BioPAD goes to Donegal!

BioPAD (www.biopad.eu ) partners will be meeting in Donegal, Republic of Ireland, this week.  We have a busy schedule planned with the Western Development Commission (www.wdc.ie) , have been working to co-ordinate the programme to fit in as much as possible.

county_donegal-imageOn Tuesday we’ll be visiting two local BioPAD case studies.  The first case study is the Donegal Woodland Owners Society (www.donegalwoodlandowners.com).  We’ll be visiting one of their forests at Ballyshannon, and then going to their boiler installation at Laghy, Co. Donegal where the DWOS has been contracted to supply heat for a nursing home.  We hope to fit in a visit to their timber depot before heading across the border to one of the Northern Ireland case studies.  We’ll be visiting John Gilliland’s farm in L’ Derry, where his company Original Heating (www.originalheating.com) is located where we will learn about the wood fuel supply business in Northern Ireland and the boilers that Original Heating install.

We’ll be having project meetings on Wednesday in the Castlegrove House Hotel www.castlegrove.com , where we will also hold the pre launch dinner. The BioPAD partners (from Scotland, Finland and Northern Ireland) will be in attendance, as will speakers at the Bioenergy workshop (John Jackson, DWOS, Stephen Hynes, Irish BioEnergy Association (www.irbea.ie) and Merja Rautiainen,   Measurepolis, Finland (http://www.measurepolis.fi/ ) to be held the following day.   Mr Paddy McGuinness, Chairperson WDC, Mr Ray McGreal, CEO, WDC and Mr Ian Brannigan, Head of Regional Development, WDC, and Mr Seamus Neely, the Donegal County Manager will also be in attendance.

Thursday (10th October 2013) is a big day with the BioPAD bioenergy work shop) at the Mount Errigal Hotel in Letterkenny www.mounterrigal.com and the official launch of the BioPAD project by Joe McHugh, T.D. (member of the Irish Parliament).  Here’s the programme for the workshop and BioPAD launch:

Bioenergy Workshop

Chair: Dr. Helen McHenry – BioPAD Project Coordinator, Western Development Commission

9.30        The BioPAD project

9.30        Bioenergy Workshop Welcome and Introduction – Mr. Ian Brannigan, Head of Regional Development, Western Development Commission

9.40        Policy and Actions for Driving the Development of Bioenergy – Mr. Michael Doran, Director, Action Renewables

9.55        Understanding Bioenergy Supply Chains: A structured approach – Mr. Robert Prinz, Researcher, The Finnish Forest Institute, Metla

10.15     Associate Partner Experiences

  • Developing Bioenergy in Donegal: A local government approach – Mr. Micheál Ó hÉanaigh, Director of Services, Donegal County Council
  • Bioenergy and Measurement Technology Development in Kainuu Region – Ms. Merja Rautiainen, Technology Expert, Measurepolis
  • Bioenergy from Anaerobic Digestion: How can it be developed in Ireland? – Mr. Stephen Hynes, AD Officer, Irish Bioenergy Association

11.30     Case Studies

  • Supplying Heat from Local Wood: The cooperative model – Mr. John Jackson, Chairperson, Donegal Woodland Owners Society
  • ‘District Heating: Learning the hard way’ and ‘Anaerobic Digestion for Waste Management’ –two  bioenergy approaches – Dr. Neil James, Researcher, Environmental Research Institute, Scotland
  • Examples of Finland’s Successful Use of Wood Biomass – Mr. Mikko Nivala, Researcher, The Finnish Forest Institute, Metla

12.30     BioPAD – getting involved! – Dr. Kenneth Boyd, Senior Research Fellow, Environmental Research Institute, Scotland

12.40     Questions and Discussion

Launch of the BioPAD Northern Periphery Programme Project

13.00     Welcome by Mr. Paddy McGuinness, Chairperson, Western Development Commission

13.10     Official launch of BioPAD by Mr. Joe McHugh, T.D. Donegal North-East

13.20     Closing Comment by Lead Partner Western Development Commission

SECRE Interaction

Two members of the Biopad team, Robert Prinz from METLA and Michael Doran from Action Renewables were in Iceland from 2nd to the 5th of September, to attend a SECRE partners meeting. SECRE is another NPP project which seeks to develop the link between renewable energy production and social businesses.

SECRE’s ultimate goal is to develop a service, consisting of consultation, training and advice, for social enterprises in the renewable energy sector. The lead partner is the Karelia University of Applied Sciences, in Finland.

The meeting was held in Isafyordur, in the North West fyords of Iceland. On the third day, the participants drove down through Iceland, to Reykjavik, visiting several sites on the way. This included a visit to the hydro scheme operated by Orkustofnun, in Tungudalur and a plant in Reykholar, operated by Thorverk, which harvests and dries seaweed. The seaweed is then processed and shipped out of Iceland, for incorporation in a range of pharmaceutical and food supplement products.

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Members of the SECRE party at the Tungudalur hydro plant.

Iceland has an unusual renewable energy mix, consisting mainly of hydro electricity and electricity generated from turbines, driven by hot geothermal waters. As a result, their electricity costs are very low, typically 5 cents (€0.05) per kW.

Robert has already been involved in another forestry project in Iceland, which is now establishing about 1800 hectares of new forests each year. While the total area covered is still less than one a half per cent of the total land area, they plan to have up to 200 000 hectares planted by 2030.

Biopad hopes to be able to contribute towards this, by assisting with supply chain modelling, for the nascent Icelandic wood production industry.

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The beautiful scenery at Westfyords, near Isafyordur.

BioPAD to Launch!

The Northern Periphery Programme Project BioPAD is to be formally launched by Mr Jim Higgins, MEP in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, Ireland on Thursday 10th of October.

The Launch will be followed by a Bioenergy Workshop highlighting the work of BioPAD, the roles and experiences of the associate partners and the case studies which are integral to the project.

Full details are below along with details of how to register and how to find out more about BioPAD.

BioPAD International Project Launch & Bioenergy Workshop at the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, Thursday 10th October, 2013, 09.15 – 13.30

BioPAD Launch

09.15 Introduction to BioPAD by Lead Partner, Western Development Commission

09.30 Welcome by Mr. Paddy McGuinness, Chairperson, Western Development Commission

09.40 Launch of BioPAD by Mr. Jim Higgins, M.E.P.

Bioenergy Workshop

Chair: Dr. Helen McHenry – BioPAD Project Coordinator, Western Development Commission

10.00 Bioenergy Workshop Welcome and IntroductionMr. Ian Brannigan, Head of Regional Development, Western Development Commission

10.10 Policy and Actions for Driving the Development of BioenergyMr. Michael Doran, Director, Action Renewables

10.25 Understanding Bioenergy Supply Chains: A structured approachMr. Robert Prinz, Researcher, The Finnish Forestry Institute, Metla

10.45 Associate Partner Experiences

  • Bioenergy from Anaerobic Digestion: How can it be developed in Ireland?Mr. Padraic O’Neill, Chairperson of the Anaerobic Digestion Group, Irish Bioenergy Association
  • Bioenergy and Measurement Technology Development in Kainuu RegionMs. Merja Rautiainen, Technology Expert, Measurepolis
  • Developing Bioenergy in Donegal: A local government approachMr. Micheál Ó hÉanaigh, Director of Services, Donegal County Council

11.30 – 11.50 Tea / Coffee break

11.50 Case Studies

  • Supplying Heat from Local Wood: The cooperative modelMr. John Jackson, Chairperson, Donegal Woodland Owners Society
  • ‘District Heating: Learning the hard way’ and ‘Anaerobic Digestion for Waste Management’ –two bioenergy approachesDr. Neil James, Researcher, Environmental Research Institute, Scotland
  • Examples of Finland’s Successful Use of Wood BiomassMr. Mikko Nivala, Researcher, The Finnish Forestry Institute, Metla
  • [Additional case study to be confirmed]

13.00 BioPAD – getting involved!Dr. Kenneth Boyd, Senior Research Fellow, Environmental Research Institute, Scotland

13.05 Questions and Discussion

13.30 Lunch

Register your interest in attending via email to paulineleonard@wdc.ie or by phone to the WDC offices at +353 94 986 1881. Closing date for registration is Thursday 3rd October 2013. While this event is free of charge, numbers are limited so registration is required.

For additional information on the BioPAD Project visit www.biopad.eu

Highlands and Islands Bioenergy Alliance

A project supported by the Environmental Research Institute aims to develop the sustainable use of bioenergy within the region Highlands and Islands of Scotland, with the support of members within academia, business, and public sectors.

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The Highlands and Islands Bioenergy Alliance initiative was launched with the help of Scotland’s minister for energy, enterprise and tourism, Fergus Ewing MSP at Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre, which is heated via a biomass boiler fuelled with woodchips from the Scottish School of Forestry, Inverness College UHI. Mr Ewing stated “Sustainable bioenergy offers great potential for meeting the Scottish Government’s heat and transport targets, reducing fuel poverty and reducing energy costs for businesses. We are already seeing many sectors, including the whisky and tourism sectors, taking advantage of the benefits that bioenergy brings.”

Led by the University of the Highlands and Islands’ Energy Research Group, the project represents a co-ordinated effort to support the development of a bioenergy sector with partners including the ERI, Highland Council, Community Energy Scotland, HWEnergy, AVC Group and Highland Birchwoods. At the launch James Fraser, UHI principal and vice-chancellor said: “The University of the Highlands and Islands is proud to be involved in this exciting and ambitious project. We have strong research and teaching interests in bioenergy so it’s an opportunity to use that expertise to support communities and businesses to make best use of our local resources and help build a positive international reputation for the region in this sector.”

Bioenergy is a renewable source of energy derived from organic mass including wood and its waste products, and crops such as reed canary grass. The use of bioenergy is already widespread in some regions including Austria and across Scandinavia, and when managed correctly can represent a sustainable energy-source that benefits rural economies significantly by retaining revenue within the local area. Through the use of knowledge exchange with partners within the UK and Europe the new initiative will seek to place the Highlands and Islands region at the forefront of the bioenergy industry.

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Fergus Ewing MSP and James Fraser during the launch event for HIBA

The production of Forest Energy in Finland

Finland is known as a forest country in the world – 3/4 of its land area is covered by forest. Forests have also become the main source for renewable energy production in Finland.

The Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) is collecting data of forest energy use in heat and power plants in Finland. In 2012, the use of forest chips was around 7,682,000 m3 which corresponds to approximately 15.4 TWh (Ylitalo 2013). Recently the facilities using forest chips were geocoded in order to study the balance between demand and supply. There are more than 850 plants that currently use solid wood fuels – including more than 630 using wood chips directly from forests (logging residues and stumps from final fellings and small diameter trees from early thinnings) (Picture 1).

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Picture 1. Forest Energy users in Finland (Ylitalo, E. 2013)

There is still potential to increase the production of forest energy, the goal for 2020 is to increase use of forest chips to 13.5 million m3. Mapping the forest chips use and availability helps entrepreneurs, investors and policy makers to find new potential areas ensuring the sustainable use of forest energy resources. More about recent forest energy balance calculations in Finland can be found from the following link:

http://www.metla.fi/julkaisut/workingpapers/2013/mwp267.pdf (in Finnish)

Within the BioPAD project, Metla is analyzing and developing tools to help entrepreneurs and other stakeholders with the supply of biomass from the source to the end using facility by analyzing suitable and proven supply chains in the partner regions. Sharing the knowledge and best practices in Finland, especially in wood energy can help other Northern Periphery regions to reach their targets.

References: Ylitalo, E. 2013. Puun energiakäyttö 2012. Metsätilastotiedote 15/2013

For further information please contact:

Mikko Nivala
mikko.nivala@metla.fi

The New BioPAD logo has arrived!

BioPAD has a new Logo, created by JDK Design in Sligo www.jdkdesign.ie.

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The logo takes inspiration from the image of the previous NPP project RASLRES and the concept reflects the supply chain moving forward and gradually getting ‘hotter’ in colour as we get closer to the heat produced.

The concept of the logo has been further developed in the BioPAD website.

BioPAD went to Scotland!

BioPAD partners are all back home again and working hard to implement the decisions made on the Scottish Trip.

We had an excellent visit to Scotland.  We had met up in Inverness and were driven to Thurso to see the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) where our Scottish partners are based.  ERI is housed in a modern sustainable building designed to have as small an environmental foot print as possible while meeting the needs of an organisation involved in practical fieldwork as part of its high level research.

News-Item-3---Image-1We then visited a our first case study location a District Heating Plant in Wick, also in Caithness in the North of Scotland.  The plant uses wood chip combustion to supply steam to the local distillery (which makes Old Pulteney whisky) and heat to a network of houses in Wick.  The difficulties previously faced by the plant and the solutions that are now in place were discussed.  Plans are in place to expand this network further and increase use of heat from bioenergy.

News-Item-3---Image-2A long drive through the heart of Northern Scotland brought us to Ullapool where we caught the ferry to Lewis, the northern most of the Western Isles.  Our second case study was a large Anaerobic Digestion plant used to convert organic waste from households on the islands to biogas which is used in a CHP plant.  This visit in particular highlighted the difficulties of remote areas in relation to waste management and energy production where distance and transportation costs can be prohibitive.

news-scotland-3We managed to take in a cultural visit to the famous Callanish stones before returning to mainland Scotland and the continuation of the BioPAD partner meeting which had been taking place on the ferry to and from Lewis.  The meeting was held in Findhorn at the  spiritual community ecovillage.  At the meeting further decisions were made about the case studies, the dissemination strategy and the Bioenergy Supply Chain Tool.

It was a busy few days, with early starts and much travelling, but it was very interesting and productive for BioPAD.

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BioPAD learns from Austrian Bioenergy Experiences

BioPAD, an innovative bioenergy project led by the Western Development Commission, has completed a policy learning study tour to Austria with 16 partners, associates and policy makers.  The tour, organised by Action Renewables in Northern Ireland, took 2 days and included 8 visits in Eastern Austria, each examining a different aspect of bioenergy use.

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News-Item-2---Image-2The study tour included a visit to 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.

BioPAD (Bioenergy Proliferation and Deployment), led by Western Development Commission (Ireland), aims to develop new and effective bioenergy supply chains incorporating innovations in biomass fuels, supply chain logistics and conversion technologies.  BioPAD is funded under the ERDF  Interreg IVB  Northern Periphery Programme and has partners in Scotland (Environmental Research Institute, UHI), Northern Ireland (Action Renewables) and Finland (Finnish Forest Research Institute, Metla). They are developing products and services to stimulate the use of bioenergy in areas of northern Europe.

News-Item-2---Image-3The project aims to gain a better understanding of the current status of biomass supply chains for a range of biomass types including wood products, energy crops, and agricultural wastes. The participants visited a range of renewable energy sites, including biomass heating for a school, a farmer co-operative running a district heating system in Gneibing, and a local entrepreneur providing heat, both for his own horticultural glasshouses and also for local houses in the village of St Martin.

Over the last 30 years Austria has transformed itself from a country reliant on imported fossil fuels into one which now generates almost 60% of its energy requirement from indigenous sources.  The BioPAD group benefitted from the opportunity to learn from the experiences gained during this transformation.

BioPAD – Bioenergy Proliferation and Deployment – An NPP Project

Developing a local bioenergy market can provide significant opportunities for rural and remote areas, by improving security of energy supply, contributing to a reduction in CO2 emissions and stimulating the local economy by creating jobs and keeping payments for energy within the local community.

A new project, BioPAD (Bioenergy Proliferation and Deployment), which targets the Northern Periphery of Europe, aims to ensure that bioenergy becomes more widely used and that awareness of the opportunities it provides are increased.  The project will help the development of bioenergy and improve our understanding of the links between supply and demand by looking at supply chains for a variety of bioenergy fuels and different ways of converting these fuels into sustainable energy.  Understanding the supply chains and the ways bioenergy moves from fuel source to energy provision will help the establishment of robust and efficient supply services which can match local demand.

PAD is led by the Western Development Commission www.wdc.ie (Ireland) and is funded under the ERDF  Interreg IVB  Northern Periphery Programme (NPP)http://www.northernperiphery.eu.  It has partners in Scotland (Environmental Research Institute, UHI http://www.eri.ac.uk/ http://www.actionrenewables.org/ ), Northern Ireland (Action Renewables) and Finland (Finnish Forest Research Institute, Metla) http://www.metla.fi/ .

While some areas of northern Europe have well-developed biomass supply chains, others face significant challenges in developing cost-effective and sustainable supply chains to better exploit their biomass resources. The project aims to gain a better understanding of the current status of regional biomass supply chains for a range of biomass types including wood products, energy crops, marine macroalgae and agricultural wastes.

The analysis of regional supply chains will help develop tools which enable users to source and use locally available biomass, across a range of appropriate technologies (anaerobic digestion, combustion, or micro combined heat and power (CHP)). In addition, supply chain mapping work, undertaken as part of the project, will inform policy frameworks and interventions to support renewable energy deployment in the NPP.

A bioenergy tool, which highlights key steps along the supply chain for each fuel type or conversion method, will be made available in a variety of formats (e.g. web, mobile and app).  The promotion of this information system and tool is an important element of the project and there will be a focus on making it accessible throughout the project region.

This development of local renewable bioenergy supply chains will provide sustainable enterprise opportunities for individuals, communities and municipalities in northern Europe.  Along with the four partners, the €0.7 million two year project includes 11 associate partners, with experience throughout the supply chain, representing five northern European countries.