Increasing energy from renewable energy resources and in particular bioenergy is national policy; the Government's 2007 White Paper "Delivering a Sustainable Energy Future for Ireland" sets out a roadmap that will steer Ireland to a new and sustainable energy future. The White Paper includes ambitious and challenging bioenergy targets to 2020, setting a clear path for meeting the Government's goals of ensuring safe, secure, affordable energy.
The 2020 targets include:
- 33% electricity consumption from Renewables (since revised to 40%)
- 12% renewable heat including 10% from bioenergy
- 10% biofuels penetration in transport
- 800 MW from Combined Heat and Power (CHP) with an emphasis on Biomass-CHP
- 30% co-firing with biomass at the three State owned peat power generation stations to be achieved progressively by 2015 beginning with immediate development by Bord na Móna of its pilot project at Edenderry Power Station.
The White Paper noted that delivery of these targets would require a systematic "whole of government" approach to energy policy. To drive bioenergy targets and address issues, the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources established the Bioenergy Working Group (BWG) in 2008.
In June 2009 the European Commission published EU Directive (2009/28/EC) on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources. Ireland's overall target is 16% of gross final energy consumption to come from renewable sources by 2020 (3.1% in 2005).
This 16% target will be made up of contributions from renewable energy in electricity (RES-E), renewable energy in transport (RES-T) and renewable energy for heat and cooling (RES-H).
In 2010 the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) was published. It sets out the Government's strategic approach and concrete measures to deliver on Ireland's 16% target under Directive 2009/28/EC. In the NREAP submitted to the European Commission bioenergy is estimated to contribute approximately
- 7% to the renewable electricity goal,
- 82% to the renewable heat goal, and
- More than 90% to the renewable transport goal.
This indicates that Bioenergy will play a significant role in the Irish future energy market.
Also in 2010 a Bioenergy Roadmap for Ireland was developed and published to outline the growth potential of bioenergy in Ireland to 2050 such as:
- Annual abatement of over 11Mt of CO2
- Bioenergy is highly suitable for inclusion in a national distributed energy network
- Over 3,500Ktoe of indigenous resources are available for the bioenergy supply chain by 2050
To view all these points and more download the Bioenergy Roadmap.pdf (size 786.8 KB)