Irish Government foresees bioenergy future with new plan

9 Jul 2014

The Irish Government is looking to examine the potential of bioenergy as far forward as 2030 after Minister for Natural Resources Fergus O’Dowd confirmed the publication of a bioenergy plan.

Consisting of two sections, the first part of the plan will attempt to set out the broader context for the development of Ireland’s bioenergy sector, and the current state of play with regard to the range of policy areas that must be co-ordinated in order to create the conditions necessary to support the development of this particular green-energy sector.

One of the plan’s key outputs is the identification of ways to ensure the most efficient co-ordination of the various departments and State bodies related to bioenergy, including forestry, agriculture, waste, research funding and business development.

The second section of the plan goes on to identify the next steps that must be taken to support the sustainable realisation of the economic potential of Ireland’s bioenergy resources.

The plan is expected to be published later this month in draft form.

O’Dowd said a biomass joint venture between forestry company Coillte and environmentally responsible integrated utility service provider Bord na Móna is a significant development in fulfilling clean-energy demands of the future.

“The establishment of BioEnergy Ireland as a biomass joint venture between Bord na Móna and Coillte is a significant development in bringing forward the necessary supply of biomass to meet growing present and future demand,” O’Dowd said.

“BioEnergy Ireland will procure biomass at market rates from all sources, including Coillte Forest, private forests and elsewhere, and offer the product to the entire market, including Bord na Móna and Coillte subsidiaries, based on market pricing in a manner that optimises the supply chain.”

Biomass energy image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic