Mobilising Bioenergy With Policy & Action

8.50am - Sean Finan - CEO - IrBEA
9.00am Opening Address - Hildegarde Naughton, T.D. Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communication, Climate Action and the Environment
Session One: SSRH & Irish Policy Perspective 
9:20am -Support Scheme for Renewable Heat
- Ray Langton - SSRH Program Manager - Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)
9:35am- Mobilising Biomass:
- Des O'Toole - (IrBEA & Coillte) & Maurice Ryan (Greenbelt)
9.50am - Meeting the Climate Change Challenge in Agriclture:
Edwina Love- Head of Climate Change & Bioenergy Policy Division - Dept. Agriculture, Food & Marine
10:05am - Impact of SSRH for Heat Sector
- Tom Sheehy - Sales & Operations Manager - Clearpower
10.20am - Refreshments and Q&A Session                                               Sponsor




Session Two : Industry in Action
11:00am - Torrified Fuels:
- Jason Sutton - Chief Financial Officer - CPL Industries
11:15am - Forestry Perspective:
- Geraldine O'Sullivan - Farm Forestry Executive - IFA
11.30am - Development of Anaerobic Digestion Plants                     - James Russell - Technical Director - BIOCORE
11.45am - Biofuels & Transport Energy
- James Cogan - Industry & Policy Analyst - Ethanol Europe
12:00pm - Pharmaceutical Bioenergy Potential:
- Peter Moran - Energy Manager - AbbVie

Panel Discussion 12:15pm



Session Three: Innovation & Product Opportunities
2:00pm -Project Initiation:
- Chris Wheeler (DWF) & John Palmer (DWF)
2.15pm -Biogas Opportunities from a Research Perspective
- Professor Jerry Murphy -Director - SFI MaREI Centre 
2:30pm -Funding Opportunities:
- Seamus McCabe - Vice President - Green Investment Group
2:45pm -Bioenergy - Europe's Largest Renewable Energy Source
Nathalie Hemeleers - Policy Director - Bioenergy Europe
3.00pm -Sustainability Criteria in SSRH
Denis Neary - Executive Engineer - SEAI
Panel Discussion 3:15pm:

3.45pm - Closing Comments - Des O'Toole - President - IrBEA

Register at:

  • 8:00am Breakfast & Networking

    Enjoy a lite breakfast before the conference begins and take advantage to have a chat with solution suppliers who are here to answer any technical questions generated from the stage & audience.

  • 8:50am Opening Chair

    Conor Molloy - AEMS - Event Chairman

    Conor Molloy is an independent energy advisor, accepted as a member of the Association of Energy Engineers, CILT, FTAI, IMCA and EVO

    With an MSc in Energy Management and Renewable energy from University of Ulster, he is a Certified Energy Manager (CEM), Measurement & Verification professional (CMVP) and trainer for ISO50001. 

    In recent times, he has trained ESOS Lead Assessors in Transport Energy Auditing at the request of the UK Government’s Environment Agency, led the publication of EN 16247-4 Europe’s transport energy audit standard and contributed to ISO50004.

    Since 2005, Conor’s day job has been helping business’ save fuel and manage their energy usage for profit and reduced emissions.

  • 9:00am Keynote speaker

    Seán Finan  - CEO - IrBEA

    Seán Finan is the Chief Executive Officer with IrBEA, he is a Chartered Engineer and holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Hons) Degree from National University of Ireland, Galway. Prior to joining IrBEA, he has over 12 years engineering and management experience with John Sisk & Son (Holding) Ltd and took a two-year secondment from Sisk (2015 – 2017) to complete the full-time elected role as 35th National President of Macra na Feirme – the young farmers’ representative organisation. Currently a Vice-President of the European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA) he also farms part-time. Over the years he has held various positions within many community, voluntary, representative and statutory organisations at a local, national and European level. Seán is looking forward to leading IrBEA and its members for a sustainable future in bioenergy and to strategically position bioenergy to play a key role in Ireland’s Sustainability Renewable Energy Roadmap into the future.


Session One: SSRH & Irish Policy Perspective

  • 9:20am Support Scheme for Renewable Heat

    Ray Langton - SSRH Program Manager - Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)

    Ray Langton is the SSRH Program Manager at the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). Before joining the SEAI Ray had many years of experience in Brewing and Pharmaceutical operations including senior roles in Governance, Sustainability and major projects.

  • 9:35am Mobilising Biomass (Duet)

    Des O'Toole (President - IrBEA)

    Des O’Toole is a renewable energy expert and Coillte’s senior market development manager.
    As President of IrBEA, Des has a passion for bioenergyand is considered a “thought leader” in the sector.

    Having worked for over 25 years in the construction, engineering and renewable energy sectors, Des has a proven B2B track record and clear commercial focus in a variety of roles ranging from technical and business development to operational and sales & marketing roles.

    Des also manages the commercial operations and logistics activities of Coillte’s biomass supply hubs.

    Maurice Ryan - Green Belt Ltd

    Maurice Ryan is investment manager for Green Belt ltd., Ireland’s largest private forestry management company. Green Belt is proactive in the mobilisation of the private forestry estate and adding value to timber harvested.

  • 9:50am Meeting the Climate Change Challenge in Agriculture

    Edwina Love - Head of Climate Change and Bioenergy Policy Division - Dept. Agriculture, Food & Marine

    Edwina is Head of Climate Change and Bioenergy Policy Division within the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. She has worked in a number of civil service organisations over the course of her career to date including the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

    Her work has been primarily focused on policy and strategy development in a variety of subject areas from the macroeconomic to the citizen level.


  • 10:05am Impact of SSRH for Heat Sector

    Tom Sheehy - Sales & Operations Manager - Clearpower

    Tom Sheehy is Sales and Operations Manager with Clearpower Ltd.; one of Ireland’s leading commercial biomass technology, fuel and service providers.  With a background in waste, water and energy across operations and consultancy, Tom has been central to Clearpower’s journey since joining the business in 2011.

    Tom has significant experience managing fuel and heat contracts, overseeing a network of processing and distribution depots servicing over 100 commercial and industrial customers across Ireland and UK.

Refreshment and Q&A Session

Session Two: Industry in Action

  • 11:00am Torrified Fuels

    Jason Sutton – Chief Financial Officer – CPL Industries


  • 11:15am Forestry Perspective

    Geraldine O'Sullivan - Farm Forestry Executive - IFA

    Geraldine O’Sullivan MScAgr (Forestry) is a professional forester with twenty years’ experience in the forest sector with a focus on supporting farmers and forest owners to maximise the economic return from their investment in forestry, by optimising harvesting and logistics, increasing transparency in the supply chain and adding value by identify new local markets for timber products, particularly in the bioenergy sector.  

    Geraldine is with the IFA Farm Forestry section since 2008 where she has represented the interests of the 20,000 farmers that have planted and works to ensure that they are supported to manage and mobilise the timber resource to improve and diversity farm incomes.

    The IFA is Ireland’s largest farming representative organisation, that campaigns to protect and defend the interests of farmers and the family farm model of farming.  

  • 11:30am Development of Anaerobic Digestion Plants

    James Russell - Technical Director - BioCore Environmental

    James Russell MSc BEng is Technical Director of BioCore Environmental Ltd. He has over 15 years’ experience in the construction and renewable energy sectors and is responsible for engineering, construction & compliance activities across BioCore’s key business areas including renewable energy project development, waste management, sludge and biosolids management, and R&D.

    Since 2010, BioCore have developed and operated two key Anaerobic Digestion plants (biomethane & electricity generation) in the UK and Ireland with a combined output of 9MW electrical equivalent. Additionally, BioCore provide key sludge and biosolids services and currently manage over 100,000 tonnes annually for public and private clients.

    BioCore are focussed on developing a network of biomethane Anaerobic Digestion plants throughout Ireland over the coming years, providing a valuable and consistent source of renewable indigenous gas.

  • 11:45am Biofuels & Transport Energy

    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.

  • 12:00pm Pharmaceutical Bioenergy Potential

    Peter Moran - Energy Manager - AbbVie

    “I am a results-oriented engineering management and energy management professional with extensive experience in the toughest industry sectors. Best described as proactive, talented and committed, and with a proven track record of achievement, I aspire to use my leadership, management and engineering skills to the maximum effect.”

    Specialties: Energy Management, Business Excellence, Principal Engineer, Project Management, Engineering Management, Technical Management, New Product Introduction & Development, Lean Six Sigma, Asset Management, Innovation & Technology Transfer, EHS Compliance, Air/Water Emissions Abatement Technologies, Process & Product Validation.

Panel Debate 12:15pm:

Tim Minett

CPL Fuels

Peter Moran

Energy Manager AbbVie

Geraldine O'Sullivan

Executive Secretary - IFA

James Russell

Technical Director - BIOCORE

Refreshment and Q&A Session

Session Three: Innovation & Product Opportunities







    2:00pm Project Initiation

    Chris Wheeler - Partner in Construction and Energy - DWF 

    Chris Wheeler is a Partner at DWF (Dublin), leading the growth of DWF’s construction and energy offering in Ireland since July 2018. Currently providing mid-project completion advice on a bio-energy plant transaction in the UK.

    Chris'  expertise within the energy sector spans the full life cycle of projects from procurement to contract negotiation; risk analysis to mid-project advice; post-project disputes and transactions.

    Chris has spent the last six years, prior to joining DWF, as Senior Legal Counsel at a global engineering firm acquiring extensive experience across many sectors, including Energy, Water, Rail, Multi-use Development, PPP infrastructure, Renewables,  Airports, Technology Hubs, and Environmental.  During which time Chris also oversaw renewable energy litigation across Ireland, Scotland and England.

    Chris brings his broad in-house exposure to projects in some 40 countries, M & A transactions, Irish leases, Waste to Energy projects,  Employment law, Data Privacy and Corporate governance into wide-ranging client projects and opportunities.

    John Palmer - Energy Partner - DWF

    John is a Partner and heads up the Energy Team in Northern Ireland. He has been involved in the Irish Energy sector since 2008 and advises on a range of renewable technologies including onshore wind, solar, hydro and bioenergy projects.

    John has a particular specialism in Anaerobic Digestion and has been involved in a large number of the AD Plants constructed in Northern Ireland: advising on site assembly, Fuel Supply and Digestate Agreements, Environmental Licensing, O&M Agreements, Grid Connection issues and PPAs.

    John’s clients include a number of international developers together with equity and debt funders. His recent work includes:

    – Acting for a fund n the development and construction of 12 AD Projects in Northern Ireland and GB;

    – Acting for a consortium in the development and construction of a 3MW AD Plant with funding of £27m;

    – Advising a developer in negotiations with NI Environment Agency in respect of remedial work bonds and compliance with environmental planning conditions on a large scale Bioenergy project. 

    – Advising a renewable energy developer in the development and construction of a portfolio of on shore wind farms (80MW). 

    John was also retained by an Irish Bank to provide in-house training on taking security over energy projects and to draft a precedent bespoke security suite in respect of bioenergy projects. John is qualified to practice in both Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.

  • 2:15pm Biogas Opportunities from a Research Perspective

    Professor Jerry Murphy - Director SFI MaREI Centre

    Professor Murphy is the SFI-funded MaREI Centre Director, leading a centre of 200 researchers in the Marine and Renewable Energy space. MaREI has 6 academic partners, 50 industry partners and has secured €55M in funding since 2013. Prof Murphy has supervised 16 PhD and 7 Masters students to graduation and currently has a team of 12 bioenergy researchers. He has written 130 peer review journal papers and is ranked amongst the most cited researchers worldwide in Civil Engineering. He was awarded the Engineers Ireland Excellence Award in 2015 for best paper/presentation.

    Professor Murphy is Ireland’s IEA Bioenergy representative (2007- ). He was elected by his international peers as Task Leader of Energy from Biogas, a significant honour for Ireland. This task has 16 member countries. He has authored/edited 11 IEA Bioenergy reports and was commissioned to edit the IEA Biogas Handbook. Locally, Professor Murphy, is Chair of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering in University College Cork. 

  • 2.30pm Funding Opportunities

    Seamus McCabe - Vice President - Green Investment Group

    Séamus joined Macquarie Capital in 2016 and is responsible for leading on the commercial and technical aspects of the Green Investment Groups (GIG) equity and advisory transactions.

    Séamus has over 15 years’ experience on numerous onshore and offshore construction projects in both the Renewables and Oil&Gas industries. Prior to joining the GIG Séamus spent an 8 Year period with the utility SSE on a number of their offshore wind projects.

    He is currently the GIG investment manager for the world’s largest dedicated biomass power station (MGT Teesside) that will enter commercial operation in early 2020

  • 2:45pm Bioenergy - Europe's Largest Renewable Energy Source

    Nathalie Hemeleers - Policy DirectorBioenergy Europe

    Nathalie Hemeleers has been working for almost 5 years at Bioenergy Europe on policy issues and has coordinated and participated in many European projects. Nathalie is responsible for managing the policy department, and oversees all Heating and Cooling related dossiers. Before joining Bioenergy Europe, she worked at the European Commission DG Energy on international energy issues and several years in China in business development for European companies. Nathalie Hemeleers studied International Business and European Studies.

  • 3:00pm Sustainability Criteria in SSRH

     Denis Neary - Executive Engineer- SEAI

    As an Executive Engineer I provide technical support and engineering assesments of applications for funding. My current focus is the SSRH programme. My back ground is in biomass combined heat and power generation specialising in Turboden power plants and offshore work as a Turbine Specialist. I am a qualified renewable energy engineer with over ten years of experience. I have project management experience in medium and large scale construction projects. I have operated as senior project manager with responsibility for all logistics, construction, purchasing, human resource management, project scheduling and health and safety.

    In 2012 I returned to education to up-skill with a Business based Masters Degree.
    My objective is to have a long career in the renewable energy industry sector.

Panel Discussion 3:15pm

3:45pm - Event Close and Chairman Statements