Written answers

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

Alternative Energy Projects

12:00 pm

Photo of Willie PenroseWillie Penrose (Longford-Westmeath, Labour)
Link to this: Individually | In context

Question 312: To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the position regarding the co-firing targets including the three peat burning stations in the Midlands and the likelihood of reaching the 30% target set out by him by 2015; if he will give assurance that homes material, such as woodchip, would be sourced for these stations indigenously rather than being imported; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44447/09]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin South, Green Party)
Link to this: Individually | In context

As the Deputy has suggested, the 2007 Bioenergy Action Plan for Ireland recommended that the REFIT tariff support scheme be expanded to facilitate delivery of co-firing in peat stations of 30% by 2015. Since that time, both ESB and Bord na Móna have been conducting a programme of research and development, including large scale co-firing trials with a variety of materials. Bord na Móna, for example, expects to burn between 70,000 and 75,000 tonnes of biomass this year at its Edenderry plant. These trials have shown that, while co-firing is possible in some instances, there remain significant technical problems with particular types of biomass.

Bord na Móna and ESB have recently conducted a series of laboratory scale tests to ascertain the precise chemical and physical nature of these problems, and to determine what measures can be taken in order to redress these. The final report of these tests is expected to be available in early January. My Department is in close contact with both companies on this issue with regard to progressive delivery of the target. However any decision on such a tariff would be premature until the final results are available. Furthermore, this decision will be taken in the context of the policy discussion around the larger bioenergy sector which is currently ongoing through the Bioenergy Working Group, which is chaired by my Department.

Clearly, our objective would be to utilise domestically produced biomass as much as possible, and my Department and I are in close contact with the Department of Agriculture to ensure that support schemes for energy crops and forestry and coherent with demand.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.