The Irish Bioenergy Sector

The task to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with EU commitments and the Paris Agreement is a challenging one, not only to 2020 targets, but post 2020 and towards 2050. While much progress has been made in developing an Irish energy policy in the form of the National Policy Position on Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (2014), the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act (2015) and of course the recent National Mitigation plan (2017), the pathway to achieve the level of decarboninsation required has the potential to make bioenergy the dominant source of new energy for our economy. Key to this will be to successfully set out a roadmap how Ireland will meet the 2050 energy transition objectives.

Bioenergy is the largest source of renewable energy today, providing heat and electricity, as well as transport fuels. The use of biomass power has continued to grow in recent years and can play a key role in decarbonising our economy. Biomass for heat has grown more slowly and with limited policy support but with the planned Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) launch this will start to change. The National Mitigation Plan suggests bioenergy will be the dominant energy source by 2050. However, policy uncertainties – mostly related to the debate on appropriate sustainability criteria under RED II – plus other structural challenges have the potential to constrain the expansion of bioenergy, not just in Ireland but at EU level also.

More needs to be done to bolster bioenergy, which has considerable potential to help drive the energy transition.

IrBEA IS LEADING THIS ENERGY TRANSITION THROUGH GOVERNMENT AND EUROPEAN COMMISSION LEVEL TO CONTRIBUTE TO POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND REGULATORY DETAILS TO DEVELOP SUSTAINABLE BIOENERGY MARKETS TOWARDS 2030.

Bioenergy Future Ireland will take place on the 21st of February 2018 in Croke Park, Dublin.