Courtesy: David Wright (Flickr)
Courtesy: David Wright (Flickr)

Farmers, Technology Centre for Biorefining and Bioenergy (TCBB), Teagasc, Department of Agriculture, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), SEAI

Bioenergy is renewable energy made available from many different materials derived from biological sources such as wood, grass, straw, sugar beet, food waste and manure (cattle, pigs, poultry). Both biogas from anaerobic digestion of food and agri-wastes, as well as biomass energy crops, are expected to take a major role in a low carbon energy future in Ireland. Biomass wood crops with carbon capture and storage can provide net negative emissions in generating electricity and district heat through combined heat and power systems. Biogas can also provide renewable heating fuel, natural gas vehicle transport fuel, as well as electricity storage from the Sabatier process, which converts electrical power to gas. See ‘Anerobic Digestion’ solution for more information.

Historically, biofuels competed with food growing and some caused severe land use change. Newer biofuels focus on using waste and have stricter guidelines to ensure environmental sustainability. Land is a resource and should be used for the public benefit. Bioenergy has great potential for employment, especially in rural areas. Sustainable reforestation of marginal land in Galway can provide biomass energy as well as carbon sinks (trees absorb and store carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere).

Kerry Ingredients (Anaerobic Digestion & CHP Plant), Listowel, Co. Kerry
Carbery Creamery Biogas CHP
Technology Centre for Biorefining and Bioenergy (TCBB)
Granville Ecopark (Anaerobic Digestion & CHP Plant), Dungannon, Co.Tyrone, Northern Ireland
Irish BioEnergy Association (IrBEA), Enterprise House, O’Brien Road, Carlow
German Biogas Association
University College Cork (UCC) Bioenergy Research Group