2 x 250 kW) wood chip boilers generating heat for 65 households, with potential to expand to other homes. Heat is supplied on 12 year contracts.   15 hectares of poplar was planted with 1 km of the heating plant to supply wood chips, another 30 hectares of poplar is available within 10km for use.

Map of District Heating Scheme

Image 3: Map of Beuchte District Heating Scheme

2 x 250kW boilers

Image 4: 2 x 250 kW boilers used to heating 2.5km district heating network for 65 households.

More information on the project is available at the project website: http://www.rokwood.eu/

Heather- a bioenergy crop to help meet UK energy needs?

A recently published study by scientists at a UK university has assessed the possibility of using heather (Calluna vulgaris) as a bioenergy crop. Led by Prof Fred Worrall, research suggests that in the UK heather burning currently releases 821 PJ annually, equivalent to burning 36,000 tonnes of coal every year.  Currently when heather is burned, the energy that is contains is released as heat to the surrounding environment, and greenhouse gases are also released.

Heather is present in upland areas across the UK, and is routinely burned in order to create suitable habitats for birds including grouse, and food in the form of new shoots for livestock such as sheep. Controlled burning is said to prevent the development of nutritionally poor heather, with long branches, and instead promote vigorous growth of healthier, “younger” plants.

However, by using heather as a bioenergy crop, the heat released from burning can be harnessed to provide heat or hot water to residential areas or industrial processes. Using a renewable source of energy can not only displace a proportion of fossil fuels, but also reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

However, any potential uptake in heather bioenergy needs to take into account the type of land from which it is harvested. In peat bogs, biomass is accumulated and locked away, resulting in a carbon sink. When heather is burned on peaty soils, there is an in the erosion of peat, which means there is a reduced ability to store carbon. Therefore, to be sustainable and reduce GHG emissions, any widespread use of heather for bioenergy would need to take place on areas which do not have the potential to be turned into functioning peat bogs.

The study by Durham University estimates that up to 11 tonnes of CO2eq per hectare could be prevented from entering the atmosphere from the use of heather as a bioenergy crop. Across the UK up to 2 061 tonnes of CO2eq could be saved each year if heather is harnessed instead of coal, which compares favourable to to other bioenergy crops such as Miscanthus and Willow.

The reported GHG savings for a range of common bioenergy crops in comparison to Calluna vulgaris (Heather):

Crop                                       GHG saving (tonnes CO2 ha−1 yr−1)               

Calluna  (heather)               −5.8 to −17.6

Miscanthus                            4 to −5

Willow                                    −3 to −4

Worrall & Clay 2014. Biomass and Bioenergy 64:140-151

 

Across the UK the average energy yield of heather was estimated to be 38 GJ per hectare per year, and in some regions could reach up to 57 GJ per hectare per year.

Although the yield of heather as a biomass crop may be relatively low, it has a very high energy efficiency, which far exceeds Miscanthus, straw and logging residues.

1280px-Boggy_area_on_Waldridge_Fell

Energy yield and energy efficiency of a range of common bioenergy crops in comparison to the results from this study for Calluna vulgaris (heather):

Crop                                       Energy yield (GJ ha−1 yr−1)   Energy efficiency

Calluna                                  38                                                           63

Wheat                                    111                                                         6.7

Rape                                       89                                                           6.2

Potatoes                                 87                                                           3.0

Sugar beet                             163                                                         7.0

Logging residues                  5.2                                                          29

Straw                                      35                                                           23

Miscanthus                            279                                                         32

Willow                                    243                                                         78

Worrall & Clay 2014. Biomass and Bioenergy 64:140-151

There is also another potential advantage of Heather, which is that grows on relatively unproductive land, such as heaths and moors, for which there is little other use, and therefore little competition for land.  Other bioenergy crops such as short-rotation coppice, use much more productive land which has the potential to grow food.

The study leader Prof Fred Worrall said “We have a large source of very efficient, low-carbon energy growing naturally on our uplands, but we’re releasing all its CO2 into the atmosphere without getting any energy from it”

The UK is committed to meeting at least 20% of its energy needs from renewables by 2020, and the use of heather could contribute as much as 15% of the UK’s 2020 biomass target. Prof Worrall added “Surely it would be possible to send the heather down the hill and stop burning the coal”.

Review of the Green Paper on Energy Policy in Ireland

Ireland published its green paper on Energy, in May 2014. Ireland has excellent renewable energy resources, which will be a critical and growing component of Irish energy supply to 2020 and well beyond. Under the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive, Ireland is committed to produce, from renewable sources, at least 16% of all energy consumed by 2020. This will be met by 40% from renewable electricity, 12% from renewable heat, and 10% from the renewable transport sector.

The renewable  energy contribution to thermal energy rose from 2.5% in 2003 to 5.2% in 2012, resulting in more than 40,000 homes and more than 550 businesses using renewable energy for heat. Although these figures have contributed to the overall target, the increase to 5.2% has been very gradual. In order to reach the 12% which has been set, the actions which have been set must be carried out with greater effect.

With respect to the individual sectors, at the end of 2012, Ireland was at 19.6% in renewable electricity, and 3.8% in renewable transport. The National Renewable Energy Action Plan to 2020, submitted to the EU Commission as required under the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive, is the framework within which Ireland has set out the detailed policies, schemes and measures to deliver the required trajectory of growth from renewable sources.

Bio-energy has historically been the largest contributor to Irish renewable energy through heat generation, and is anticipated to play a significant role in further displacing fossil fuels, especially in the larger heat users in the commercial and industrial sector, stimulating local economic activity, and improving the country’s net trading position. This sector will need greater incentivisation in order to ensure that the required 2020 targets of renewable heat are to be achieved. In this regard, a central focus of the Bioenergy Strategy is the identification of the existing and additional bioenergy policies and schemes necessary to cost-effectively contribute to the 2020 renewable energy target and position Ireland on a pathway to further decarbonising the energy system.  These challenges will need to be addressed for both 2020, and the longer term horizons to 2030 and 2050.

The National Energy Efficiency Action Plan and National Renewable Energy Action Plan scenario for renewable heat assumes that the historic rate of deployment of biomass use for heat continues to 2020. Further, additional biomass CHP installations, driven by the feed-in tariff for biomass CHP and the expected contribution from building regulations requiring some renewable heat, are assumed.

The strategy recognises the economic, environmental and energy opportunities that a developed bioenergy sector, fuelled by indigenously source biomass can deliver. It sets out the measures required to support the mobilisation of home grown, renewable and sustainable biomass from wastes and residues through to purpose grown energy crops and wood. These measures which have been set may not be challenging enough to ensure that the 2020 targets are met. Ireland has the optimal environment to grow biomass materials, so with the correct legislation and policy incentives put in place these targets can be easily met if acted upon now.

Bioenergy and Forestry in Treeless land: BioPAD and REMOTE mini-seminar in Iceland

What to do if you get lost in Icelandic forest – stand up and you will see your home!

Probably all foresters have heard that joke, which is nowadays seriously outdated. Even all Icelanders have not noticed yet the growth of forest sector in a “treeless land”, but currently Iceland can be highlighted as an example of development where well educated foresters have been doing good co-operation internationally and developed an ecologically, economically and socially sound modern forest sector.  Iceland has enormous geothermal heat reserves and a lot of hydropower.  Iceland can be said to be the most developed country when we are talking about use of renewable energy. More than 80 % of the total energy consumption is based on renewable energy.  The electricity price is Iceland is the lowest in whole Europe which make the use of biomass challenging.  Still, wood energy can be an option.  In the Eastern part of the country, geothermal heat is very difficult and expensive.  Base rock is solid and volcanic activity is low, which is why some areas are totally without possibilities to utilise this best known source of energy in “treeless land”.  Hallormstadur near Egilstadir is this kind of area. Luckily Hallormstadur has forests.

Hallormsstadur was also the place where BioPAD and REMOTE decided to hold a mini-seminar to talk about forestry supply chains in Iceland and the differences of renewable energy policy frameworks in each country of Northern Periphery area.  The aim of the meeting was to discuss what we can learn from Iceland and how different policies are effecting to each country’s use of renewable energy. The meeting commenced with visits to an Icelandic larch forest where participants learned how the forest has been established and thinned and how the supply chain of energy wood and industrial wood is done.  After the visits to research plots and a harvesting site, participants attended a lecture on Icelandic supply chains and forestry in Iceland.

When the first settlements were established in Iceland in AD 874, all lowland areas were covered by trees.  Active iron making, agriculture and sheep herding consumed sensitive wood resources and the land was later a long time without forests.  At the beginning of 20th century wood planting programmes started and they still continue actively.  To find a suitable species was problematic but hardworking Icelanders planted around 150 different species from more than 1000 provinces to find the most suitable one.  Landowners are encouraged and supported in tree planting and nowadays annual planting amounts are about 3.5 million seedlings. In 2007-2009 planting reached its’ height, 6 million seedlings per year.  The economic collapse after that reduced funding of planting projects.  Current growing stock is 1.2 Mm3 and annual growth is around 80 000 m3.  Figures are not high, but Iceland started close to zero and direction is steeply upwards.  Trees are growing well in Iceland because of the fertile volcanic land and good amount of rain.  Winter is harsh but not disturbing trees as much as earlier expected.  At the beginning planting densities were high, 6000-7000 seedlings per hectare, because natural mortality was believed to be over 50%.  Later, mortality was found to be much lower and nowadays planting densities are lower, 4000-3000 seedlings per hectare.  Dominating species are European larch (Larix decidua) and Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis).  Also Aspen (Populus trichocarpa), Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) and Norway spruce (Picea abies) are common.  Remaining natural forests are nearly all downy birch (Betula pubescens).

Iceland1

Participants visiting in Iceland Forest Service research plots of Larch. Picture taken by Karri Pasanen, Metla

Dense, fast growing forests need to be thinned or otherwise all trees can die.  Harvesting of small diameter trees is expensive and harvesting needs to be planned carefully.  At the same time, also the use of harvested wood must be developed.  Small scale sawmilling and firewood production were good starting points, later, heat entrepreneurship gave business opportunities for Hallormstadur area, which does not have geothermal heat available.  The newest demand for freshly harvested Icelandic trees is ferrocilicium production of Elkem Ltd.  Fresh, moist wood is needed to tie oxygen, when quartz is altered to ferrocilicium, a valuable catalyst and raw material in steelmaking.  Wood is harvested by harvesters (excavator and forest tractor mounted), and a forwarder using tractor and forest trailer, chipped with an Icelandic made chipper and transported to the boiler by truck.  For Elkem Ltd.  the wood is not chipped and it is transported as delimbed stem wood by truck. Wood is chipped at the plant.

 

Harvesting operations of Larch in Icelandic challenging conditions and chipping of wood at Elkem. Picture taken by Karri Pasanen, Metla

The Icelandic forest service also owns a sawmill in Hallormstadur, but the wood size and quality are enabling only a minor part of removal to be processed for lumber.  Firewood is used in Iceland to some extent.  For example, pizzerias in Reykjavik need remarkable amount of firelogs annually.  Heat entrepreneurship has challenges in Iceland like anywhere else. Competing energies are relatively cheap, especially electricity.  (Hallormastadur has no geothermal heat available).  The new ferrocilicium industry needs also fresh wood in its’ processes and harvesting costs are high. A new wood energy scheme is under planning in Grimsey island, which is now the only place in Iceland heated and powered by oil.  If you can establish viable wood energy chain in Iceland, you can do it anywhere.  Internal technology and know-how transfer must be done carefully and systems need to be adapted into the local operational environment.  Wood energy is not a total solution for energy production but it can be local solution for many more places, close or remote.

The second day of the mini-seminar was concentrating bioenergy policies.  Policies are tool to use the natural resources efficiently in a sustainable way.  Sweden will manage to reach their of 2020 target using a stick approach by having high taxation of fossil fuels, Finland have a lower taxation for fossil fuels but use a carrot approach for using renewables.   Finland has subsidies for renewable energy as well as a number of tax concessions available.  Both Finland and Sweden support multiple ways to use of renewable energy but Finland is still struggling to reach the 2020 target which is more than possible to achieve.  Norway is supporting both investment of new boilers and power plants (most of them are hydro plants) but are also giving support for biomass use.  The role of fossil fuels will still remain high in Norway as they have huge resources of oil comparing other NPP countries.  The situation in Ireland and UK is challenging.  It is looking that both countries are not able to reach all the targets of 2020.  There are several supporting policies available but the problem is that most of them are short term and changing annually which make policies hard to trust or to use.   These policies are sometimes too complex to understand.  The conclusion was that Ireland and UK need to react fast if they want to reach their target.  It might be that forestry is not anymore the primary option as it grows slowly but use of Energy crops could be still possible if investments are made.  Iceland has huge renewable resources which have help them a lot to be a country of success in use of renewables.  They have still one challenging step to take which is to increase the use of renewables in transportation.  It could be done using electric cars if the electricity price remains low.  All parts of Iceland can’t use geothermal or hydropower so support for use of biomass is still needed.

Mini-seminar participants visited also in geothermal plant in Egilsstadir and Elkem ferrosilicium plant close to Reykjavik.

Iceland5

BioPAD team in Egilsstadir geothermal plant. Photo taken by Karri Pasanen, Metla

Role of bioenergy in mitigating climate change

A new influential report has outlined the future importance of bioenergy in meeting energy needs, and in the mitigation, and even reduction of greenhouse gases. Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change compiles scientific knowledge concerning the limitation of greenhouse gas emissions which are fuelling climate change.

WGIII_AR5_Cover_web

In the report bioenergy is noted as having the potential to play a critical role in the mitigation of emissions, so long as care is taken to ensure that practices are performed sustainable and efficiently. In particular, crops such as Miscanththus, fast slow growing trees, and sustainably used biomass residues can reduce greenhouse gases in certain sites.

The report also poses the prospect of using of bioenergy in combination with carbon dioxide capture and storage (BECCS). It is said that this technology, if developmental challenges are overcome, may offer a solution to reduce emissions from the atmosphere on a large scale.

DSC_0172

In predicted future climate change scenarios, preventing atmospheric concentrations of CO2eq from exceeding 450ppm, and average temperature change below 2ºC, will require a three to four fold increase in the proportion of zero- and low-carbon energy supply by 2050.

The increased use and development of the bioenergy market may also have an impact on the economic ability to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Models were unable to restrain CO2eq levels to below 450ppm by 2100 if either additional mitigation measures are delayed considerably or if there is an inadequate availability of technologies including bioenergy, and BECCS.

The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the product of a collaboration of hundreds of scientists over four years, also tackles polices which aim to address emissions, and provide synopsis document Summary for Policymakers http://report.mitigation2014.org/spm/ipcc_wg3_ar5_summary-for-policymakers_approved.pdf

IT Sligo & Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies (CREST) Programme develop small scale willow harvester

Willow harvesting on larger plantations is generally carried out by cutting, chipping and collecting all on one operation.  This requires large and multiple plant and machinery, and is not practical on smaller sites with no other significant plan and machinery demands.  Whole stem harvesting is recognised as the preference in smaller plantation.  This leaves smaller plantations with the option of costly plan hire, or labour intensive and hazardous manual harvesting.

CREST have engaged a Mechanical Engineering Level 7 student group at IT Sligo to take up the challenge to design and fabricate a small scale harvester suitable for use in smaller plantations.  The design and fabrication is complete, and incorporates a U-frame to facilitate tying of the collected bundles for easier handling after unloading.  Research and trial carried out previously at the Agronomy Institute in Orkney, Scotland, and the Orkney engineering team provided advice on their experience with the technical elements of the design.   The whole stem harvester is ready for use in the next season.

Further information on this is available from Mel Gavin (CREST, IT Sligo) gavin.mel@itsligo.ie

Crest A5 flyer

Overview of CREST project

The Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies (CREST) Programme has been developed to provide industry in the region with research and development assistance for innovative renewable energy and sustainable technology projects.

CREST facilities and staff will be accessible to develop, demonstrate and test new technologies and show how these can be integrated practically and sensibly to achieve energy savings. Depending on the nature of the project, the CREST teams can provide approximately 1-2 weeks of time and resources, free of charge, to assist regional companies in developing a product or service in, or engaging with, the renewable energy or sustainable technologies sectors.

CREST has four main delivery partners: Institute of Technology Sligo is partnered with South West College (lead partner); Cavan Innovation and Technology Centre; Dumfries & Galloway College. The four CREST partners will work together to provide the broadest possible range of knowledge, expertise and facilities to assist businesses.   CREST staff and facilities are available to small businesses or entrepreneurs who have innovative ideas but who currently do not have the physical and/or technical capacity to research, develop or test their ideas.

Who is eligible for CREST assistance?

CREST assistance is available to SMEs (small to medium enterprises) operating in the region and can be provided to individual entrepreneurs or businesses with up to 250 employees. However, priority will be given to smaller businesses with 0-50 employees.  Businesses and entrepreneurs from any sector, not only those directly related to renewable energy, can be eligible for CREST assistance.  The businesses CREST is seeking to support may be:

  • Core business in renewable energy and sustainable technologies, or
  • Businesses seeking to introduce an innovation to their products or processes which includes a renewable energy or sustainable technology.

What do I do if I am interested in CREST assistance?

If you are interested in CREST assistance, or if you have an idea for a project that you would like to discuss, please contact either Mel or Leo using the contact details below.

Mel GavinCRESTInstitute of Technology, Sligo

Ext 5825

00353-71-9305825 (T)

00353-86-3099184 (M)

gavin.mel@itsligo.ie

 

Leo MurrayCRESTInstitute of Technology, Sligo

Ext 5825

00353-71-9305825 (T)

00353-87-7961781 (M)

murray.leo@itsligo.ie

 

 

Coillte Biomass Information and Demonstration Day

On Thursday 8th May, Irelands’ leading natural resources company, Coillte, held a Biomass Information and Demonstration day at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny.  The event was attended by members of the BioPAD team as well as over 70 business and industry executives from across the Northwest region who heard how;

Biomass boilers can reduce heating costs for businesses by up to 50%.

  • Combined Heat and Power technologies can generate electricity for industry.
  • Biomass industry stimulates Northwest job creation – Biomass fuel is sourced from private and Coillte owned forests in the Northwest, where it is then processed locally for supply to business in the North West region.
  • In 2013 Coillte established a large biomass supply depot at Drumkeen Quarry, near Letterkenny, to support a growing customer base in the North West.

Opening the event Michael Tunney, CEO at Donegal County Enterprise Board, welcomed the enormous potential of Biomass to stimulate employment in the Northwest.

This was followed by Steven Meyen, Teagasc Forestry Officer in Ballybofey, who spoke about the security of supply in the North West Region.

Also speaking at the event was Des O’Toole, Biomass Business Development Manager for Coillte. He explained that in today’s economic climate, Irish businesses cannot afford to ignore the high cost of energy. Biomass can offer substantial annual energy savings and provides a local economic stimulus through employment and the ancillary logistics services required.

Attendees at the event were also given a tour of the Radisson Blu hotel’s operational Biomass boiler. Paul Byrne, Director of the Radisson Blu hotel, said that the hotel’s energy costs had been dramatically reduced since they switched to biomass renewable energy, which is 50% cheaper than oil.

The Biomass information and demonstration day ended with a tour of Coillte’s nearby Biomass fuel supply depot in Drumkeen Quarry.

New investments in Forest sector boosting Finland’s use of wood and wood energy

In April 2014 Metsä Group presented on their plans to build a new bio-product mill in Äänekoski in Central Finland.  Fortum’s pyrolysis plant are already producing pyrolysis oil since November 2013, Stora Enso and UPM are also renewing their production units in Varkaus and Kymi and UPM’s, the world first bio refinery producing wood-based biodiesel construction are on-going and is estimated to be ready this summer. Metsä Group investment plans in Äänekoski are the biggest in history of Finland’s forest industry.

https://newsclient.omxgroup.com/cdsPublic/viewDisclosure.action?disclosureId=605401&lang=en

Some medium size and smaller projects are ongoing all over Finland. Many energy producers are considering replacing fossil fuels and peat by forest energy in their energy production.  These investments will effect to the use of wood energy and all are following Finland’s new bio-economy strategy.

Finland’s first national bio-economy strategy was unveiled at the beginning of May 2014. It is a step towards a more sustainable economy and the attainment of a low-carbon society. The forest industry has an important role in the bio-economy, as the industry’s entire operations are based on products manufactured from renewable and recyclable natural resources. At the moment, the forest industry already produces about two thirds of Finland’s renewable energy. More about the new strategy can be found from:

http://www.forestindustries.fi/newsroom/press-releases/Implementation-of-the-bioeconomy-requires-a-competitive-forest-industry–1899.html

These investments create new jobs for each step in the supply chain and support the local economy with the help of using renewable resources. Finland’s goal for 2020 is to use 13.5 Million solid cubic meter of forest energy and to increase the consumption of renewable energy to 38% by 2020. At the momentEU statistics show that 34.3% of Finnish energy currently comes from renewable sources. The situation in other NPP countries can be found from figure 1.

 

Metla blog image 14-05-2014

Figure 1. Use of Renewables in NPP countries.

* Including England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales,

** Situation 2011, renewable share of primary energy consumption,

*** Faroe Island production of electricity coming from renewable energy sources,

**** Information missing,

Data sources: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_PUBLIC/8-10032014-AP/EN/8-10032014-AP-EN.PDF, http://www.nea.is/the-national-energy-authority/energy-statistics/ and http://www.faroeislands.fo/Default.aspx?ID=13440

ROKWOOD Biomass Workshop 15th May – Reminder

The Irish ROKWOOD Cluster, comprising the Dublin Institute of Technology (Dublin Energy Lab), the Western Development Commission and Biotricity, is holding a biomass . SRC workshop on renewable heat next Thursday 15th May in the Sheraton Hotel, Athlone.  We would like to invite all stakeholders, agencies, organisations and persons active or interested in the development of Biomass and SRC in particular to attend and participate in a morning seminar and networking event examining issues and challenges of meeting our Renewable Heat targets in Ireland via Biomass heating with Short Rotation Coppice as a key potential resource in facilitating that demand.

The ROKWOOD project (FP7 Regions of Knowledge) will support cooperation between six European researchdriven clusters in order to improve research and technological development (RTD), market uptake and to increase investments in wooden biomass / SRC production and utilisation schemes at regional level.

Key speakers will include…

  • ‘Developing Supply Chains and Trading / Logistic Centres’: Roisin Grimes IrBEA
  • ‘Biomass Case Studies – Innovative Procurement and Contracts’: Paddy Phelan, Carlow Kilkenny Energy
  • ‘Post Harvest Management of Biomass for Bioenergy’ Barry Caslin TEAGASC
  • ‘Short Rotation Coppice in Ireland overview, challenges and issues’: John Keely Consultant
  • ‘Supporting the Biomass Sector and All Island Perspective’: Michael Doran Action Renewables
  • ‘Short Rotation Coppice in European Case Studies’: Patrick Daly DIT / ROKWOOD

An open Forum discussion will be facilitated on the morning and an information network on promotion of SRC is being established at the event.    The Seminar will be held at Sheraton Athlone Hotel, Gleeson Street, Athlone, Co. Westmeath (www.sheratonhotel.com) on the morning of Thursday 15th May 2014, with registration at 9.00 am and finishing at 2.00pm. Places are limited and Registration is required – to register contact Patrick Daly DIT at pd@patrickdaly.net or contact Pauline Leonard WDC at paulineleonard@wdc.ie

Further information on the ROKWOOD project is availble at www.rokwood.eu