Irish Bioenergy Association pushes for government support to boost sector

The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) has in recent weeks circulated its bioenergy proposals to representatives across the political spectrum. The organisation is lobbying for Ireland’s Programme for Government to incorporate bioenergy measures and support to assist economic recovery, emissions reduction targets and climate action.

Ireland has a “considerable natural advantage” when it comes to growing fuel crops such as wood fuel, biomass energy crops and feedstock for anaerobic digestion, according to IrBEA. Ireland is second-last of EU Member States in terms of its use of renewable heat. IrBEA says Ireland has had “the best part of the last decade” to meet renewable energy targets and has failed.

“We are calling on all political parties and independent groupings to embrace renewable energy as a robust means to rebuild the Irish economy after COVID-19,” said Seán Finan, CEO of IrBEA. “Our detailed document reflects the views of the association’s members across the island of Ireland. It lays out the opportunities through bioenergy for job creation, addressing the climate emergency, enhancing Ireland’s trade balance and encouraging rural economic activity while at the same time, delivering cost savings for many energy users.”

Noel Gavigan, technical executive of IrBEA, commented: “The new government must now focus on the serious task of meeting 2030 emissions targets and must place this at the centre of its policy agenda moving forward.

“Ireland currently delivers 4% of its energy from bioenergy. This needs to rise by 15% by 2030 with further deployment beyond to meet Paris Agreement targets. The potential for economic recovery, reducing emissions and addressing climate change through quadrupling our bioenergy industry is a remarkable opportunity. All sectors of bioenergy including biomass, biogas, biofuels, energy crops and wood fuels offer significant potential for growth through policy incentives and measures.”

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