Billy Costello B Agr Sc. – Managing Director – Green Generation Ltd.
Billy Costello is the Managing Director of Green Generation Limited which is an Irish company set up to develop a farm-based Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facility, Ireland’s first biomethane gas to grid plant in Kildare. It is located in a rural location in Nurney, County Kildare adjacent to a connected pig farm. The principals in Green Generation have vast experience in the operation of ADs as they currently successfully manage 2 efficient AD plants in Germany and the UK. The Nurney plant will be operational in March 2015. The plant will use as feedstock local pig manure in addition to food waste for which the company has contracts and has a Food Waste Collection Permit. The biogas produced in the Anaerobic Digestion process is used as fuel in a Combined Heat & Power (CHP) unit. The output of the CHP is green, renewable electricity which will be sold into the National Grid and heat which will be used in both the AD plant and the adjacent pig farm. The processed digestate which is the leftover from the AD process is used locally on farmland as a high quality eco fertiliser.
Brian Ó Gallachóir – Director – SFI MaREI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine
Prof. Ó Gallachóir is the Director of the SFI MaREI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine. He is also Professor of Energy Engineering in UCC, and as Director of the BE (Energy), ME (Energy) and MEngSc (Sustainable Energy). His research focuses on energy modelling to inform energy and climate change mitigation policy. Brian is elected Chair of the Executive Committee of IEA’s Technology Collaboration Programme on energy systems modelling (IEA-ETSAP). Brian’s research has been published extensively and has directly informed policy decisions. He is a member of the national Gas Innovation Group, has a B.Sc. from TCD and a PhD from UCC.
Donal Hayes – Tipperary Cheese
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Donna Gartland – CEO of the Irish District Energy Association & Senior Energy Planner at Codema
Donna Gartland is CEO of the Irish District Energy Association and Senior Energy Planner at Codema – Dublin’s Energy Agency, responsible for Energy Planning and Policy. She is technical, financial & policy lead on the Tallaght District Heating Scheme, working on behalf of South Dublin County Council and part of the Dublin Docklands District Heating project team working with Dublin City Council. Donna is also project managing the Dublin Region Energy Masterplan and Transition Roadmap, working with the 4 Dublin Local Authorities and other stakeholders across Dublin.
Donna is also a PhD researcher in UCC’s Energy Policy and Modelling Group.
Eugene Hendrick – Forest policy and analysis – WFQA
A graduate of UCD, Dr. Eugene Hendrick worked as a forester and as a researcher with the Forest Service and in marketing and other roles with Coillte before being appointed Director of COFORD in 1999.
Eugene is now a Senior Inspector with The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
James Cogan – Industry & Policy Analyst – Ethanol Europe
James is an industry and policy analyst with expertise in EU climate, innovation and economic development policy. He is currently working to support the introduction of climate friendly E10 in Ireland. He is a member of the Private Sector Mechanism of the UN Committee on Food Security.
He represented the world Climate Ethanol Alliance as partner to the UNFCCC at COP24 in Katowice in 2018. He has worked for the European Commission and its partners on innovation finance and innovation project development.
He advises Ethanol Europe on innovation, biofuels policy and the bioeconomy, and is engaged in the policy processes for implementing Europe’s new Renewable Energy Directive. Ethanol Europe is based in Dublin and is Europe’s most active bioeconomy investor. James has a degree in electronics engineering from UCD and an MBA from TCD.
Laura Burke – Director General – Environmental Protection Agency
Laura Burke is the Director General of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), appointed in 2011 and served as a Director within the EPA since 2004. Laura is the Chair of the European Environment Agency (EEA) Management. Prior to joining the EPA, she worked in the private sector. Laura is a graduate chemical engineer of University College Dublin (UCD), holds an MSc from Trinity College, Dublin, is a Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineering and is a Chartered Director. In 2016 Laura was awarded the UCD Engineering Graduates Association (EGA) Distinguished Graduate Award.
Nick Cotter – Co-Director – Cotter Bros Firewood
Nick Cotter set up Cotter Bros Firewood with his brother Jack in 2011. They achieved Wood Fuel Quality Assurance (WFQA) certification in 2013 which they have maintained every year since. Cotter Bros Firewood has achieved a number of firsts including the first to prove firewood could be air-dried to under 20% moisture content and then to produce this firewood on a commercial scale. The brothers invented the term Kiln Dried StandardTM Firewood to correctly describe this firewood that is air-dried to the same standard as kiln dried firewood.
Nick sits on the Oversight Committee of WFQA working to improve firewood quality nationally and to provide information to other producers on best practice in the industry. Nick received recognition for the Cotter Brother’s entrepreneurial successes from UCC, being awarded a Quercus Innovation/Entrepreneurship Scholarship in 2019.
Other entrepreneurial successes for Nick and his brother Jack include Cotter Organic Lamb which won an Irish Quality Food Award in 2019 and The Cotter Crate, which was named as one of seven agri-tech and food start-ups revolutionising the world of farming by Silicon Republic. They won ‘Best Agri-Engineering Start-up’ and ‘Best Overall Start-up’ at the 2019 Enterprise Ireland Innovation Awards and also won the Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of The Year Award in 2019.
Nick continues to expand Cotter Bros Firewood with his brother Jack and is helping develop policy to grow the firewood market nationally through Government regulation and support with ideas such as a domestic SSRH (d-SSRH). Nick continues to market and promote Cotter Organic Lamb and is working to launch ‘The Cotter Crate’ in 2020 along with meeting his own high standards in his studies at UCC.
Ray Langton – SSRH Program Manager – Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)
Ray had a long and successful career in industry initially in pharmaceuticals and later in brewing with Diageo Ireland.
In 2016 & 2017 he worked on the new Central Bank of Ireland headquarters and joined SEAI in 2017 to manage the development of the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat.
Thomas Duffy – President – Macra na Feirme
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