Bioenergy in Ireland

Bioenergy in Ireland
DCMNR_BEI_2_6mm
06/04/2006
19:56
Page 1
Department of Communications,
Marine and Natural Resources
Roinn Cumarsaids, Mara agus Acmhainni Nadura
Bioenergy in Ireland
Sustainable Energy Ireland
Department of Communications,
Glasnevin
Marine and Natural Resources,
Dublin 9
29-31 Adelaide Road,
Ireland
Dublin 2, Ireland
t +353 1 836 9080
t +353 1 678 2000
f +353 1 837 2848
f +353 1 678 2449
e [email protected]
w www.dcmnr.gov.ie
Sustainable Energy Ireland is funded by the
Irish Government under the National
Development Plan 2000-2006 with programmes
part financed by the European Union
This publication is printed on environmentally friendly paper
WWW.BENNISDESIGN.IE
w www.sei.ie
Bioenergy in Ireland
December 2004
A Strategic Report of the Bioenergy Strategy Group for the Department of
Communications, Marine and Natural Resources
Preface
A strength of this report is the make up of the Group responsible for its preparation. Members comprised
officials with energy, environment and agriculture responsibilities, SEI, bioenergy users and experts. I
would like to thank all members for their contributions, commitment and the consensus achieved.
I would especially mention Pearse Buckley for his work on the resource data, its presentation and
interpretation and Brian Motherway for authoring our report so effectively.
It has been a pleasure and a privilege to act as Chair of the Bioenergy Strategy Group.
Dr Kevin Brown
Executive Summary
Background and policy issues
The Bioenergy Strategy Group was established by DCMNR in December 2003 to consider the policy
options and support mechanisms available to Government to stimulate increased use of biomass for
energy conversion, and to make specific recommendations for action to increase the penetration of
bioenergy in Ireland. This report presents the findings of the Group setting out options for action
recommended to DCMNR.
Bioenergy is the general term used to describe renewable energy derived from biomass, which covers
the biodegradable fraction of products and residues from agriculture, forestry and related industries, as
well as the biodegradable fraction of industrial and municipal waste. It also includes crops specifically
grown for energy use.
More than any other area of renewable energy, bioenergy is an inter-departmental issue, touching on
many policy areas. Thus, while led by renewable energy goals, the task of promoting bioenergy both
merits and requires an inter-departmental response.
Bioenergy supports a wide range of national policy goals:
•
•
•
•
Key energy goals including security and diversity of supply and the development of indigenous
renewable energy sources
Key environmental goals such as greenhouse gas emissions reduction and waste management
Key agricultural goals offering new opportunities for farmers in the context of CAP reform
Key social goals such as employment generation in rural areas and enhancement of local economies
Internationally, bioenergy is now the major focus of renewable energy policies and strategies and a
future in which biomass is a key energy resource is envisaged. Most EU states have strong targets for
bioenergy deployment over the coming ten to thirty years, supported by strong programmes of
Government action. Bioenergy is seen by the EU as central to meeting EU-wide renewable energy
targets. Ireland’s exploitation of bioenergy is among the lowest in the EU, despite the considerable
indigenous bioenergy resources available. DCMNR has convened a Renewable Energy Development
Group that is currently working to examine how best to support renewable energy development, with a
focus on 2010 targets.
III
Bioenergy Pathways and Resources
There are many potential bioenergy fuel sources, and several conversion alternatives. The following
diagram summarises the main bioenergy pathways of relevance in Ireland:
All dry resources can be combusted to produce heat, electricity or both (through CHP), and could also be
co-fired in existing solid fuel fired systems. Dry resources include wood and wood residues (forest
residues or sawmill residues) and dry agricultural residues such as straw. Energy crops, principally short
rotation coppice, can also produce dry fuels for combustion. Wet resources can be processed through
anaerobic digestion, producing a methane-rich gas for combustion. Such resources include agricultural
slurries, sewage sludge, food and catering wastes and the biodegradable fraction of municipal solid
waste. An additional particular bioenergy resource is landfill gas, which can be collected at landfill sites
and then combusted to extract its energy value.
Estimates of the likely practical bioenergy resource in Ireland (above that already utilised) are as follows:
PJ/year
40
35
30
Energy Crops
MSW Organic Fraction
25
Landfill Gas
20
Wet Organic residues
Dry Agricultural residues
15
Wood residues
10
5
0
2001
2010
2020
IV
This degree of bioenergy uptake would represent contributions to total primary energy requirement of
3.4% and 4.8% in 2010 and 2020 respectively. This is a mid-range projection that assumes improved
relative prices between bioenergy and conventional fuels and corresponding change in policy and
market conditions. Major improvements in these conditions could overcome many practical barriers and
bring considerably more resources to the market.
Barriers to Bioenergy Growth
There is currently very little deployment of bioenergy in Ireland. The only areas where bioenergy has
penetrated to any extent are in traditional wood fuel use in homes and in the use of wood residues at
sawmills and board plants, mostly for generating heat for use on site. There is also some exploitation of
landfill gas for energy and several anaerobic digestion plants at industrial sites, sewage treatment plants
and farms.
Some of the characteristics of the sector include the range of actors involved in a typical pathway from
fuel supply, through conversion to energy consumption. On the supply side, fuel resources of sufficient
quality and quantity need to be collected, transported and stored, all at low cost. Thus geographical
factors can be important, and a well-established market of growers, brokers, intermediaries and technical
experts is required. On the energy demand side, selling electricity in the new market raises access and
pricing issues, and selling heat depends on local demand of sufficient size and dependability. Some of
these issues are common to all renewable energy sources, but many have features unique to bioenergy,
and require scale and experience, and some specific interventions, to overcome them.
Prospective developers of bioenergy projects face many barriers, some of which could be relatively easily
lowered by appropriate policy and support interventions. The most notable barrier is the absence of a
clear and visible Government policy and lead on bioenergy, which exacerbates problems in relation to
awareness, confidence, administrative complexity, costs and access to finance. Government has already
started to act on these needs, including through the establishment of this Group.
The other main barrier to greater penetration by bioenergy is economic. At current relative prices
between biomass fuels and conventional fossil fuels, most bioenergy pathways and technologies are not
competitive. However, many are close to being so. If what is now a nascent market could build critical
mass, it would allow experience and confidence to grow and reliable supply and demand chains to
become established. It would also bring benefits from economies of scale. Thus supports are required to
kick-start the bioenergy market and allow this environmentally and strategically important sector to
develop to its full potential.
Other barriers faced by bioenergy project developers include the range of permissions and licences
required and the difficulty in obtaining consistent and transparent treatment. Bioenergy projects need
to fulfil all legal requirements and meet all required standards, but many developers report difficulties in
understanding how decisions are made, what information is required, and the likelihood of projects
successfully meeting all regulatory requirements. This could be addressed through concerted State
action to create consistent and transparent procedures. As with many other barriers, the lack of an
articulated policy is the core problem. The important first step is the development of a national
bioenergy policy, within an overarching renewable energy policy, with strong targets underpinned by a
strategy of supports and accompanying measures to lower barriers and address market failure.
V
Recommendations
Bioenergy could contribute significantly to Irish renewable energy targets, including the 2010 RES-E
Directive target for renewable electricity, and should be seen as an important component of the leastcost path to improved sustainability of the Irish energy economy. However, a proactive policy and
support structure is required to allow this to happen. A visible bioenergy policy needs to be put in place.
This policy should be backed by an implementation strategy with strong but realisable targets. The aims
of such a strategy should be to ensure consistency across all policy areas and all public bodies, to focus
on lowering of key barriers and to improve the economics of bioenergy through valuing its full benefits
and costs.
The new bioenergy policy and implementation strategy should be delivered through a new crossdepartmental bioenergy committee, chaired by DCMNR and supported by SEI. One of the priority tasks
of such a committee should be to seek consistent treatment of bioenergy across all policy areas and in all
public bodies dealing with relevant permissions and supports.
Financial support to stimulate growth in the bioenergy market is merited on the basis that a strategically
important sector is in its infancy and requires state support to develop. It is also merited in order to
capture the many benefits accruing from bioenergy exploitation that are not currently priced by the
market (externalities). Without financial support little growth in bioenergy in Ireland can be expected.
The aim of any intervention is to improve the project investment in terms of rate of return or payback,
hence attracting developers to projects and making it easier to secure finance. Support for electricity
production is best linked to output through price support. Of the available price support mechanisms,
feed-in tariffs are recommended. Feed-in tariffs can be set at levels that provide the appropriate support
to renewable energy, and at different levels for different resources or technologies, according to policy
goals or market conditions. Nine EU states have used feed-in tariffs to successfully support bioenergy
penetration. Their effectiveness is well proven, they have low administrative costs and could make a
significant impact on the generation of electricity from bioenergy by 2010. Depending on the level at
which fee-in tariffs are set, capital grants may also be required to provide an adequate rate of return to
developers. After 2010, re-evaluation should be undertaken to identify the most appropriate support
mechanisms for new projects.
Heat does not have a centralised market nor is the supply of heat usually metered, and so is best
supported in ways other than centralised price support. It seems clear that, due in large part to market
failure, the bioheat market will not develop without support to reduce capital costs. Such support could
bring early market growth, leading to increased competence and confidence and to economies of scale.
Thus it is recommended that a grant scheme be put in place to support bioheat systems for buildings at
the domestic and small commercial levels. Such a scheme should aim to provide initial market
stimulation to counteract market failures and should be of fixed duration or fixed total funding.
An additional requirement for financial support exists in relation to the growing of energy crops. Until
the bioenergy market increases in scale, the demand side cannot develop without secure supply, but
supply of energy crops will not be put in place until demand is perceived to be strong and reliable.
Hence growth in supply needs to be stimulated through financial support so that farmers become willing
to plant before seeing a fully developed demand market. A fiscal incentive for growing energy crops is
recommended, to be delivered through the next phase of the rural development support framework
(2007 – 2013). Mechanisms to deliver support in the shorter term should also be considered.
Other recommendations relate to building critical mass in the bioenergy sector and hence developing
market competence. Appropriate actions include looking to the public sector to take the lead in the
installation of bioenergy systems (especially heat systems in public buildings), thus building supply and
demand chains and demonstrating technologies. Various marketing, information and support actions
are also recommended.
Certain bioenergy pathways suggest themselves as priorities based on the scale of their potential
contribution, economic attractiveness, timeliness, benefits and their importance in preparing for the
long-term future of bioenergy. These priority pathways are as follows:
VI
•
•
•
•
•
•
Co-firing in electricity generation – at peat-fired stations in particular. Biomass fuel is competitive with
peat fuel. Co-firing would serve to build the market by providing strong, flexible demand for
biomass fuels. It is the focus of policy attention across Europe, offering the opportunity to increase
electricity production from biomass in a short timeframe, with minimal technical and cost
implications for generating stations.
Industrial wood residue CHP – many suitable sites exist and could employ well-proven CHP
technologies to produce both heat and electricity from on-site or imported fuels. Progress in this
area could come quickly if key barriers can be addressed.
Anaerobic digestion – offers important waste management solutions in certain situations and could
bring benefits in the short term
Landfill gas – many suitable landfill sites exist, and if the resource is not exploited it will be lost. This
is another path to biomass fuelled electricity that is easy to capture in a short timeframe.
Wood heat in buildings – a major opportunity for market growth though the delivery of high-quality
energy solutions in a range of buildings, from houses up to large public and commercial buildings
Energy crops – attention is needed now to ensure development of this sector, which will be the
centre of bioenergy and biomaterials into the future and is a focus of significant attention
internationally.
Among these pathways, co-firing, industrial wood residue CHP and landfill gas could have a significant
impact on electricity generation from bioenergy by 2010.
Recommendation
Policy and institutional issues
1
Publish
a
strong
clear
Government policy
2
Publish national targets for
bioenergy
3
Publish and implement a
strategy for action based on
this report
4
Establish
an
inter
departmental
bioenergy
group
5
Push for clarity in and offer
informational support on
planning
and
licensing
processes
6
Commission
studies
of
regional bioenergy potential,
then establish regional targets
7
Facilitate and promote cofiring at peat fired electricity
plants
8
Support
grid
recommendations of CHP
Policy Group particularly
regarding
embedded
generation
Financial Support
9
Establish price supports for
electricity (feed-in tariffs), also
possibly capital grants
10 Establish capital grants or tax
incentives for domestic and
small
commercial
heat
systems
Pathways
Supply/demand
Actors
All
All
DCMNR
All
All
DCMNR
All
All
DCMNR/SEI
All
All
DCMNR/DoE
HLG/DAF/SEI
All
All
DCMNR/DEH
LG
All
All
DCMNR/SEI
Co-firing
Electricity
DCMNR
All
Electricity; CHP
DCMNR/CER
All
Electricity; CHP
DCMNR
to
champion
Wood
heat
Heat
DCMNR
to
champion
VII
11
Establish fiscal incentives for
growing energy crops
Building critical mass
12 Develop public building heat
exemplar projects
13 Oblige all large developments
to
assess
bioenergy
possibilities
14 Encourage EPA to use landfill
licences to ask for LFG
assessment
Developing market competence
15 Create a specific bioenergy
support and promotion unit,
with its own resources and
identity
16 Increase general marketing
and information activities
17 Produce guidance materials
for developers on planning,
licensing and supports
18 Develop model contracts in
key areas
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
Offer a one stop shop service
to support delivery through
the new bioenergy promotion
unit
Examine ways to offer project
contact facilitation services
Produce
feasibility
study
guidance for developers
Examine
new
training
initiatives
Consider
certification
of
training and education
Commission
additional
research and information
projects
Support bioenergy in EU FP7
Energy
crops
Supply
DCMNR, DAF
Wood
heat/CHP
All
Heat/CHP
DCMNR/OPW
All
DCMNR/
DoEHLG
LFG
Mainly
electricity
EPA
All
All
SEI
All
All
SEI
All
All
SEI
Energy
crops &
others
All
Supply
DCMNR/SEI
All
SEI/DCMNR
All
All
SEI
All
All
SEI
All
All
SEI
All
All
DCMNR/SEI
All
All
SEI
All
All
DCMNR/SEI
VIII
Conclusions
The Bioenergy Strategy Group believes that the case for bioenergy is proven. With appropriate action
taken now, it could quickly become an important element of the development of renewable energy in
Ireland, bringing many additional benefits over other energy sources. The sector is poised for growth,
but support is required to allow this growth to take place. With such support, bioenergy could make a
significant contribution to renewable energy targets in 2010 and beyond. A Government policy on
bioenergy, underpinned by an implementation strategy with strong targets, should be the framework for
support and promotion of bioenergy.
By 2010, bioenergy is capable of contributing to renewable energy targets through a total input to
primary energy requirement of 22 PJ, or about 3.5% of Ireland’s total primary energy requirement
(excluding the potential municipal waste-to-energy contribution). This is the Group’s recommended
target for bioenergy. It is envisaged that this would include an additional installed capacity of 140 MWe
of electricity generation providing 822 GWh of electricity.
SEI’s economic analysis suggests that this could be achieved at a cost of the order of €145M (further
refinement of this estimate is required). The Group’s target would also add 2110 GWh of renewable heat
above the current contribution of 1825 GWh per annum.
Overall, this target would bring additional annual abatement of carbon dioxide emissions of 820,000
tonnes. This target is very realisable, but will require prompt and concerted Government action to
develop market and policy conditions. The Group’s vision for such conditions in 2010 is as follows:
•
•
•
•
•
A clearly articulated policy, with consistent and transparent treatment of bioenergy, and a stable
policy context
Recognition of the value of heat as an opportunity for renewable energy
An electricity market that allows access for renewable energy and values its contributions according
to its full benefits
A pricing system that better internalises all costs and benefits of energy from alternative sources
A bioenergy market based on experience and expertise, with active supply chains, many visible
success stories, and confidence among developers, financiers and customers
Internationally, bioenergy is growing in importance and will become a key element of the enhanced
sustainability of the energy economy. It is important that steps be taken now to ensure that Ireland
participates in these developments.
Bioenergy Strategy Group
Dr Kevin Brown
Dr Brian Motherway
Pearse Buckley
Malcolm Dawson
Bob Hanna
Kevin Healion
Katherine Licken
Paul Kellett
Dr Paul Kelly
Joe Kennedy
David Kidney
Colm O’Bric
Joe O’Carroll
Micheal Young
Chair
Secretary
Sustainable Energy Ireland
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Northern
Ireland
Department of Communications, Marine and Natural
Resources
Tipperary Institute
Department of Communications, Marine and Natural
Resources
Sustainable Energy Ireland – Renewable Energy Information
Office
Teagasc
Weyerhaeuser
BALCAS
Department of Agriculture and Food
Coford
Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government
IX
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preface...............................................................................................................................................................................II
Executive Summery .................................................................................................................................................... III
1. Introduction............................................................................................................................................................... 1
1.1 A Bioenergy Strategy For Ireland ............................................................................................................... 1
1.2 Purpose And Scope Of The Report ............................................................................................................ 1
1.3 Resource To Energy – Bioenergy Pathways............................................................................................ 2
1.4 Policy Benefits................................................................................................................................................... 3
2. The Bioenergy Sector – Issues, Policies and Actions ................................................................................... 5
2.1 The Characteristics Of Bioenergy ............................................................................................................... 5
2.2 Bioenergy In Europe ....................................................................................................................................... 7
2.3 EU Policy On Bioenergy ................................................................................................................................. 9
2.4 Current Irish Policy And Support Measures..........................................................................................10
3. The Bioenergy Resource and market Potential............................................................................................13
3.1 Bioenergy Resources In Ireland .................................................................................................................13
3.2 The Extent Of The Resource........................................................................................................................18
3.3 Demand Considerations ..............................................................................................................................20
3.4 Technology, Expertise And Actors............................................................................................................20
3.5 What Could Be Achieved – 2010 And 2020 ...........................................................................................21
4. Overcoming the Barriers, Developing the Market ......................................................................................23
4.1 Developing A Bioenergy Project ...............................................................................................................23
4.2 Capital, Equipment And Finance...............................................................................................................23
4.3 The Supply Chain............................................................................................................................................24
4.4 Information, Market Awareness ................................................................................................................25
4.5 Institutional Hurdles ......................................................................................................................................26
4.6 Education And Training................................................................................................................................26
5. Conclusions & Recommendations – Realising the Potential ...................................................................27
5.1 Introduction .....................................................................................................................................................27
5.2 Priority Bioenergy Pathways.......................................................................................................................27
5.3 Policy, Strategy And Institutional Recommendations .......................................................................28
5.4 Financial Supports..........................................................................................................................................29
5.5 Building Critical Mass ....................................................................................................................................31
5.6 Developing Market Competence..............................................................................................................32
5.7 Concluding Remarks .....................................................................................................................................34
Annex..............................................................................................................................................................................35
A. Bioenergy Strategy Group Terms Of Reference .....................................................................................36
B. Bioenergy Strategy Group Participation...................................................................................................37
C. Abbreviations And Conversion Factors.....................................................................................................38
D. Co-Firing Pathway............................................................................................................................................39
E. Biomass CHP Pathway .....................................................................................................................................41
F. Anaerobic Digestion Pathway ......................................................................................................................42
G. Landfill Gas Pathway .......................................................................................................................................45
H. Wood Heat In Buildings Pathway ...............................................................................................................47
I. Energy Crops........................................................................................................................................................49
J. Future Technologies.........................................................................................................................................52
K. Resource Estimation Methods......................................................................................................................54
L. Economic Model - Inputs And Analysis ...................................................................................................64
X
1. Introduction
1.1 A Bioenergy Strategy for Ireland
Bioenergy is the general term used to denote renewable energy derived from biomass. Biomass is
the biodegradable fraction of products, waste and residues from agriculture (including vegetal and
animal substances), forestry and related industries, as well as the biodegradable fraction of industrial
and municipal waste1. It also includes crops specifically grown for energy use.
The OECD argues that a significant shift is likely, and desirable, from fossil fuel based energy to
biomass based energy into the future2. In the shorter term, the EU White Paper on Renewable Energy
argues that bioenergy is soon to become the major growth area in renewable energy3. Within the
EU, bioenergy is seen as key to the achievement of the 2010 renewable energy targets for heat and
electricity4.
In Ireland, wind is currently the largest contributor to renewable electricity, but bioenergy remains
the most significant renewable energy resource overall, accounting for 61% of primary energy from
renewables in 20025. Into the future, many bioenergy sources are ready to make major further
contributions to Ireland’s renewable energy targets through both electricity and heat.
More than any other form of renewable energy bioenergy is an inter-departmental issue for
Government, having implications for and being affected by a broad range of policy areas. It is an
indigenous, renewable form of energy that positively contributes to:
•
•
•
•
Key energy goals including security of supply and the development of renewable energy sources
Key environmental goals such as greenhouse gas emissions reduction and management of
diverse waste streams
Key agricultural goals in the context of CAP reform, offering new opportunities for farmers
Key social goals such as employment generation in rural areas and enhancement of local
economies
An effective strategy for the development of bioenergy in Ireland depends on consistent supportive
policy and implementation across a number of departments and agencies.
To date there has been no national policy or strategy specifically addressing bioenergy. Such a policy
is required, with a strategy for action to promote its uptake and exploit its potential. This strategy
should strive to raise awareness of bioenergy, remove key hurdles to its uptake, and provide support
according to the environmental, economic and strategic benefits that accrue from its use.
1.2 Purpose and Scope of the Report
The Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources established the Bioenergy
Strategy Group at the end of 2003 to consider the policy options and support mechanisms available
to Government to stimulate increased use of biomass for energy conversion, and to make specific
recommendations for action to increase the proportion of energy derived from biomass in Ireland.
This report represents the outcome of the Bioenergy Strategy Group’s work, and contains its
recommendations to Government for a strategy for bioenergy promotion in Ireland. It is not a
detailed technical review of bioenergy technologies, but rather an overview of the key issues for the
1
From EU Directive on Electricity Production from Renewable Energy Sources, 2001/77/EC.
OECD, 2004. Biomass and Agriculture: Sustainability, markets and policies. Paris: OECD.
3
European Commission, 1997. Energy for the Future, Renewable Sources of Energy - White Paper for a Community Strategy and
Action Plan. Com (97) 599 final (26/11/1997)
4
European Parliament Working Paper STOA 115, July 2003.
5
SEI, 2004. Renewable Energy in Ireland – Trends and issues 1990 – 2002. Dublin: SEI.
2
1
uptake of these technologies. It considers the options most relevant to Ireland, with a focus on
impact, firstly in the period to 2010 and then on to 2020.
The report presents background to the various bioenergy resources, pathways and technologies, and
discusses the main issues affecting the sector’s development. By identifying key barriers to growth
the report makes specific recommendations for action to address these barriers and allow bioenergy
to make a greater contribution to renewable energy production in Ireland, supporting a wide range
of policy goals as it does so.
The scope of this report is the production of heat or electricity or both from biomass. The production
of liquid biofuels for transport and other uses involves distinctly different issues, technologies and
actors, and so is not considered here.
1.3 Resource to Energy – Bioenergy Pathways
Figure 1.3.1 below plots the prime pathways for the production of energy from biomass in an Irish
context, starting with the range of possible fuels, through the available conversion processes to
produce electricity, heat or both in combined heat and power (CHP) mode.
Among the range of fuels that could form the supply for bioenergy pathways, some are already
available, while others are resources for the future. Forestry planting in Ireland has been considerable
in recent years and wood and forestry residues are now ready to provide a significant fuel resource.
Such residues – trimmings, loppings, bark, sawdust and chippings – are suitable for a range of
combustion technologies for the production of heat, electricity or both. They can also be processed
into chips or pellets and thus distributed as a higher value renewable fuel for use at all scales.
Several residue and waste products also represent potential fuel sources principally dry agricultural
residues (straw, poultry litter, spent mushroom compost); wet organic residues and wastes (slurries
and manures from farms, sewage sludge, catering waste, food industry residues); municipal solid
waste (the biodegradable fraction) and landfill gas.
Figure 1.3.1 Principal bioenergy pathways
2
Into the future, crops grown specifically for energy use will become more and more important, and
represent the principal long term sustainable bioenergy resource. The main alternatives are either
short rotation coppice or field crops such as miscanthus grass. Such crops will also become the raw
materials for a range of bioproducts such as plastics and other chemicals. Many EU states are
focusing policy on exploiting energy crops for both their energy and bioproduct outputs.
1.4 Policy Benefits
Bioenergy does not deplete the world’s finite resources, and hence is a sustainable energy source. It
has a range of environmental, social and economic benefits, and supports a number of important
policy objectives. Precise benefits vary according to fuel source and conversion technology, but the
following table indicates the range of benefits associated with bioenergy:
Table 1.4.1 Main policy benefits of bioenergy
Issue
Climate
change
Bioenergy benefits
Carbon neutral energy production
Reduced methane emissions through processing of
waste streams into energy and capturing of landfill
gas. Reduced emissions through replacement of
artificial fertiliser with digestate from anaerobic
digestion
Main relevant policies
National
Climate
Change
Strategy
Air pollution
Reduced emissions of SOx and NOx, compared to
many other energy sources.
Strategy to Reduce Emissions of
Transboundary Air Pollution by
2010
Waste
management
Management of residues and wastes through
anaerobic digestion or combustion.
Capture and use of methane from landfill sites
Bioremediation of wastes using energy crop
plantations.
Waste management policy,
Changing our ways; Delivering
Change
National
strategy
on
biodegradable waste
EU Landfill Directive
Energy
security and
diversity
Indigenous source of renewable energy
Increased diversity and security of energy supply
Green Paper on Sustainable
Energy
Proposed EU directive on
security of supply
Sustainable
electricity
Bioenergy CHP and electricity generation promotes
embedded generation, which can reduce system
losses and address grid quality concerns.
The bioenergy sector could become a significant
component of an all-island energy market
Green Paper on Sustainable
Energy
Electricity Act
A source of dispatchable renewable electricity, and
renewable heat for all scales and applications
Green Paper on Sustainable
Energy
Electricity Act
EU RES-E Directive
DCMNR Consultation Options
for future renewable energy
policy, targets and programmes
Renewable
resources
Can offer local and flexible energy systems
Based on a growing renewable resource
All-island energy initiative
EU White Paper on renewable
energy
3
Agriculture
New opportunities for farmers in context of CAP
reform and decoupled payments
EU Common Agricultural Policy,
Mid term review
Addressing nutrient management pressures through
alternative processing of slurries and manures
EU Nitrates Directive
Forestry
Creating demand for forestry products and services
in context of excess supply into the future
National
economy
Can offer cheaper fuel input or exploitation of
waste streams leading to cost reduction and
reduced imports
Employment
and
development
Can promote local employment through focus on
smaller regional businesses, and substitution of
labour for imports.
Forestry Strategy Growing for
the future
Bacon Review of Forestry
Strategy
Also creates rural development opportunities by
decentralising energy supply, creating new
opportunities in fuel supply and services, and
emphasising
local
supply
and
demand
relationships. There is also potential for Ireland to
become a leader in equipment supply and
specialist expertise.
The bioenergy sector is poised for growth and could become the most important new area of
renewable energy development over the coming decade. The correct policy and support
interventions could stimulate strong growth in the production and use of bioenergy and bring the
full set of benefits to Ireland.
4
2. The Bioenergy Sector – Issues, Policies and Actions
2.1 The Characteristics of Bioenergy
Bioenergy pathways exhibit unique attributes, bringing both benefits and challenges, that
distinguish them from other renewable energy sources. These issues exist on both the supply and
demand sides of the pathways:
The supply side of bioenergy is about collecting, processing, storing and transporting fuel resources
in sufficient quantity and making sure the supply is reliable, meets quality requirements, and is
economic. This has geographical dimensions (matching fuel sources with local energy uses) and also
requires a well developed market of producers/growers, brokers, intermediaries and technical
experts. Many complications fall away if the fuel source, its conversion to energy and the use of this
energy all happen on the same site. Thus most of the largest bioenergy projects developed to date
are on industrial sites such as wood processors, board mills and food and dairy industries where
residual materials are converted to energy (most commonly heat, but also sometimes heat and
electricity together in CHP) for use in their own processes or space heating.
Where there is no fuel source on-site there may be potential for importing fuel and using the energy
on-site, usually for space heating. Domestic use of wood is a simple example of this.
If there is no demand for the energy at the energy conversion site, then it must be exported and sold.
Selling electricity in the new market raises access and pricing issues, and selling heat depends on
local demand of sufficient size and dependability. Disaggregating bioenergy issues by supply side
and demand side, between heat and electricity, informs the analysis of the market, the barriers in
place and the policy and support needs for stimulating growth.
Bioenergy is largely carbon neutral (absorbing as much carbon dioxide in its creation as it emits when
burned), although it usually does involve some fossil fuel consumption in activities such as collecting,
growing and harvesting, and transportation. Life cycle analysis shows that bioenergy has strong
environmental advantages over conventional energy. For example, replacing 1GWh of coal
generated electricity by electricity from biomass would reduce CO2 emissions by 4000 tonnes. The
following graph illustrates the point:
5
Figure 2.1.1 Greenhouse gas implications of bioenergy pathways6
wood chips/forestry/steam cycle
wood chips/SRC/steam cycle
miscanthus/steam cycle
shavings/steam cycle
straw/steam cycle
biogas/combustion engine
natural gas/combined cycle
light oil/combustion engine
hard coal/steam cycle
-600
-400
-200
0
g
CO2
200
400
600
eq / kWh
The bioenergy sector is different from other renewable energy sources in several important ways,
bringing additional benefits but also in some cases raising new barriers:
Renewable heat
While much of the focus of renewable energy policy is on electricity, the potential to generate heat
from renewable sources should not be overlooked. Heat can have lower conversion losses and meet
local energy needs flexibly, cleanly and cheaply. It eliminates the complications and costs of making
electricity grid connections and selling into the new market, and also brings many additional
opportunities for renewables deployment. Heat represents about one third of total primary energy.
All biomass fuels can be used to generate heat across a wide range of scales, technologies and
applications.
Wider benefits
Bioenergy pathways offer benefits beyond the normal renewable energy issues, such as new
economic opportunities for farmers, waste management (providing alternatives to current disposal
routes), and increasing demand for forestry products. It also supports local economies and rural
development.
Dispatchable electricity
Bioelectricity can be switched on or off as needed, in contrast to many other renewables, and has
higher load factors (often almost double that of wind). It also offers other benefits to the electricity
system, such as extending the scope of CHP beyond the gas grid, and bringing extra embedded
generation7 opportunities.
Complex pathways
In contrast to many energy sources and conversion technologies, including other renewable
energies, bioenergy involves several different potential pathways from resource production (growth
of wood or crops, production of waste streams), through collection, transportation, storage and then
conversion to useful heat or electricity. In many cases, these pathways involve several sets of actors
6
Emissions of CO2 , N2O and CH4, conversion via CHP (33% to electricity, 67% to heat) assumed. Biogas displays negative
emissions due to the displacement of methane emissions. G. Jungmeier, Success Stories in Bio-Energy, Climate Change
Solutions Conference1st April 2004, NEC Birmingham, UK.
7
Matching local supply and local demand on the electricity grid, reducing system losses
6
(often from different sectors, such as farmers, energy commodity traders, and electricity generators),
technologies, and many institutional issues and economic considerations.
This presents
developmental challenges, particularly when the sector is in its nascent state.
Competing uses
Most potential fuel inputs have competing uses both within and outside energy. Most fuels could be
combusted for heat or electricity, or for both via CHP, using different technologies, and many can also
be processed by anaerobic digestion. Biodegradable wastes could also be composted, slurries can be
spread on land to return nutrients to the soil, and many wood residues can be used in the
manufacture of material products such as chipboard. Additionally, any land given over to energy
crops has many alternative uses.
Transportation issues
Biomass fuels tend to have low energy densities - typical wet biomass can have an energy density in
the region of 1.4GJ/m3 as compared to coal with an energy density of 21.6 GJ/m3. 8 This obviously has
implications for transportation and storage costs. In general, bioenergy sites need to be able to
source fuel within a short range of the site, typically less than 50km at present transport costs.
Long term commitments
Energy crops imply a 20 to 30 year commitment on the part of the farmer, and in the case of SRC a 4
year wait before the first harvest and the first income. There are also several ways in which these
crops are different to more traditional crops in terms of their growing patterns, treatment, harvesting
and storage. All of this presents barriers in persuading farmers to grow these crops, especially in the
absence of certainty about future demand and prices.
Public acceptance
Projects that may be branded as incineration or waste disposal face challenges in persuading the
public to accept such developments. Not all such projects are the same, however, and bioenergy
projects need to distinguish themselves by stating the benefits they offer to communities and by
clarifying their activities and implications.
In most cases, bioenergy is not currently competitive with conventional fossil fuel alternatives.
However, like all renewable energy, bioenergy brings benefits not currently priced by the market –
emissions abatement, supply security and so on – and thus government intervention to capture these
benefits is justified and called for.
2.2 Bioenergy in Europe
Bioenergy is being promoted strongly in many states and is making significant in-roads into many
markets:
•
•
In the Netherlands, the target date of 2040 is the focus, with interim targets along the way. `The
ambition is that in 2040 biomass will provide 30% of the energy supply (and 20-45% of the raw
materials for the chemical sector). These developments should also contribute to the knowledge
economy, where the focus is on high-grade technological developments.’9 The goal is to allow
bioenergy to compete on an open market with other fuels, but the government will put value on
the social and environmental benefits.
The UK Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution recently published a report emphasising
the benefits of bioenergy and called for strong future targets. It proposed the introduction of a
new renewable heat obligation, the formation of a government/industry bioenergy forum, and
that biomass CHP be considered in all new build developments. The report suggests that
bioenergy could provide 10-15% of the UK’s primary energy by 205010.
8
ILEX Energy Consulting, 2003. Possible support mechanisms for biomass generated heat. Report to UK DEFRA December, 2003
Kwant et al, 2004. An Action Plan for the Implementation and a Transition with Biomass in the Netherlands. Novem.
10
Royal Commission on Environmental Pollutions (RCEP), 2004. Biomass as a Renewable Energy Source. London: RCEP.
9
7
•
•
•
•
The wood heat market has grown strongly in Austria since supports were introduced in the late
1990s . Most growth has been in the domestic sector – 22,000 wood pellet fired heating units
were installed in 2003, mostly in single family homes. Subsidies are available for wood fired
boilers (up to €2,200 if replacing an existing boiler, up to €2,600 for a new system). There is also
an emphasis on ensuring the quality of the pellet fuels.
There are 450 landfill gas energy units across the EU, producing 1050 Mtoe of energy11
Finland derives 23% of its total energy from renewable sources, and 84% of this renewable
resource is from wood. At 267 PJ in 2001, Finland has Europe’s largest bioenergy sector.
Exploitation is particularly strong in the wood processing sector itself; more than half of the
electricity consumed in the forestry sector is generated from wood.12 Co-firing for electricity
production has also been strongly promoted. Nationally, peat and wood energy together
account for almost the same as oil consumption.
Energy crops have become a new focus for renewables policy in Northern Ireland, led in
particular by the agriculture sector’s interest in new market opportunities for the future. Targets
are for a capacity of 20MW from biomass by 2012, and moving towards the overall UK target for
2050.13 A new support system to stimulate the planting of SRC has recently been established.
Figure 2.2.1 Percentage of national total primary energy requirement from biomass in the EU14
% TPER from biomass
20
15
10
5
K
U
Fi
nl
an
Sw d
ed
en
Au
st
Po ria
rtu
D gal
en
m
ar
Fr k
an
ce
Sp
ai
G n
re
ec
Th
e
e
N
et Ita
he ly
rla
nd
G
er s
m
an
Ire y
la
n
Be d
lg
iu
m
0
Overall, exploitation of biomass for energy is considerably well advanced in many states:
Mainly due to traditional wood use, bioenergy accounts for more than half of renewable energy input
across the EU (representing 98% of renewable heat and 9% of renewable electricity)15. Many different
support mechanisms are employed. For example, electricity from biomass is supported in all EU
states in various ways, feed-in tariffs being the most commonly employed mechanism:
11
EU Commission, DG Transport and Energy
Alakangas, E., 2002. Renewable Energy Sources in Finland 2002, OPET Finland.
13
OFREG & Northern Ireland Electricity, 2004. The Biomass Manifesto.
14
European Parliament Working Paper STOA 115, July 2003
15
Eueropean Commission, 2004: EU Strategy and Instruments for promoting renewable energy sources.
12
8
Table 2.2.1 Overview of electricity support systems (recent or current) across the EU16
Measure
Feed-in tariff
Tax incentives
Investment support
Bidding scheme
Quota system
States
Austria, Belgium, Denmark,
Netherlands, Portugal, Spain
Finland, Netherlands, Ireland
Greece, Portugal, UK
Ireland
Italy, Spain, UK, Sweden
France,
Germany,
Greece,
According to the EU Commission, the 2010 RES-E target depends on a 40% contribution from biomass, which will
require annual growth rates in biomass electricity of 18%, as against recent average EU rates of 7% (Irish growth
rate has been 3%)17.
2.3 EU Policy on Bioenergy
Two main policy documents set the agenda at EU level for increasing renewable energy deployment:
Energy for the Future, Renewable Sources of Energy - White Paper for a Community Strategy
and Action Plan Com (97) 599 final (26/11/1997)
The white paper sets out EU strategy and an action plan to raise the share of renewable energy from
6 to 12 % (gross inland production) by 2010. It details the expected contributions from each
renewable source and the expected impact on electricity, heat and transport energy markets. Many
of these targets will not be met without an acceleration of uptake.18
EU Directive on the promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in the
internal electricity market 2001/77/EC
The RES-E Directive, as it is known, requires member states to contribute to goals to increase the
consumption of renewable energy sourced electricity within the EU. The consumption targets are
individual to each member state , Ireland’s target is 13.2% of electricity produced from renewable
sources by 2010. The directive also sets out goals to remove key barriers (economic returns and
grid access) to the increased deployment of renewable energy technologies in electricity
production. It calls for national support schemes and possibly also harmonised supports across the
EU. It also calls for simplified authorisation systems and guaranteed access for renewable electricity
to transmission and distribution systems
Other relevant directives include:
•
•
•
•
Emissions Trading Directive (2003/87/EC); electricity generators and many large energy users will
be obliged to trade permits to cover their CO2 emissions. The trading system starts in 2005. This
should give positive price signal support to renewables.
CHP Directive (2001/91/EC); this directive promotes CHP, clarifies definitions and consolidates a
range of policies and measures. Removal of barriers to uptake is the focus.
Biofuels Directive (2003/30/EC); promotes biofuels for transport and establishes indicative targets
that will be challenging for Ireland. SEI has commissioned an implementation study, and interdepartmental discussions have commenced.
Buildings Directive (2002/91/EC); targets energy performance in buildings through minimum
efficiency standards for new buildings and a new system of energy certification. Public sector
buildings should act as exemplars. Also, Member States should ensure that developers of new
buildings with a total useful floor area over 1,000 m2 examine the feasibility of alternative energy
16
Adapted from DCMNR Consultation Document, 2004. Options for futurerenewable energy policy, targets and programmes.
Luxembourg is excluded from the analysis.
17
DG Energy and Transport, Presentation to International Conference for Renewable Energies. Bonn, June 2004.
18
Zervos, A., 2004. Renewable Energy Development and Prospects in the EU15. European Conference for Renewable Energy,
Berlin January 2004
9
systems, including CHP, decentralised energy supply based on renewables, district or block
heating or cooling and heat pumps.
Other proposed Directives of relevance include Security of Electricity Supply, Security of Gas Supply,
and the Energy Services Directive, which would impose mandatory efficiency targets and promote
efficiency services to end users.
2.4 Current Irish Policy and Support Measures
The following are the key statements on Irish policy towards renewable energy:
• Green Paper on Sustainable Energy - 1999
• Electricity Regulation Act – 1999
• National Climate Change Strategy – 2000
• Sustainable Energy Act – 2002
• DCMNR consultation document; Options for future renewable energy policy, targets and
programmes - 2004
This last document gives a full overview of Irish policy on renewable energy. It sets out current
targets and goals as follows:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
increasing the percentage of Total Primary Energy Requirement (TPER) derived from renewable
sources from 2% in 2000 to 3.75% by 2005
increasing the installed renewable energy electricity generating capacity by an additional 500
MW between 2000 and 2005
limiting greenhouse gases emissions to a 13% increase over 1990 levels by 2008-2012
reducing annual CO2 emissions by 1 million tonnes from the ‘business as usual’ case through
increased deployment of renewable energy (predating the RES-E Directive) of 31 MW installed
per year from 2000 to 2010. The additional 1 million tonnes represents achievement of the 2005
Green Paper target only
an indicative target to contribute a minimum of 13.2% of green electricity to total electricity
consumption by 2010
exploring and developing the offshore resources
regional sustainability and environmental protection
A Renewable Energy Development Group (REDG), convened by DCMNR, is currently considering
policy and support needs for all renewable energy sources, with a focus on delivery of the RES-E
Directive target. The following graph, from the DCMNR consultation document, indicates current
thinking on how different renewable energy sources may contribute to current targets. It shows that
biomass is considered a resource of increasing importance into the future.
A number of support mechanisms are currently in place to underpin these objectives. One of the
most significant measures in recent years has been the Alternative Energy Requirement (AER). This
scheme offers fixed price electricity purchase contracts to green electricity generators, based on a
competitive price bidding system. There have been six call rounds since its inception in the mid1990s. The most recent, AER VI in 2003, included categories for biomass CHP, anaerobic digestion,
with price caps of €0.07 per kWhe, and landfill gas, with a price cap of €0.06412. The AER VI
competition attracted bids totalling 49.695 MWe19. Following evaluation, awards totalling 34.335
MWe20 were made.
19
20
26.83 MWe of biomass CHP; 10.862 MWe of anaerobic digestion; 12.003 MWe of landfill gas.
26.83 MWe of biomass CHP; 2.022 MWe of anaerobic digestion; 5.483 MWe of landfill gas.
10
Table 2.4.1 details the renewable electricity capacity (MWe) delivered to date by AER:
Figure 2.4.1 Projected renewable energy inputs for Ireland
Table 2.4.1 Renewable energy capacity delivered by AER schemes21
AER Ve
AER IV
AER IIa
AER III
AER I
Commissio Commissio Commissio Commissio Commissio
ned
ned
ned/constr
ned
ned
ucted
AER Ve
Under
constructi
on
AER VI
Commissio
ned/constr
ucted
AER VI
Under
constructi
on
10.716
-
-
18.353
-
-
-
-
2.304
-
1.67
-
-
-
0.04
0.594
Landfill Gas
11.804
-
2.928
-
-
-
6.755
-
Wind
energy
45.8
-
37.51
52.29
7.55
31.04
124.95
Anaerobic
digestion b
-
-
-
-
Biomass
CHPc
-
-
2.875
-
Offshore
wind d
-
-
-
-
52.29
7.55
40.71
125.544
Technology
Combined
Heat
&
Power
Small scale
Hydro
Totals
MWe
70.62
0
42.11
18.353
a
AER II was in respect of a waste to energy station only. The winning project did not proceed.
Biomass AD supported in AER VI only
c
Biomass CHP supported in AER VI only
d
Offshore wind (two 25MW demonstration projects) supported in AER VI only, not under
construction yet
e
AER V projects were permitted to re-enter the AER VI competition. Hence the overall deliverable
capacity in AER V will only take account of those projects which did not receive a PPA offer in AER VI.
b
21
Source: DCMNR.
11
In some rounds of AER, failure rates of projects have been high, and overall results have been mixed.
While wind energy has achieved significant penetration in recent years, the bidding approach has
had very limited impacts on bioenergy pathways (with the notable exception of LFG).
Besides the AER Programme, renewable energy based electricity plant (but not bioenergy plant) have
also been built with assistance from the EC VALOREN and THERMIE Programmes. Other support
measures in place include:
•
•
Investment tax relief via Section 486B of the Finance Act 1998, and the Business Expansion
Scheme (BES)
The SEI Renewable Energy RD&D programme, supporting innovative renewables projects, as well
as technical and economic studies (€3.745M spent, €6.5M committed by the end of November
2004). 39% of the funding under this programme has gone to support bioenergy
To date the impact of these measures has been very limited, and renewables penetration remains
lower than other EU states, and below Irish target levels. According to the Ernst and Young
Renewable Energy Country Attractive Indices, Ireland ranks the third lowest of the EU15 states for
bioenergy projects. The index is based on the quality of power purchase agreements available, the
fiscal climate in terms of attractiveness to investors and Government policy and targets. Ireland
scores better (8th of EU 15) in the overall renewable index due to the stronger performance of wind
energy22.
22
Ernst and Young, Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices, September 2004.
12
3. The Bioenergy Resource and Market Potential
3.1 Bioenergy Resources in Ireland
The following chart illustrates the contribution to Ireland’s total primary energy requirement (TPER) of
the bioenergy resources currently being exploited; solid biomass (wood residues), biogas and landfill
gas:
Figure 3.1.1 Bioenergy contribution to Irish total primary energy requirement
200
180
160
TPER ktoe
140
120
LFG
biogas
Solid biomass
100
80
60
40
20
0
1990
1992
1994
1996
1998
2000
2002
In 2002, bioenergy represented 61% of all renewable energy and 1.2% of total primary energy
requirement. Most of this came from the category of solid biomass, of which about 70% is industrial
heat at sawmills and related industries, the rest being domestic wood heat. This category grew at an
average rate of 3% per annum between 1990 and 2002. The biogas resource was also deployed as
heat (mainly through four industrial anaerobic digestion units) and the landfill gas resource was all
deployed as electricity23.
Forestry wood products
The expansion of the Irish forestry sector has created a strong supply of wood and wood residues into
the coming decades, for which there is unlikely to be full demand in existing markets24. This
represents a particular opportunity for bioenergy development based on wood products.
The wood for energy sector divides into direct biomass (the trees themselves); indirect biomass
(processing by-products and residues) and post-consumer recovered wood25:
Direct biomass
The supply of pulpwood is set to grow steadily and outstrip demand for current uses, thus creating a
resource for energy purposes26. Whole tree chips represent higher efficiency extraction than residues,
but there may be problems of availability of appropriate machinery for Irish conditions and scales.
23
SEI, 2004. Renewable Energy in Ireland 1990 - 2002.
Electrowatt-Ekono (UK) & Tipperary Institute. Maximising the Potential of Wood Use for Energy Generation in Ireland.
Unpublished Coford Strategic Study.
25
Clearly SRC produces wood which, once converted to chips or pellets, is indistinguishable from wood from other sources.
The discussion here focuses on wood from forestry in supply terms and treats SRC separately, but conversion processes are
identical for all wood
26
Electrowatt-Ekono (UK) & Tipperary Institute. Maximising the Potential of Wood Use for Energy Generation in Ireland.
24
13
Forest residues are currently an untapped resource, but again availability of suitable machinery and
harvesting practicalities may pose problems.
Indirect biomass
This refers to sawdust, woodchip, bark and slabwood, from primary and secondary processing.
Several sawmills already utilise this resource to generate heat.
Recovered wood
The main sources are old pallets, packaging and waste from construction and demolition. Problems
can arise with segregation and contamination, but burner technologies (combustion and flue gas
cleaning) are available even for contaminated sources. Recovered wood is dry and thus has an
energy content typically double that of the same mass of the other wood sources mentioned above.
Wood for heat
At present, wood burning for heat
is the most widespread bioenergy
application. About 12 industrial
sites
(sawmills,
board
manufacturers) utilise wood
residues for heat used on site.
There is a strong opportunity for
growth in the use of wood for
energy through modern wood heat systems (chips or pellets) for domestic and commercial
buildings. Pellets are currently being imported into Ireland, with the first island pellet plant
coming on line in early 2005. Several European suppliers of wood stoves and boilers are now
active in Ireland. See Annex H
Forests for harvest up to 2020 are already planted, so good data is available on the size of the
resource, and the resource is literally growing in size every year. Data on resource size are less reliable
for recovered wood. Estimates of resources available to energy uses usually assume current uses
(such as wood products for chipboard) continue. There are also some possible new uses for similar
resources, including extruded wood and horticultural products.
Across Europe, wood fuel has been used to produce heat and electricity in CHP plant, and also for
electricity production by co-firing in existing power stations, displacing fossil fuel use. Many EU
states have also seen particular growth in the wood for heat sector. Wood for heat technology
usually involves processing the wood into either chips or pellets, which are then sold as a fuel. Pellet
manufacture produces a high quality (consistent, higher density and higher energy content)
predictable fuel that produces very little ash. However production costs are higher and so each
particular use must balance cost against quality advantages. As well as lower cost, it can be argued
that wood chips bring more benefits to local farmers in the chain, since they produce the final
product rather than value being added elsewhere in pelleting plants. Both fuel forms could play
important roles in the market, and different applications will suit either or both.
Heating units are now available in all size ranges, including single house units, and several well
proven and attractive technologies are available in Ireland. However, capital costs remain
significantly higher than conventional systems, and established fuel supply systems are not yet in
place. Nonetheless, biomass fuelled heat generation is likely to be a key growth market in the
coming years.
14
Co-firing electricity generation
Conventional coal and peat fired
power stations can co-fire with 5-30%
biomass fuels and thus reduce their
greenhouse gas emissions. Co-firing
can help strengthen and develop
supply chains by providing large scale
demand that is reliable and also An
SEI report, Co-firing with Biomass,
indicates that co-firing at peat stations in particular would be economically attractive. See Annex D
Energy Crops
One way of storing solar energy for future use is to encapsulate it in growing plants that can then be
processed (combusted, gasified or digested) to extract the energy content. As the bioenergy sector
expands in the future and waste and residual streams become fully exploited, growing biomass for
energy will be the main pathway for extending the resource available. The introduction of the Single
Payment Scheme for Irish farmers in 2005 will see farmers receiving an annual single payment that
will no longer be linked to agricultural production. This will level the playing field for energy crops. In
the past the growing of energy crops could not compete economically with alternative subsidised
activities, but in the future farmers will make planting choices according to market conditions as
opposed to subsidy regimes. As the biomass sector develops, energy crops will become increasingly
important.
The main energy crops available for growth in Ireland are miscanthus and short rotation coppice
(SRC). Miscanthus is a fast growing grass with good energy properties in terms of density and
moisture content. Compared to SRC, it requires relatively little change in practices or equipment for
farmers used to growing annual field crops such as cereals. It is a temperate zone crop but
nonetheless generally requires drier and warmer conditions than those available in more northern
parts of the country.
SRC is based on the planting of fast growing tree saplings (willow is by far the most common species
used), and then the cutting back of first year growth to encourage rapid, thick growth in subsequent
years. Harvesting starts in the fourth year, and can continue over twenty to thirty years. Willow has
been grown for energy in Scandinavia for many years, and so is well understood in terms of growing,
harvesting and energy properties27. SRC plantations are more ecologically positive than either field
crops or traditional forestry, in that they support greater biodiversity.
Economically, energy crops currently find it difficult to compete with fossil fuels at their current prices
and few plantings have occurred in Ireland to date. However, it is likely that interest would develop
quickly if the economic returns improved and markets for energy crops appeared to be reliable.
Growing crops can also be employed in bioremediation – the treatment of waste streams by
spreading on land, and this can provide an additional income from waste disposal fees.
Energy crops
There are currently between 50 and 100 ha of SRC
in Ireland. SRC is becoming more of a focus in
Northern Ireland, where energy crops are seen as a
central component of future agriculture.
Miscanthus grass may also have application. As an
indication of scale, meeting 15% of Ireland’s target
of 13.2% electricity from renewables by 2010
would require of the order of 20,000 ha of SRC
plantation. This is about 15% of projected land freed up by herd reduction in the coming
years. See Annex I
27
RCEP, 2004.
15
Dry agricultural residues
Ireland’s agricultural sector creates significant quantities of dry residues, principally straw, poultry
litter and spent mushroom compost , all of which can be combusted to produce electricity, heat or
both.
Total straw production in Ireland is of the order of 1.1 to 1.4 Mt (agricultural reform should see the
total resource shrinking over time). Current uses are animal bedding, the production of mushroom
compost, and ploughing back. Analysis of the likely energy resource has focused on this third use as
the most likely to be available for diversion to bioenergy uses28. Geographical factors are also
important; cereal production is most intense in the east and south-east, and the economics of straw
utilisation depend heavily on transportation costs.
With a typical energy value of 13.5 MJ/kg (at a moisture content of 20%), the theoretical straw energy
resource is calculated to be about 16-20PJ (4500-5500 GWh). The SEI study examining the resource
estimated that in reality about 10% of this would be available for utilisation on a practical and
economic basis, i.e. 1.8PJ, or 500 GWh.
Much straw is simply ploughed back in to the land, as demand does not exist at good prices for the
farmer. Below a price of €30-35 per tonne of wheaten straw delivered, farmers are unlikely to change
ploughing in behaviour. But if markets were stable and predictable, prices would not need to rise
much to attract significant interest.
Another agricultural residue with significant energy value is poultry litter. There are about 14 million
birds in the Irish poultry sector at any given time, and an estimated 140,000 tonnes of spent litter is
produced annually. At present, the only value added usage for this material is as an input to
mushroom compost , which uses 40-70% of the resource, the rest being spread on land for disposal.
The key issue is the relative returns from either energy use or land spreading, which will depend on
energy prices, land spreading costs, and transport costs. This has a strong geographical dimension.
Almost 64% of the total litter resource is produced in County Monaghan, and this region has a limited
amount of land available for spreading. In other areas where land spreading is easier, it will be more
difficult to attract material away from this easy and established disposal route.
Biomass CHP
One industrial wood waste CHP site is in place,
and four others are known to be under
consideration. There is potential for biomass
CHP in large industrial applications, and
possibly further potential in some buildings
such as hospitals, hotels and educational
institutions. Biomass CHP offers additional
environmental benefits over conventional CHP
and also brings new opportunities, particularly
beyond the gas grid. See Annex E
A large bioenergy project is proposed for Monaghan aiming to build a plant to combust poultry litter
and wood waste to produce electricity. This project has secured AER VI support, and is currently in
the planning phase.
The practical poultry litter resource available for energy is estimated to be 25,000 to 40,000 tonnes.
This order of resource could feed an electricity generation plant of size 2.1 to 3.5 MW.
28
Bioenergy resources from dry agricultural residues have been estimated in detail in an SEI study, An Assessment of the
Renewable Energy Resource Potential of Dry Agricultural Residues. 2004.
16
The Irish mushroom growing sector produces about 290,000 tonnes of spent mushroom compost
annually. Most (over 80%) of this resource is currently disposed of through land spreading, and so
should be divertible to energy uses. Again, there are areas of high production where land available
for spreading is very limited (principally Cavan and Monaghan). The best estimate for the practical
resource is about 62,000 tonnes (utilisation obviously depends on the relative economics of
spreading and energy production). This represents an energy value of about 0.2 PJ (i.e. it could
supply an electricity plant of size 1.85 MW).
Wet residues
Four main types of wet residues serve as possible bioenergy fuels:
•
•
•
•
Manures and slurries – produced on farms and currently mostly managed by land spreading. In
some areas of the country, land availability puts pressure on this management method (and the
Nitrates Directive will increase such pressure), and energy conversion could help provide
solutions.
Food industry residues – Dairy and meat processing industry residues, and catering wastes29.
These are currently a waste stream with disposal costs, but are often available in large or
concentrated form amenable to energy conversion through anaerobic digestion. Meat and
bonemeal (MBM) is a special subcategory, where high temperature disposal is now required, and
energy extraction in this process should be an important element.
Sewage sludge – many sewage treatment works already employ anaerobic digestion to process
treatment residues otherwise sent to landfill, and usually utilise the heat produced on site. Such
activities could be expanded, particularly as pressure to divert materials away from landfill grows.
This again represents a resource available in large quantities at specific sites.
Organic fraction of municipal solid waste – organic waste is available for either composting or
anaerobic digestion, and both pathways should grow strongly in the face of strong landfill
reduction targets.
All these wet residues have potential deployment in combustion or digestion processes for energy
production, and their processing can bring additional environmental benefits in terms of reducing
the volumes and potencies of the waste streams. They can also benefit from gate fees where waste
disposal costs are avoided and waste owners are ready to pay for their treatment. However, the
resource can be dispersed and difficult to gather in sufficient quantities (especially farm wastes).
There are also legislative, political and social hurdles in treating such materials, especially through
combustion.
Anaerobic digestion
A biochemical process for generating
methane from biomass and hence
capturing its energy value, with
particular application for farm and food
wastes.
It offers waste disposal
advantages in some circumstances,
generating additional revenue through
gate fees, though some legislative limits
apply.
Currently there are 4 farm based units
and 10 sewage plant and industrial
projects in operation in Ireland. See
Annex F
29
The use and disposal of AD residues based on animal by-products or catering wastes must comply with Regulation (EC) No.
1774/2002 laying down health rules concerning animal by-products not intended for human consumption. It must also take
national legislation into account, notably the prohibition on the Use of Swill Order, 2001 (S.I. 597 of 2001) and the Transmissible
Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE) and Meat and Bone Meal and Poultry Offal Order, 2002 (S.I. 551 of 2002).
17
Landfill gas
The decomposition of organic wastes in landfills releases large quantities of gas, mostly methane,
which can be captured and combusted to produce energy. This is a low cost energy source, requiring
only the technical installation to capture and convert the gas.
There are currently 5 landfill gas utilisation projects in Ireland, all operated by one company and all
supported under AER. These represent a total capacity of 14.7MWe, with a further 6.755 MWe coming
from two projects supported under AER VI. Many other sites could be exploited, but timing for
extraction is crucial; the resource must be utilised in the coming decade or it will be lost. On a given
site, utilisation depends on gas quality, yield and economics of extraction, which in turn are related to
scale. Into the future, policy is moving strongly away from landfill and this will reduce the available
resource. On the other hand, any new landfill sites will be larger and more modern in design and
management than the typical current site, and so exploitation of the resource will become more
economically viable.
3.2 The Extent of the Resource
Biomass resource data must be used with care and qualified with the assumptions made to generate
them. Here, resources have been estimated by first assessing the theoretical resource, meaning the
full extent of the resource irrespective of other uses, or practical or economic questions about
collection and energy use. This is then translated into an estimate of the practical resource by
considering technical, practical and economic constraints on the full exploitation of the theoretical
resources. The detailed calculations for each resource are given in Annex K.
This analysis suggests a total practical energy resource of 21.71 PJ in 2010 and 34.09 PJ in 2020. The
practical resource estimates are not absolute and depend on:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Relative prices between conventional and bioenergy
Competing uses of biomass (e.g. board manufacture, mushroom compost from straw)
The practical challenges and costs of extraction, collection, collation and storage
There are geographical limitations on transportation from source to energy use
Likely growth of energy crop planting takes account of agricultural policy and supports
Likely energy conversion pathways for each resource
The practical resource would increase with appropriate economic or policy drivers. Representing
these resource estimates in graphical form shows the relative importance of different resources and
the increasing size of the total resource over time:
Figure 3.2.1 The growing bioenergy resource
PJ/year
40
35
30
Energy Crops
25
MSW Organic Fraction
Landfill Gas
20
Wet Organic residues
Dry Agricultural residues
15
Wood residues
10
5
0
2001
2010
2020
18
Total primary energy consumption, excluding transport, was 430 PJ in 2002.30
Wood residues are expected to be the most important resource throughout the period in question,
barring more significant development of energy crops. Landfill gas will diminish as the resource is
tapped and as the use of landfill for biodegradable waste decreases. Energy crops should increase
their contribution, especially between 2010 and 2020.
These estimates represent 3.4% of projected total primary energy requirement for Ireland in 2010 and
4.8% for 2020.
This baseline estimate of the practical resource is translated into three scenarios as follows:
•
•
•
A LOW Scenario – this assumes some improvement in relative prices for renewable
energy, some effort to address institutional barriers and limited market competence.
A MEDIUM Scenario – significant improvement in relative prices for renewable energy,
significant movement to address institutional barriers and improved market
competence.
A HIGH Scenario – major improvement in relative prices for renewable energy, success in
removal of institutional barriers and the development of a high level of market
competence.
Table 3.2.1 Scenarios for bioenergy uptake31
2010
Wood residues
-Pulpwood residues
-Sawmill residues
-Forest residues
-Recycled wood -C&D residues
Dry Agricultural residues
-Straw
-Poultry Litter
-Spent Mushroom Compost
-Meat & Bonemeal
Wet Organic residues
-Cattle/pig manures, slurries
-Poultry manure
-Food beverage & tobacco sludges
-Sewage sludges (dry solids)
-Biodegradable MSW
Landfill Gas
-Landfill gas
Waste-to-Energy MSW
-Waste-to-Energy MSW
Energy Crops
-Short Rotation Coppice
Total
30
2020
PJ/year
Low
PJ/year
Med
PJ/year
High
PJ/year
Low
PJ/year
Med
PJ/year
High
0.59
0.38
0.52
0.29
1.78
2.95
1.89
2.61
1.46
8.91
4.43
2.84
3.92
2.19
13.37
1.51
0.65
0.63
0.57
3.36
7.56
3.24
3.15
2.86
16.81
11.34
4.86
4.73
3.37
24.29
0.34
0.02
0.01
0.49
0.85
1.69
0.09
0.05
2.45
4.27
2.53
0.14
0.07
3.67
6.41
0.32
0.02
0.01
0.49
0.84
1.62
0.09
0.05
2.45
4.20
2.43
0.14
0.07
3.67
6.31
0.08
0.11
0.12
0.01
0.09
0.42
0.33
0.12
0.19
0.01
0.23
0.89
0.82
0.16
0.24
0.02
0.37
1.61
0.32
0.18
0.20
0.01
0.40
1.11
0.80
0.20
0.36
0.02
0.79
2.18
1.61
0.23
0.46
0.02
0.95
3.27
0.43
0.43
0.57
0.57
0.86
0.86
0.16
0.16
0.21
0.21
0.31
0.31
4.06
4.06
5.41
5.41
5.95
5.95
4.44
4.44
5.93
5.93
6.52
6.52
0.05
0.05
0.59
0.59
0.99
0.99
0.99
0.99
3.51
3.51
6.75
6.75
7.59
20.65
29.19
10.90
32.84
47.45
SEI, 2004.
31
The medium scenario illustrated here is identical to the practical resource estimate with a small adjustment to the energy
crops figure: reducing assumed hectare coverage in 2010 from 5000 to 3000. See Annex L.
19
Table 3.2.1 above summarises the analysis of resource availability under each of these scenarios for
2010 and 2020. It is important to note here that the estimates of bioenergy in these scenarios are
additional to the reference case32. The details of all contextual changes in each scenario are not
defined in full, but are intended to represent three broadly different cases. The extent of resources
available in the low and high scenarios are defined relative to the medium scenario, which is almost
identical to the practical resource analysis outlined above. Full detail on the methods used to arrive at
these figures is given in Annex L.
3.3 Demand Considerations
Final energy demand (2003) in the main sectors is as follows:
Table 3.3.1
Final energy demand (PJ) in Ireland, 200233
Industry
Electricity34
Gas
Oil
Coal
Peat & briquettes
Renewables
25.5
16.7
27.7
11.1
4.6
Commercial
public
30.0
13.9
33.9
1.5
-
&
Domestic
25.1
22.6
43.2
12.1
11.3
1.8
These figures give a sense of the relative scales of energy demand against likely bioenergy input.
Biomass heat markets come mostly from existing solid fuel use with a focus on buildings, which may
include large boilers in commercial or public sector buildings (offices, local authorities, schools,
colleges), and facilities such as swimming pools, hospital or hotels which have particularly strong heat
demands. In the early stages of market development, some large own-use industrial heat
applications are the most likely to come on stream first.
At the smaller end of the scale, all 1.29 million households in Ireland (each consuming about 20 MWh
of thermal fuels and 5 MWh of electricity per year) represent potential heat users. Additional demand
comes through CHP, where again some key industrial sites may be the first users.
Electricity generation from biomass is very unlikely to be demand limited in terms of overall electricity
demand, but there may of course be local issues such as grid capacity and connections. The CHP
Policy Group is addressing some of the difficulties that independent power producers face in gaining
access to the electricity market and securing buyers for the power they generate. Specific CHP
opportunities are often determined by the nature of the heat demand, and this places a limit on the
number of suitable sites. Co-firing is also of early interest, and is limited more by fuel resources than
by potential demand.
3.4 Technology, Expertise and Actors
Technologies for all major bioenergy pathways are well established and proven, and no significant
technical barriers exist. However, most technologies have not been well demonstrated and proven in
Ireland, and this has an impact on market confidence.
The Irish bioenergy sector is under-developed in terms of expertise and experience. However, the
independent energy sector has been growing over recent years, and the renewables sector generally
is well established. Many Irish market actors have links with European companies, and across the EU
32
The reference case is defined as existing bioenergy contribution to Ireland’s Total Primary Energy Requirement (TPER) plus
anticipated developments from existing support programmes (AER V and AER VI)
33
DCMNR, Provisional energy balance 2003.
34
Electricity figures are final demand; input energy requirements for generation would be about three times these figures
20
expertise and experience in bioenergy is readily available, and many companies are already looking
to Ireland for new business.
Possibly more of a concern is experience on the supply side, particularly for the Irish specific
dimensions of energy crops, waste exploitation, harvesting and extraction. For instance, plantings of
SRC have been confined to a small number of trials and pilot projects (though SRC has been
researched extensively in Northern Ireland), and little work has been done on the suitability of
miscanthus grass in Ireland. Similarly, much of the technical development in forestry residue
extraction and transport has been in Scandinavia, where ground conditions and scale are very
different to Ireland.
The complex nature of bioenergy pathways and the range of raw materials involved mean that there
is a large number of actors involved, both on the public sector side and in the markets themselves:
•
•
•
•
•
Government departments – DCMNR; Environment, Heritage and Local Government; Agriculture
and Food; Finance
Public agencies and regulators – Commission for Energy Regulation; Environmental Protection
Agency; Sustainable Energy Ireland
Public bodies – Coford; Teagasc; local authorities; Office of Public Works
Industry associations – Irish Bioenergy Association and others
Energy companies; agricultural and forestry interests; the wood processing sector; developers,
investors, waste companies, farmers and banks
The tendency of bioenergy issues to cross many sectoral lines is a particular issue for development, as
it raises barriers through complexity of regulation, the range of actors involved and the costs of
dealing with all relevant agencies or companies. It also necessitates new business relationships, such
as farmers selling to power companies or energy brokers, or local authorities or industries passing
waste for processing to community based AD schemes.
This creates a need for intervention to minimise the difficulties that arise and to improve coherence
and consistency, particularly across the public bodies involved. This will be discussed further in
Section 4 of this report.
3.5 What could be achieved – 2010 and 2020
As has been seen, in practical terms there are no demand constraints on the exploitation of the full
practical bioenergy resource and more. For most pathways, improved financial returns would
generate activity quickly and set the sector on a strong growth path, with positive feedback in
awareness, confidence and hence investment activity.
However, a number of important barriers remain in place inhibiting the growth of the bioenergy
sector, ranging from economic factors to policy, legislative and institutional issues and barriers in
awareness, experience, confidence and market readiness. Section 4 of this report details these
barriers as identified by this Group, and Section 5 makes recommendations for addressing these
hurdles.
It is the view of this Group that if no action is taken and policy remains as it is now, very little growth
in bioenergy will occur, and even the low scenario described in 3.2 is as much as could be hoped for.
However, the medium scenario is based on conservative assumptions about price and policy
changes, and thus should be achievable. The high scenario is more challenging but still represents
something that is well within reach.
SEI has developed an economic model for renewable energy in Ireland. This is still under
development, but has been used in analysis for DCMNR’s Renewable Energy Development Group.
The principles employed in calculating long run levelised costs for bioenergy pathways are set out in
Annex L. It should be emphasised that there are many sensitivities in the model, and some elements
may changes as model development continues. Nonetheless it is useful to consider the results here.
Costs cited are considered to be based on conservative assumptions and may overstate the support
required.
21
The analysis indicates that most bioenergy pathways would be able to bring electricity to the grid at
prices in the range 9.5 to 11 cents per kWh (with ‘best new entrant’ gas-generated electricity priced at
5.36 cents). 35 Landfill gas is more competitive than other pathways, and the AER VI price of 6.412
cents per kWh should be sufficient to incentivise it.
The Group’s target for 2010 (see Section 5.7) is based on the medium scenario of the resource and
economic modelling (Annexes K and L) and envisages:
•
•
•
•
22 PJ total primary energy derived from bioenergy
822 GWh electricity generated from bioenergy (based on capacity of 140 MWe)
3935 GWh heat generated from bioenergy
Total additional CO2 emissions abatement from useful heat and electricity generation of 820,000
tonnes per annum36
For the electricity side, modelling suggests that the support costs required to bring this bioelectricity
to the market would be of the order of €145 million in total. These are levelised costs, in 2005 terms,
over 15 years. CO2 savings associated with this bioelectricity are estimated at 414,000 tonnes for each
of the 15 years. This represents CO2 abatement costs of about €23 per tonne. Allowing for the useful
heat from biomass CHP included in this cost would reduce the figure to €18 per tonne of CO2. These
figures do not include the value of any of the wider benefits of bioenergy. Broadening the analysis to
include the use of biomass for heat and all costs associated with the recommendations set out in
Chapter 5 gives an estimate of total costs of the order of €190M and CO2 abatement costs of €16 per
tonne.
35
Costs, in 2005 terms, of each kWh produced over project lifetime, counting all capital and running costs. See Annex K.
Additional to the CO2 abatement associated with current bioenergy usage. Electricity displaced by new bioenergy is
assumed to be generated by the average national fuel mix. Bioenergy heat is assumed to displace oil fuelled heating.
36
22
4. Overcoming the Barriers, Developing the Market
4.1 Developing a bioenergy project
Many potential barriers exist for a prospective bioenergy project developer working from the initial
interest in such a project through to successful commissioning and operation of bioenergy plant:
Figure 4.1.1 Barriers to bioenergy project development
Some barriers relate to the nascent state of the market, some to the inherent complexities of
bioenergy pathways. Not all can be removed, but there are clearly a number of intervention points
for government action to minimise barriers and maximise growth. These issues are considered in
more depth in the following sections.
4.2 Capital, Equipment and Finance
Capital costs are nearly always higher for bioenergy projects than for conventional fossil fuel
equivalents, often by a factor of 2 to 337. This is largely due to the relatively new technologies
involved and the poorer economies of scale compared to conventional energy technologies. Such
costs should fall over time, but will remain the principal barrier to bioenergy development for the
foreseeable future.
As with most energy projects, rates of return are often low and long project lifetimes are required to
make them attractive. This requires security of both supply and demand over many years.
37
RCEP, 2004.
23
Clearly then, attracting project finance can be difficult, even when the project looks good on paper
and a developer is willing to proceed. New technologies, with few local case studies to point to, are
often not considered ‘safe bets’. As well as doubts about the technologies, the complexities of the
supply chain creates uncertainty about viability, as does concern about the security of energy sales
over the project lifetime. Long term electricity contracts are one example of a way to address this
particular problem, but they must be secure and solid (‘bankable’) in terms of helping to secure
finance.
Although most pathways are not currently economically attractive, many are very nearly so. In
several instances, small relative changes in price between fossil fuels and biomass fuels would make
bioenergy competitive38. Also, current pricing does not internalise many of the important benefits of
bioenergy, including emissions abatement (to be partly addressed in the forthcoming EU emission
trading system), strategic advantages (security and diversity of energy supply), and rural
development and employment benefits.
4.3 The Supply Chain
Bioenergy pathways involve new relationships among actors traditionally from different sectors.
Farmers and energy commodity intermediaries or power stations are not used to dealing with each
other, and even simple things like how to contract fuel supply are untested and likely to create
nervousness. Until there is scale and experience in these markets, such nervousness will remain.
For wood products and energy crops, the first step in the supply chain is the grower. Growth in
forestry planting in recent years means a substantial resource is coming to maturity and it is looking
for markets. Forestry growers are now used to providing relatively large amounts of product to board
plants and the market is well developed in terms of intermediaries and market experience. It is likely
that if large scale buyers were to emerge through energy projects, stable supply chains could be
established quickly. However, this is untested. Most large wood energy projects to date are based at
wood processing plants, where the supply chains are already in place.
At present, most forestry residues, such as thinnings and stumps, are left on the forest floor;
extraction is not economic and demand is low. Technologies for such extraction, developed in
Scandinavia, tend to require very large scale operations, and also often do not suit the wet, soft
conditions of Irish forests. There may be a technology deficit here, or it may be the case that
technologies are available if they could be imported say by a group of foresters to make them
economic.
Now is a good time to be approaching farmers about new crops and new opportunities. CAP reform
and the single farm payment make innovation and change more attractive and less risky. Farmers
can receive their single farm payment and then try growing energy crops for additional income (it is
also possible to retain payments when planting conventional forestry). Setaside land can also be
planted with such crops. However, both SRC and particularly miscanthus need relatively good quality
land.
For farmers to become interested in energy crops, they must see stable markets that will buy the crop
at an acceptable price and will continue to do so over several years. The RCEP report sets out the
range of factors determining the economic viability of growing energy crops39:
• crop yields
• the level of grants available for establishing the crop
• set aside payments for land used
• the costs of maintaining and harvesting the crop
• the market for the fuel and payments made for it
• costs of removing the crop at the end of the growing cycle.
In terms of security of markets, there is some experience in the UK that indicates what is required.
Contracts with two to three year horizons (post-harvest) seem to offer enough security to farmers,
and government guarantees to buy crops in the event of project failure can clearly raise confidence.
38
E4Tech, 2003. Biomass for heat and power in the UK, a techno-economic assessment of long term potential. London: DTI
Renewables Innovation Review.
39
RCEP, 2004
24
For agricultural residues, much of the resources (in spent mushroom compost, poultry litter and pig
slurry in particular) are concentrated in a small number of geographical areas, and so collection and
transportation should not represent a major barrier to their use for energy. However, the energy
quality of these materials is poor, and the total extent of the resource will not support many large
projects. For other such residues, such as straw or cattle slurry, the resource is more dispersed, and
smaller projects, possibly farm based with several farmers contributing resources, are more likely to
be practicable. This model is commonly employed for farm residue AD projects.
For waste in general, disposal is already in crisis and new sinks for waste should find it easy to secure
supply, and indeed to charge gate fees. However, long term supply reliability may be difficult to
achieve and gate fees may not provide reliable revenue into the future if the waste streams start to
have positive value associated with them. There are some legislative issues about waste disposal and
utilisation (of animal by-products for example, see footnote 29). Sewage sludge represents a resource
that is already collected and centrally processed in large quantities, and indeed many such
processing operations already employ AD. Many of these AD units are known to be interested in or
capable of taking in other additional resource streams.
Issues vary for different pathways, but the common imperative is to establish new markets and
relationships, and build scale and confidence. There is circularity here, reliable markets need projects
and experience, but projects will not emerge until developers and financiers see evidence of reliable
supply chains. Special large projects, such as a co-firing project at a large plant, with appropriate
state backing (at least in terms of guarantees), could kick start supply chains and develop interest, but
run the risk of excessive dependency.
A specific barrier exists in relation to co-firing at peat fired generation plants. Edenderry Power and
the two new ESB peat stations all have long term fuel supply contracts with Bord na Mona. It may be
the case that if these plants decided to reduce their peat fuel input in preference for biomass they
would still be liable to pay their supplier for the fuel displaced. If this were the case, the economics of
co-firing would clearly be undermined.
4.4 Information, Market Awareness
Interest in renewable energy has grown strongly in recent years, due in part to strong public
marketing programmes, the AER process, and growing international interest. For wind energy in
particular, there are many interested developers, land owners and communities, although some of
this interest has been negative as many communities have reservations about large wind turbines in
their localities.
The activity in the wind sector has developed market interest and competence, and this could
become the nucleus for growth in the bioenergy sector. Many companies are already looking at
bioenergy opportunities in Ireland.
Demonstration projects and case studies are an important means of building awareness and
confidence. SEI and its REIO are active in this area, but there are limited published case studies, and
stories of high profile failures can have more of an impact than many small, low key successes. There
is a need to disseminate more of the successes and good news stories.
Domestic expertise in many aspects of bioenergy is low, but there is plenty of international expertise
and experience available, and the lack of domestic expertise does not seem to represent a major
barrier. Developers report ready access to the expert advice they require. Lack of awareness among
financiers is probably a greater barrier. State action in raising awareness, building confidence and
reducing perceived and actual risk is a priority. As with many barriers, if economic returns improved,
it is likely that activity would develop quickly. This would bring the benefits of building awareness
and confidence as technologies are demonstrated and supply chains and intermediaries prove
themselves.
25
4.5 Institutional Hurdles
A strong message the Group heard from developers and prospective developers is that treatment of
bioenergy by public agencies and departments is not perceived to be consistent or transparent.
Projects will need to investigate planning permissions, waste or IPPC licences, electricity market rules,
grants or other supports available (ranging from R&D funds and tax incentives to agricultural
supports). Developers often find it difficult to perceive that basis on which the agencies involved are
evaluating their proposals. It is widely perceived as difficult to obtain guidance on whether planning
permissions or licences will be attainable, or what might be the key issues to address, and this can
mean going through lengthy and expensive processes with no certainty about the outcomes.
Developers seek some guidance early in the process to help them understand what is required of
them.
At a higher policy level, the lack of a national bioenergy policy, with visible Government interest in
bioenergy and a common national approach, has many impacts on market development. Many
policy areas have an impact on the potential for bioenergy:
•
•
•
•
•
Environmental policy – waste policy (landfill, waste to energy, composting, treatment of special
wastes), pollution policy (air emissions, licensing) planning and public involvement
Agricultural policy – strategic priorities for farming, policy towards spreading of slurries and
wastes, supports and guidance available
Energy policy – renewable energy goals, priorities among renewables, prioritisation of heat or
power, strategic goals such as indigenous energy supply, electricity market arrangements
Financial policy – grants, fiscal incentives, carbon tax and emissions trading
Enterprise and employment policy – local and rural development
This list is by no means exhaustive, but demonstrates the range of policy areas that have an impact
on bioenergy – either in terms of bioenergy furthering policy goals or policies in these areas affecting
bioenergy pathways. To date a coherent examination of bioenergy interests across all these areas has
not been carried out.
4.6 Education and Training
For renewable energy, there are many informal and ad hoc training opportunities in Ireland, such as
conferences and short courses. There is also a very small number of renewable focused formal
courses, such as the Tipperary Institute’s Certificate in Renewable Energy. New courses are being
developed at present, including new degree programmes with a focus on renewable energy.
The DCMNR renewable energy consultation document emphasises the importance of training in the
sector and the possible need for intervention to stimulate its progress. A bioenergy training needs
assessment exercise has been commissioned by SEI.
A strong need is a greater renewables component in many conventional technical courses, rather
than specialist courses per se. There is a particular need for training for technicians. All energy
equipment installers should receive at least some training in new bioenergy technologies. Some oneoff courses are already taking place, in topics such as installing wood fuelled heating systems.
Architects and specifiers are also an important target audience. In addition, establishing quality
assurance and certification systems may be as important as developing new training courses.
A training and certification scheme for professionals involved in renewable energy projects has been
undertaken by SEI and Action Renewables, supported by the EU Interreg Programme. The Renewable
Energy Academy, as the project is called, will train and certify professionals, focusing on installers and
designers. It should build confidence in the professional services available for renewable energy
technology installation.
26
5. Conclusions & Recommendations – Realising the Potential
5.1 Introduction
Wind energy in Ireland has grown from a very low base in 1996 to 229 MWe of installed capacity
(including a large recent contribution of 25 MWe from offshore wind), an annual growth rate of 55%.
This compares with an annual growth rate in bioenergy deployment of 3% in the same period. It is
important to ask if lessons can be learned for bioenergy.
The EC ascribes wind energy’s success across Europe to programmes that put attractive supports in
place, removed administrative barriers and guaranteed fair access to the electricity grid40. Similar
issues of importance were identified by the Irish Wind Energy Strategy Group, established by the
Minister for Public Enterprise, which published its findings in 2000. Its report identified three key
elements for ensuring wind energy’s growth; the electricity market, the electricity network, and
spatial planning (this latter being a major issue at the time but now seen as largely solved). It is also
the case that wind energy is generally the most economically competitive among renewable
electricity technologies, and that the AER scheme has been successful in bringing many
developments to fruition. The Strategy Group recommended that a proactive pro-wind energy policy
be put in place that would help address the key issues in a co-ordinated and coherent manner41.
A similar approach to bioenergy is now called for. A strong policy needs to be put in place that will
lead towards enhanced awareness, improved coherence and co-ordination and new momentum in
the market. This policy should be backed by an implementation strategy with strong but realisable
targets aiming to ensure consistency across all policy areas and all public bodies; focus on lowering of
key hurdles; and improve the economic returns of bioenergy projects by valuing their full benefits.
The following sections bring together the full recommendations of this Group to address these key
imperatives. Some interventions relate to all bioenergy, others to specific pathways. They may relate
to the environment for bioenergy as a whole (such as supportive policy) or may aim to address
specific barriers on either the supply or demand side.
5.2 Priority Bioenergy Pathways
The following bioenergy pathways have been selected as appropriate priorities for attention and the
most likely to achieve success in Ireland. This analysis is based on the scale of their potential
contribution, economic attractiveness, timeliness, benefits and their importance in preparing for the
long term future of bioenergy. The assessment of priorities also includes qualitative judgements as to
which pathways are closest to market readiness, face fewest barriers, and are of adequate scale to
justify developmental effort.
40
41
DG Energy and Transport, Presentation to International Conference for Renewable Energies. Bonn, June 2004
Renewable Energy Strategy Group, 2000. Strategy for Intensifying Wind Energy Deployment.
27
Pathway
Co-firing
Scale
of
potential
contribution
&
timeframe
High potential in short
term
Amenable to intervention
Comments
Opportunity
for
policy
intervention to push co-firing
in peat fired electricity plants
in particular, also possibilities
for co-fired heat
Many sites ready if returns
improve
Could quickly develop scale
and security in supply chains
and have a significant impact
by 2010
Industrial
wood residue
CHP
High potential in short
term
Anaerobic
digestion
Lower potential, but
could deliver impacts in
short term
Landfill gas
Ready
for
implementation
Wood heat in
buildings
High potential, available
in short term
Public sector initiatives to
kick-start, also targeting the
domestic and commercial
sectors
Energy crops
High potential, but over
longer time
Support via agriculture policy
quick
Role for the Department of
Agriculture and Food in
reviewing
restrictive
legislation, and also possibly
in information
Could be driven through
waste policy and also
supported for electricity sales
Biomass CHP extends range
of CHP and brings additional
benefits.
Could have a
significant impact by 2010
Many
additional
environmental
benefits,
amenable to farm and
community based units
A significant resource that
should be exploited rather
than allowed to dissipate.
Could have a significant
impact by 2010
Could allow bioenergy to
become established across all
sectors, and exploit Ireland’s
strong
wood
resource
advantage. Plenty of private
sector potential also.
Important for agricultural
development and essential to
build the resource for the
future
5.3 Policy, Strategy and Institutional Recommendations
Bioenergy is ready to grow strongly in significance as a source of renewable energy, and it is
environmentally and strategically important that this happens. The first step in this is a strongly
articulated Government policy backed up by a strategy for action with ambitious but realisable goals.
Both policy and strategy should be based on the following principles:
•
•
•
•
•
Rationality and consistency – across all Government Departments and Agencies, and treating all
alternative energy pathways on the same basis of economic, environmental and strategic
evaluation
Acknowledging the wider national benefits – seeking to capture benefits not currently priced
Setting a road map and implementing the actions required to deliver the targets
Harnessing the capabilities that already exist in Ireland, in both the public and private sectors
Building on experience and learning over time – allowing for flexibility and learning by doing
This should be led by DCMNR, supported by SEI. Each Department (especially DCMNR, DAF and
DoEHLG) would then need to take full responsibility for aspects relevant to them. Such a process
should start with a signal of strong, long-term Government support, preferably from the highest level.
In order that such a strategy is delivered coherently and effectively, this Group strongly recommends
the establishment of a Cross-Departmental Bioenergy Group charged with co-ordinating delivery of
measures, monitoring progress and achieving the goals.
28
Developers perceive difficulties in understanding the needs of planning permission processors or in
seeing consistent treatment of bioenergy projects. Interventions should be considered that will bring
transparency and consistency to the process. The best mechanism to achieve this is currently the
subject of discussions between SEI and DoEHLG. Developers have expressed similar concerns about
EPA licensing procedures, and again ways to bring transparency and offer guidance should be
considered. SEI should engage EPA and DoEHLG in further discussions on this issue.
Targets for the development of bioenergy on a regional basis would be strong incentives for local
action and would promote positive approaches to planning issues. Such targets should be based on
studies carried out with the close involvement of the local community and all stakeholders.
Co-firing at electricity generating stations could prove to be a major boost to the development of
bioenergy, creating strong demand and allowing supply chains to develop. It is established that cofiring at existing and new peat fired generators is both feasible and economically attractive; the
actual costs of peat and biomass fuels are similar. However, it seems likely that contractual
arrangements with the peat fuel supplier, Bord na Mona, and Public Service Obligation arrangements
could represent barriers to such co-firing. The potential benefits are such that DCMNR should
address these issues to ensure co-firing can be taken forward.
An environment that recognises and values all of the benefits of different energy pathways will
support renewables and CHP to the correct extent, and the central goal is to create market conditions
that allow this to occur. In this regard, the Group supports the recommendations of the CHP Policy
Group that seek to ensure appropriate treatment of embedded generation and green autoproducers
in the market. Key issues are clarity and appropriateness of procedures, delays in getting grid
connections and the costs of connection.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Recommendation
Publish a strong clear Government policy
Publish national targets for bioenergy
Publish and implement a strategy for
action based on this report
Establish
an
inter
departmental
bioenergy group
Push for clarity in and offer
informational support on planning and
licensing processes
Commission
studies
of
regional
bioenergy potential, then establish
regional targets
Facilitate and promote co-firing at peat
fired electricity plants
Support grid recommendations of CHP
Policy Group particularly regarding
embedded generation issues
Pathways
All
All
All
Supply/demand
All
All
All
Actors
DCMNR
DCMNR
DCMNR/SEI
All
All
All
All
DCMNR/DoEHL
G/DAF/SEI
SEI/DCMNR/DEH
LG/EPA
All
All
DCMNR/SEI
Co-firing
Electricity
DCMNR
All
Electricity; CHP
DCMNR/CER
5.4 Financial Supports
Financial support for bioenergy is merited because there is not yet a mature, fully functional market
in place. It is an infant industry that needs support to allow confidence and experience to grow into
its potential as a valuable and strategically important sector. Current market prices fail to value many
of the benefits of bioenergy, and the state should pursue these benefits. Across Europe, financial
support has been found to be effective and indeed essential to establishing bioenergy on a strong
footing.
Government has now made a decision not to proceed with the proposed carbon tax and to ensure
compliance with Kyoto related emissions abatement targets through other programmes and
29
measures. EU ETS will bring some carbon rationality to energy prices, although only time will indicate
to what extent, and not all emissions are covered.
This Group believes that a bidding type system is not the appropriate mechanism for future
incentivisation of electricity production from biomass; it has had limited impact to date.
Supporting the demand side – Electricity
The aim of any intervention is to improve the project investment in terms of rate of return or payback,
hence attracting developers to projects and also making it easier to secure finance. This is often best
done at the point of selling the output, to link the support directly to the benefits obtained. For
electricity from biomass, this means some form of price support and secure access to the electricity
market. Several options are available, and each has strengths and weaknesses.42 This Group believes
that the best option at this time would be feed in tariffs, with tradable renewable obligation
certificates (ROCs) as a second option. SEI’s economic analysis suggests that feed-in tariffs in the
range of 9.5 cents to 11 cents would be adequate to achieve impacts, with the exception of LFG,
which is more competitive and should be incentivised adequately by the AER VI price of 6.412 cents
per kWh. Ongoing economic analysis is expected to refine these price estimates (see Section 3.5).
Feed in tariffs can be set at levels that provide the appropriate support to renewables in terms of
requisite rates of return and project security. Such tariffs are more bankable than other supports
(including ROCs), and offer transparency and certainty to developers. They can be set at different
levels for different resources or technologies, according to policy goals or market conditions.
However, since the tariffs are set by the administrators and not subject to competition, it is important
that they are set at the right level to avoid over-paying for the benefits. It is possible to set feed in
tariffs that decrease over time, or that are linked to project rates of return. Nine EU states have used
feed-in tariffs to successfully support renewables penetration. They are well proven in their
effectiveness, have low administrative costs, and proven models are available.
ROCs can be driven by and linked directly to targets for renewable energy; the market sets prices
required to meet the targets and the mechanism can sit in parallel to the electricity market without
affecting the market operation. ROCs can cover both heat43 and electricity, and even allow for interexchange at a carbon rational exchange rate. A system of guarantees of origin is required under the
RES-E Directive (Article 5), so much of the work of setting up the system is going to happen anyway
(preparatory work is underway by CER). Evidence from the UK is that ROCs can deliver strong support
to the renewables sector. Northern Ireland is in the process of implementing ROCs and so the
possibility exists for a future all-island market. However, some states have come to the conclusion
that tradable certificates are not necessarily the lowest cost way to support renewables. Also, they
rely on a strong degree of competition in electricity supply, a condition that may not yet be met in
Ireland. No state has set banded ROCs, so they are always neutral as to which source of renewable
energy is supported. This has meant that they tend to support the source that is currently cheapest,
usually wind, and not the wider set of renewable energy sources that merit support for a range of
reasons.
Support needs to be visible and dependable when investment is being considered or finance is being
sought – it needs to be ‘bankable’. Thus any price support mechanism needs long term reliability and
needs to be underpinned by well designed rules of access to the grid, and power purchase
agreements. For industrial companies there is ongoing competition for capital and acceptable rates
of return must be achieved. Feed-in tariffs may not be adequate in some cases and capital support
(grants, tax incentives) maybe be required. After 2010, re-evaluation will be required to identify the
most suitable support mechanisms for the subsequent period.
Supporting the demand side – Heat
Heat does not have a centralised market nor is the supply of heat usually metered, and so must be
supported in ways other than centralised price support. Also, the heat market extends to smaller and
more diverse situations, with particular potential for bioheat systems for houses and commercial
42
See DCMNR consultation document for further discussion
ROCs can extend to heat if remote monitoring metering is installed, but no EU states have developed such a system to date.
The RCEP has recommended such a system to support bioenergy in the UK.
43
30
buildings. Bioenergy heat systems (mostly wood fuelled) are now widely available, but their capital
costs are considerably higher than oil or gas fired equivalents. At the smaller end of the market,
additional market failure exists in that most investment decisions are not made on a life cycle cost
basis but simply (or mostly) on initial costs, so the financial benefits that may accrue to a bioheat
system are not considered. It seems clear that the bioheat market will not develop without support
to reduce capital costs. Such pump-priming support could allow for early market growth, leading to
increased competence and confidence and to economies of scale. At this point, the capital support
would no longer be required.
Thus the Group recommends grants or fiscal incentives to support bioheat systems for buildings at
the domestic and small commercial levels. Grants could be made available for the installation of
specific named bioheat systems, with suppliers applying to have their systems included on the list.
These grants should be capped to the appropriate scale and should be available for a fixed period of
time (probably of the order of 3 to 5 years at most), or be based on a fixed fund. Such grants could be
administered very efficiently, for example through licensed equipment suppliers, or could take the
form of tax incentives. As an indication of scale, grants or tax incentives of about €2000-€3000 may
be required to support domestic wood fired boilers (this is typical of grants employed in other states).
Thus if a penetration of 2000 households were the target, a fund of about €5M may be required.
Supporting the supply side – Energy Crops
Once demand is strong and chains are well developed, farmers should be interested in planting
energy crops for their economic returns. However, until the market grows, a disjuncture exists where
the demand side cannot grow without supply, and supply will not be put in place until demand is
seen to be reliable. To fix this problem, growth in supply needs to be stimulated through financial
support so that farmers become willing to plant before seeing a fully developed demand market. As
with the proposed bioheat supports, such support can be for a fixed period of time, as it should not
be required once the sector is fully up and running. The Group recommends that a grant or other
fiscal incentive for growing energy crops be incorporated into the framework of rural development
support. Ireland should continue to lobby for the inclusion of such a measure in EU discussions on
the next phase of rural development support, 2007 – 201344. Mechanisms to deliver support in the
shorter term should also be considered. The Northern Ireland SRC Challenge is a good model of
using a fixed fund to maximise interest and planting in the early stages of market development, and
indicates the scale of support required. Grants are expected to be of the order of €3000 per ha in this
scheme (considered quite generous by international standards). At this price, a fund of €15M would
be required to stimulate the planting of 5000 ha.
9
1
0
1
1
Recommendation
Price supports for electricity
(Feed
in
tariffs,
capital
supports
recommended)
Capital grants or tax incentives for domestic
and small commercial heat systems
Fiscal incentives for growing energy crops
Pathways
All
Supply/demand
Electricity; CHP
Actors
DCMNR
champion
Wood for
heat
Energy
crops
Heat
DCMNR
to
champion
DCMNR, Dept
of Agriculture
& Food
Supply
to
5.5 Building Critical Mass
While the bioenergy sector remains at its current small scale, a circular pattern exists of demand
waiting for the supply side to grow and the supply side needing stronger demand in order to grow.
44
A draft Commission proposal for a Council Regulation outlining a suggested framework for rural development support for
the period 2007-2013 was issued in July 2004 (COM(2004)490 final, 14.7.2004). Comments on the draft proposal from the Irish
delegation were submitted to the Commission in October 2004, including a reference that the proposed Council Regulation
address the promotion of the production of biomass.
31
The market will find it difficult to break this pattern, and public intervention can serve to quickly
create demand in specific, local situations that will allow supply chains to develop and confidence to
grow.
In the first instance, public sector buildings should take the lead in developing bioenergy systems,
particularly wood fired heat (and, where appropriate, biomass CHP). The technology for these
systems is well developed and well proven, and can be incorporated in new or existing buildings with
little technical modification and little change of current energy practices (particularly for buildings
used to coal or oil). Capital costs are higher than for conventional systems, but will pay back over
time through lower fuel costs, and the public sector should be in a position to accept slightly longer
paybacks to demonstrate systems with wider benefits. The current Government decentralisation
programme presents an ideal opportunity for the Office of Public Works to take a lead in promoting
bioenergy in new or refitted public buildings. Public housing may also be a target sector.
Beyond demonstration in the public sector, wood heat and other bioenergy systems could have very
wide application in many commercial buildings. Planning processes could oblige developers to
consider such options, and this will also be driven by the Buildings Directive, which contains a similar
requirement. SEI, DCMNR and DEHLG are looking at mechanisms to deliver this, and this is to be
encouraged.
A specific recommendation for promoting landfill gas is to encourage all landfill sites to look at gas
extraction and exploitation for energy. All landfill developments are obliged to do this under the
Landfill Directive,45 and the licensing system can best ensure it actually happens.
We would
encourage EPA to ensure that the licensing system stimulates action and leads to meaningful
assessments that properly evaluate LFG opportunities.
12
13
14
Recommendation
Public building heat exemplar
projects
All large developments to assess
bioenergy possibilities
EPA landfill licences to ask for LFG
assessment
Pathways
Wood for
heat/CHP
All
Supply/demand
Heat/CHP
Actors
DCMNR/OPW
All
DCMNR/DEHLG
LFG
Elec (mostly)
EPA
5.6 Developing Market Competence
Significant marketing and promotional activities, and the RE RD&D Programme, are already carried
out by SEI, both through its Dublin office and the Renewable Energy Information Office. However,
these are part of the general renewable energy activity and carry no specific bioenergy branding. It is
recommended that a specific bioenergy identity be introduced (‘Bioenergy Action’ for example) to
bring together both current activities and the new measures recommended below. Resources
(staffing and funding) should be ringfenced for bioenergy. If all of the recommendations made here
are to be implemented, resources devoted to bioenergy by SEI will need to increase.
There is a long established trade association for the bioenergy industry – the Irish Bioenergy
Association (IrBEA). This organisation should be encouraged and supported, as should its cooperation with SEI.
The Group recommends increased marketing activity to develop awareness among all target groups
and to provide information and support. Market actors in the renewables sector are generally already
aware of and interested in bioenergy, and many are simply waiting for market condition to improve.
Key target groups for awareness include potential bioenergy customers (large buildings, public
bodies, industry and also householders); and potential actors in the supply chain, such as consultants
45
Landfill Directive (99/31/EC); Annex 1, Section 4
32
and fuel intermediaries. Another key group is the general public, with the need to proactively
address potential community concerns about bioenergy projects.
Few involved in bioenergy development are expert in all aspects of the process. Guidance materials
for developers should be produced helping them through technical and economic evaluation of
bioenergy projects, and the requirements of planning and licensing procedures.
Guidance should include model contracts for various key relationships, such as between farmers and
power stations, or local authorities and AD systems accepting waste.
Delivery of such guidance and information should be through a ‘one stop shop’ approach to help
overcome the difficulties arising from the wide range of bodies, regulations and permissions that
need to be engaged with in project development. The proposed bioenergy promotion unit of SEI
could deliver this service. This would also help to address issues relating to obtaining permissions
and licences by offering information and guidance to developers.
For a project to proceed the developer, equipment suppliers, resource suppliers and energy users all
need to come together in the right way. This can be difficult in a nascent market. SEI should consider
how these contacts and relationships can be stimulated and facilitated, possibly through selected
consultants or local energy agencies.
A number of bioenergy feasibility studies have been supported by SEI. It is recommended that a
guide be produced on how to undertake a feasibility study, based on the lessons learned from these
supported studies. This guide for prospective developers could highlight the factors to be
considered, questions to be asked, and main sources of information. Feasibility studies should
continue to be supported, especially where novel approaches are being taken or where SEI believes
national benefits will accrue from the studies.
It is important that the Irish bioenergy industry is in accordance with best international practice.
Adherence to best practice guidelines and international and national standards should be pursued, as
should accreditation of installers and installations. New training initiatives should be considered on
foot of SEI’s training needs study currently underway.
Research should be commissioned on the issues for community acceptance of potentially
controversial projects and the best ways to address community involvement and information.
Another important topic is the harvesting of forestry and energy crops in Irish specific conditions,
adapting technologies and practices from other countries. Research is also required into demand
and potential for bioenergy in key areas and through key pathways.
Ireland should argue for a strong bioenergy component in the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme
for R&D. This programme will run from 2006-2010, with negotiations taking place across 2005 and
2006. This new programme presents an opportunity to enhance the supports available to bioenergy
R&D, for both the technical and socio-economic aspects.
15
16
17
18
19
20
Recommendation
Create a specific bioenergy support and
promotion unit, with its own resources
and identity
Increase
general
marketing
and
information activities
Produce
guidance
materials
for
developers on planning, licensing and
supports
Develop model contracts in key areas
Offer a one stop shop service to support
delivery through the new bioenergy
promotion unit
Examine ways to offer project contact
facilitation services
Pathways
All
Supply/demand
All
Actors
SEI
All
All
SEI
All
All
SEI
Energy crops
& others
All
Supply
DCMNR/SEI
All
SEI/DCMNR
All
All
SEI
33
21
22
23
24
25
Produce a guide to feasibility studies for
prospective developers
Examine new training initiatives
Consider certification of training and
education
Commission
additional
research/information projects
Support bioenergy in EU FP7
All
All
SEI
All
All
All
All
SEI
DCMNR/SEI
All
All
SEI
All
All
DCMNR/SEI
5.7 Concluding Remarks
The Bioenergy Strategy Group believes that the case is proven for bioenergy as an important element
of the development of renewable energy in Ireland. It brings many additional policy benefits over
other energy sources, and Ireland possesses both the resources and the demand for exploitation.
With appropriate support, bioenergy is now ready to grow rapidly and make a significant
contribution to renewable energy targets.
By 2010, bioenergy is capable of contributing to renewable energy targets through a total
contribution to primary energy of 22 PJ, or about 3.5% of Ireland’s expected total primary energy
requirement. This is the Group’s recommended target. It is envisaged that this would include
140MWe of installed electricity generation capacity, providing 822 GWh of biomass electricity46.
For 2020, the Group recommends a target of 35.6 PJ, which includes an electricity generation capacity
of 375 MWe. These targets are based on the medium scenario of the Group’s analysis, with further
consideration of the potential contribution from each bioenergy pathway.
Renewable heat is an important dimension of these targets. From a current contribution of 1825
GWh per annum, these targets would see an additional contribution from renewable heat of 2110
GWh in 2010 and 4940 GWh in 2020.
If these targets are met, they will results in additional annual abatement of carbon dioxide emissions
from energy production and consumption of 0.82 Mt in 2010 and 2.2 Mt in 2020.
These targets are very realisable, but will require some developments in market and policy
conditions. The Group’s vision for such conditions in 2010 are as follows:
•
•
•
•
•
A clearly articulated policy, with consistent and transparent treatment of bioenergy, and a stable
policy context
Recognition of the value of heat as an opportunity for renewable energy
An electricity market that allows access for renewable energy and values its contributions
according to its full benefits
A pricing system that better internalises all costs and benefits of energy from alternative sources
A bioenergy market based on experience and expertise, with active supply chains, many visible
success stories, and confidence among developers, financiers and customers
Internationally, bioenergy is growing in importance and will become a key element of future
sustainability for both energy and materials. It is timely to take steps now to ensure that Ireland is not
left behind its EU partners, but instead participates fully in these developments and gains the full
benefits offered.
46
These targets do not include the contribution of Waste to energy, since it is subject to factors outside the remit of this group.
Waste to energy may contribute an additional 5.4 PJ of bioenergy by 2010.
34
Annex
A. Bioenergy Strategy Group terms of reference
B. Bioenergy Strategy Group participation
C. Abbreviations and conversion factors
D. Co-firing pathway
E. Biomass CHP pathway
F. Anaerobic digestion pathway
G. Landfill gas pathway
H. Wood heat in buildings pathway
I. Energy crops
J. Future technologies
K. Resource estimation methods
L. Economic model - Inputs and analysis
35
Annex A
Bioenergy Strategy Group Terms of Reference
Increased utilisation of biomass for energy use could make a significant contribution to the reduction
of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions whilst increasing security of supply in Ireland (through fuel
diversity). Estimates show there to be significant indigenous resources of biomass in Ireland though
current usage is low.
The primary objective of the BSG is to consider the policy options and support mechanisms available
to Government to stimulate increased use of biomass for energy conversion, and to make specific
recommendations for action to increase the penetration of biomass energy in Ireland.
Biomass can be subdivided into wastes (residues from forestry and related industries, recycled wood,
agricultural residues and agrifood effluents, manures, the organic fraction of municipal solid waste);
and purpose grown energy crops including short rotation coppice and miscanthus grass. The use of
biomass as fuel for generation of both electricity and heat are within the remit of the BSG. The use of
biomass for production of liquid biofuels (usually for transport fuels) is excluded at this time.
BSG will produce a Strategy Report for publication meeting the objective set out above, comprising
text backed up by Appendices. It will contain a road map for development with the identification of
staged, achievable targets.
36
Annex B
Bioenergy Strategy Group Participation
Members of the Bioenergy Strategy Group
Dr Kevin Brown (Chair)
Dr Brian Motherway (Secretary)
Pearse Buckley, Sustainable Energy Ireland
Malcolm Dawson, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Northern Ireland
Bob Hanna, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources
Kevin Healion, Tipperary Institute
Katherine Licken, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources
Paul Kellett, Sustainable Energy Ireland – Renewable Energy Information Office
Dr Paul Kelly, Teagasc
Joe Kennedy, Weyerhaeuser
David Kidney, BALCAS
Colm O’Bric, Department of Agriculture and Food
Joe O’Carroll, Coford
Micheal Young, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Guest speakers and contributors
Godfrey Bevan, CHP Policy Group
Aine Carr, SEI REIO
Tommy Cooke, Ecobeo
Sarah Dawson, Byrne Ó’Cléirigh
Simon Dick, Clearpower
David Edge, Welsh Biofuels
Christian Eusterbrock, Ecobeo
Martin Hogan, Greenstar
Peter Kernohan, BALCAS
Peter Kofman, Biomass consultant (Denmark)
Tauno Kuitunen, Wartsila
Tom Lanigan, Wartsila
John McCann, SEI
David Moore, DoEHLG
Orla Mullan, OFREG NI
David Murphy, SEI
Therese Murphy, CHP Policy Group
Keelin O’Brien, CER
Marie O’Connor, EPA
Andrew Parish, SEI
Eddie Stack, Weyerhaeuser
Tuomo Utriainen, Electrowatt-Ekono
37
Annex C
Abbreviations and Conversion Factors
AD
AER
CER
CH4
CHP
CO2
DAF
DCMNR
DoEHLG
EC
EPA
ESB
EU
EU-ETS
GHG
GJ
GWh
Ha
IPPC
ktoe
kWe
kWh
LFG
MJ
Mtoe
MWe
MWh
MWth
MSW
NCCS
NOx
PPA
PSO
R&D
RCEP
RES-E
ROC
SEI
SOx
SRC
TFC
TPER
UNFCCC
WtE
Anaerobic digestion
Alternative Energy Requirement
Commission for Energy Regulation
Methane
Combined heat and power
Carbon dioxide
Department of Agriculture and Food
Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources
Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government
European Commission
Environmental Protection Agency
Electricity Supply Board
European Union
EU Emissions trading scheme
Greenhouse gas
Gigajoule
Gigawatt-hour
Hectare
Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control
Kilotonnes of oil equivalent
Kilowatt electrical
Kilowatt-hour
Landfill gas
Megajoule
Millions of tonnes of oil equivalent
Megawatt electrical
Megawatt-hour
Megawatt thermal
Municipal solid waste
National Climate Change Strategy
Oxides of nitrogen
Power purchase agreement
Public service order
Research and development
Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, UK
Renewable electricity source – electricity
Renewable obligation certificate
Sustainable Energy Ireland
Oxides of sulphur
Short rotation coppice
Total final consumption
Total primary energy requirement
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Waste to energy
38
Annex D
Co-firing Pathway
Introduction
Co-firing is the term applied to adding biomass to the fuel mix of existing energy systems whose
main fuels are coal or peat. This discussion focuses on co-firing at electricity generating stations47.
Such generating stations usually require some technical adaptation to take new fuels, but this rarely
represents a significant obstacle. Added percentages of biomass can be up to 30% in some cases.
Fossil fuel generating stations can reduce their emissions trading costs and renewable electricity
objectives are supported. Co-firing is seen by many EU states as a central component of strategies to
meet the RES-E Directive targets. The Netherlands, for example, plan to deliver 34 PJ of bioenergy
supply through co-firing by 201048.
Because it provides instant demand for relatively large amounts of biomass fuel, co-firing has the
potential to provide significant penetration of biomass in the short term, and to create demand pull
to develop supply chains for the wider bioenergy markets . However, experience elsewhere shows
that the scale can also have disadvantages, including supplier dependency and competition from
imported fuels.
The possibilities for co-firing in Ireland
SEI commissioned a study on the potential for co-firing in Ireland, with the objective of investigating
co-firing biomass with traditional solid fuels and quantifying the costs and benefits. Four generating
stations were examined in this study;
•
•
•
•
Moneypoint – pulverised coal condensing power plant in County Clare, net electrical output of
855 MW
Edenderry – milled peat fuelled, net electrical out put of 117 MW, operating since 1999 and
Ireland’s first independent power station.
Lough Ree – currently under construction, to be commissioned in late 2004, peat fuelled, net
power output of 91 MW
West Offaly – due to be commissioned in early 2005, peat fuelled with a net output of 136 MW
All of these plants take in pulverised solid fuels as their inputs, and so the mixing of other pulverised
fuels with the core fuel presents no fundamental problems. Some technical modifications are usually
necessary, as different fuels have different properties with regard to burning, emissions, ash and so
forth.
The peat fired plants are amenable to higher percentages of biomass co-firing than the coal fired
station – Moneypoint could technically take 5% co-firing and Edenderry 20%. With modifications,
these figures could rise to 15% and 30% respectively. However, practical and economic levels of cofiring are considerably below these theoretical levels. It is unlikely that it will be cost-effective for
Moneypoint to co-fire with biomass in the near future, unless coal prices rise dramatically or
emissions trading prices go above €30 per tonne of CO2. For the peat fired plant, however, co-firing
could indeed prove economically attractive. For all three peat plants examined in the study, co-firing
up to 30% would be feasible, and is projected to be economically attractive (once emissions trading
costs are factored in)49.
47
Opportunities also exist for co-firing heat systems. Irish industry consumed 266 ktoe of coal and petroleum coke in 2003, the
vast bulk in the cement industry. All coal or peat fired heat systems have the potential for co-firing with biomass.
48
Novem, 2004.
49
Supply of fuel would not be available at prices acceptable to the generators were emissions trading costs zero, but once such
costs rise to €10 per tonne CO2, sufficient supply is expected to be available at prices that make co-firing economically
beneficial.
39
Issues for co-firing
If the Edenderry plant co-fired with wood residues up to 30%, this would consume 690 GWh of fuel
annually. This compares to the estimated national wood energy resource of about 2500 GWh (8.91
PJ) under the medium scenario. This represents a high proportion of the total national resource,
given that there would be constraints on the distance from the plant within which transportation
would remain economically viable. It should also be noted that into the future the geographic
catchment of the three peat fired plants will overlap, and thus they might be in competition for
specific fuel resources. This scale shows both the advantages and disadvantages of co-firing as a
route to building the bioenergy sector. No other pathway could provide such large demand for fuel
with so little market development – one single buyer and use instead of many disparate customers,
locations and uses for any other end use of the fuel. However, the wood sector would undoubtedly
be under pressure to provide such a large amount of fuel and it would absorb all available resource in
the region. On the other hand, Edenderry would be readily able to adjust its relative use of peat and
biomass, and so allow for changes in supply. If existing wood products were the only fuel, it is very
unlikely that all three peat stations would co-fire up to their feasible potential. Into the longer term,
however, the model of growing energy crops as a fuel for co-firing will become increasingly
important, and could represent the means to ensure adequate, reliable fuel provision.
While wood fuels are the most likely to be employed in co-firing, other fuels are possible, and
Edenderry Power has shown interest in burning meat and bonemeal. This would extend the resource
pool, and also might being additional revenue through gate fees. The three peat fired stations
discussed here have 15 year fuel purchase agreements with Bord na Mona50. The agreements are
taken to be effectively take or pay contracts, where the power plant must pay for the fuel whether it is
taken or not. If these agreements cannot be adjusted, then clearly any co-firing is uneconomic while
they remain in place. Since Bord na Mona is a state owned company, it is legitimate to ask the
question as to whether public policy is optimally served if such contractual arrangements preclude
capturing the benefits of co-firing.
Fuel input changes would entail certain procedural requirements; revision of IPPC licences in all cases
and planning permissions in some cases. There may also be a need to review how the public service
obligation (PSO) mechanism works in supporting peat fuelled electricity, since similar benefits are
gained from biomass fuel. Biomass pathways bring local employment gains as well as the benefits of
indigenous energy supply. In itself, it is fully competitive with peat, and it would be unfortunate if the
PSO mechanism worked against its exploitation.
Estimates for the prices that the generators could afford to pay for biomass for co-firing in 2010 are of
the order of €12.7 per MWh for the peat plants, equivalent to about €23 per tonne of fresh wood
residue matter. Such prices are considered to be above the production costs of many wood fuels
products and their transportation over reasonable distances (about 50 km), and so should render the
supply of fuel economically attractive. However, current estimates of the production costs of SRC
willow chips are over €23 per MWh, too high to match the likely demand prices available.
Fuel importation would also be an option for generating stations wishing to co-fire. It is likely that
biomass fuels would be available internationally at rates competitive to indigenous supplies, even
accounting for transport costs. If plants co-fired with imported biomass, the emissions benefits
would remain, but other more local benefits such as the exploitation of indigenous fuels or local
economic gain would be lost.
The use of peat for electricity generation is seen to bring employment benefits, and is supported as
part of the Public Service Obligation appearing on the bills of all electricity customers. A move away
from peat towards biomass as a fuel input is not expected to have significant negative impacts on
employment in the relevant sectors, and indeed may bring benefits.
50
As well as 15 year power purchase agreements with ESB PES
40
Annex E
Biomass CHP Pathway
Introduction
CHP is the simultaneous production of useable heat and electricity from an integrated
thermodynamic process, usually turbine or engine based.
It is seen as an important technology for energy production since it maximises the extraction of
usable energy from its input fuel, and can generate energy at many scales and at any location,
whether connected to main grids or not. Most states, including Ireland, have policies and
programmes to support the uptake of CHP and targets for its penetration.
The CHP Policy Group is currently considering the issues for CHP in Ireland, including updating
targets and proposing new policies and measures for support. This group is dealing with the general
issues for all CHP, many of which relate to electricity market and grid access arrangements.
A special category of CHP is that fuelled by biomass fuels. Biomass CHP brings all the benefits of
conventional CHP (including optimal conversion efficiency, embedded generation and flexibility) but
also brings wider benefits. These include the additional environmental gain of carbon neutrality, and
the extension of CHP potential beyond the natural gas grid (the vast majority of CHP is gas fuelled,
and projects are rarely considered where gas supply is not available).
Biomass CHP is most commonly fuelled by wood, either as chips or pellets derived from sawmill
residues, recycled wood, or forestry thinning and residues. It may also be fuelled by other biomass
inputs such as straw or, via anaerobic digestion, by wetter materials such as agricultural slurries.
Status and potential
There is currently 131.5 MWe of CHP in Ireland, spread across 105 units. There is only one biomass
CHP unit at present, a 1.9 MWe (and 3.5 MWth) system fuelled by bark, sawdust and woodchips,
based at a sawmill plant in County Cork. This system was commissioned in mid 2004. It was
supported by grant aid, and also has a ten year power purchase agreement (at about €0.07 per unit).
Looking at the scale and geographical spread of the resource, there is probably scope for just 2 or 3
big projects in Ireland, then a larger number of mid range projects. The sawmills and boardmills are
the obvious first target group for the larger systems51. A wider range of potential applications exist
for mid range sites, including many industrial sectors such as agri-food, and possibly also in large
commercial or public buildings.
Issues for biomass CHP
Most of the barriers that apply to uptake of CHP also apply to biomass CHP. These relate mostly to
selling electricity; from grid connection issues to market access and pricing. There are important
policy issues here, and these are being addressed by the CHP Policy Group. This discussion is limited
to issues specifically relating to biomass CHP.
Large CHP units entail substantial fuel supply that must be secure and reliable. As an indication, a
20MW unit would require an input of about 10 tonnes of wood fuel per hour. This may impose a
practical limitation. The scope for such large units in Ireland may be limited, but the scope for mid
size units (of the order of 1 to 3 MWe) is considerably greater.
Grainger’s Sawmill in County Cork have installed the first biomass fired CHP unit in Ireland. Using residues
at the plant as fuel, the CHP plant is designed to generate 1.9 MW electrical energy and 3.5 MW of thermal
energy. The thermal output is used for drying of construction timber in the sawmill kilns. The electricity is
sold to the national grid, with a power purchase agreement attained in the AER process. The project was
granted aided by SEI. The site already utilised residues in a heat boiler, and decided to look at CHP as an
alternative to expanding the heat unit to fully meet its needs. Fuel input is bark, sawdust, peelings and
forest residues and may have a moisture content as high as 65%. The CHP unit consumes about 20m3 of
fuel per hour.
51
One of these could be Weyerhaeuser in Co. Tipperary, which consumes 650,000 green tonnes p.a. to make MDF. The site is
already the largest bioenergy producer in Ireland, generating heat from wood wastes and recycled wood. It is currently
investigating bio CHP as an option, and estimate that an additional 100,000 tonnes of wood would be required annually to fuel
such a system.
41
Annex F
Anaerobic Digestion Pathway
Introduction
As an alternative to direct combustion, the energy value of wet organic materials can be extracted
through anaerobic digestion – the breakdown of organic materials in an oxygen free (anaerobic)
environment producing gas that is typically about 65% methane, which is then combusted to
produce heat, electricity or both52.
Materials that can be processed in this way include agricultural manures and slurries, food processing
and catering residues53, the organic fraction of municipal waste, and sewage sludge.
As well as the gas from the process, a liquid digestate is produced which has the potential to be
spread on land for its nutrient value (subject to compliance with National and European legislation).
This digestate is nutritionally valuable as it contains inorganic forms of nitrogen, which are more
easily absorbed by plants, is of consistent quality, and can be used throughout the year.
As well as its benefits as a carbon neutral fuel, it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions by capturing
methane and converting it to carbon dioxide (also a greenhouse gas, but 21 times less potent than
methane). If the conditions are right, AD can provide an integrated solution to waste processing, land
spreading of nutrients and energy generation.
European experience
In Denmark, there are about 40 farm based plants, 20 co-operatively owned and 5 industrial plants,
and 64 plants at sewage treatment works. Drivers have included legislation on nutrients to ground
water and slurry storage, capital support grants, CO2 taxes, and access to special loans. Experience
points to the value of a co-ordinated support approach across relevant bodies.
In Germany, there are over 2000 farm based plants and over 4000 sewage works plants. This
penetration has been driven by favourable electricity feed in tariffs and other supports. Growth has
been very strong for over a decade. Austria is also strong in this area, with about 130 farm based, 25
industrial and 134 sewage works plants. Drivers here have been capital grant support, training
programmes, and high general electricity prices.
Current state and future potential
In Ireland, biogas is currently produced at 4 farms and 10 sites in industry (food sector) and at sewage
treatment plant. Biogas production increased from 2.3 ktoe to 4.3 ktoe between 1990 and 2002.
In theory very large amounts of digestable materials are available. The important analysis is that of
estimating what proportions of these materials are likely to go to AD processes. All the main
resources have competing uses.
National targets for reduction of materials to landfill, driven by the Landfill Directive, should see very
significant decreases in landfilled MSW. This will be achieved by a combination of waste reduction
and increased recovery. The recovery paths available are recycling (meaning composting for
biodegradable wastes), AD for energy, or waste to energy thermal treatment. Thermal treatment is
more appropriate for non-degradable fractions so the balance of interest here is that between
composting and AD. This will be influenced by policy and market conditions.
For wet agricultural residues, management is either by means of land spreading or AD. Land
spreading is predominant at present. Into the future, the Nitrates Directive will see more emphasis on
nutrient management, and this may encourage AD of slurries and manures in some cases, particularly
52
The biogas can alternatively be used as a transport fuel, or even upgraded to pipeline quality for addition to the natural gas
network
53
See footnote 29 for legislative restrictions
42
at pig and poultry farms, where nutrients are created in high concentrations, often in areas with
limited land available for spreading. As with biodegradable MSW, policy will direct which use
dominates, and competing routes should be evaluated fully for all their costs and benefits.
Food and catering residues are generally considered wastes with no latent value, and thus should be
more readily available as inputs into AD, although there are legislative issues, particularly for wastes
with meat content. Similarly, sewage sludge is usually seen as waste with negative value, often sent
to landfill at present. Again, it could represent a resource, possibly with additional gate fee revenues
attached.
Issues & barriers
Technical barriers to AD development in Ireland include unfamiliarity with the technology, with a
limited number of working examples. Some slurries are seasonal in their supply (with the notable
exception of pig slurry), and the waste element remains subject to complex legislation. There are also
financial barriers, including low AER prices, high cost of grid access, lack on internalisation of wider
environmental benefits, and the difficulties and cost of accessing finance. Other barriers include the
lack of an integrated public support framework and lack of awareness and training.
AD of animal manures is closely linked to the issue of land spreading, with the sizing and location of
farm based AD units often determined by the land available for the spreading of the digestate
produced. An advantage of this digestate over the undigested slurry is that the nitrogen content has
been transformed from organic to inorganic form, which is more readily taken up by plants.
For small scale units, planning and licensing processes are relatively straightforward (though not
simple), but awareness of and confidence in the technology remains a concern. For larger units,
planning remains a barrier, with concerns about community support, and licensing and
environmental impacts assessment is more complex. Finance can be difficult to attract, due to
perceived risks. There may still be a role for demonstration of certain types of system to build market
confidence54.
Clonmel Borough’s waste water treatment plant uses anaerobic digestion to process sludge produced at
the plant. The treatment plant treats the sewage from about 17500 domestic population, plus an
industrial waste-water burden of 35000 persons-equivalent. The sludge, which would otherwise require
disposal at landfill, is transformed through AD into an agricultural fertiliser. The gas generated is used in a
CHP unit to generate heat and power utilised in the AD system and treatment plant itself.
Use of the system results in a diversion of 700 tonnes of material away from landfill annually, along with
the generation of 306 MWh of electricity (2003 figures).
Animal by-products and related legislation may present some difficulty. This legislation specifies
many standards that must be complied with such as the type of feedstock material used, the
specification of anaerobic digester and its premises, hygiene requirements, processing standards,
record keeping, collection and transport of material, end-use of compost and digestion residues,
approval and ongoing monitoring of plants by the Department of Agriculture and Food.
One aspect of the legislation that could seriously restrict the development of anaerobic digestion in
Ireland is that concerning the source of feedstock materials which in turn determines the end-use of
the product55. For example, compost/digestion residues from an AD feedstock containing catering
waste or animal products/by-products (except chocolate and pre-pasteurised milk or milk
products/by-products) cannot be spread on or adjacent to any land or premises to which animals
have access (i.e. most grassland and arable land adjacent to grassland). Another factor that should
also be taken into account is that the legislation also prohibits the spreading of compost or digestate
resulting from feedstock based on mammalian protein or poultry offal on any land.
However, the legislation does permit the use on any land of compost/digestate resulting from the
anaerobic digestion of animal manures, cereal grains, edible material of plant or vegetable origin,
bread and dough or chocolate as this feedstock is not defined as animal by-product. The legislation
also permits compost and digestion residues to be used on horticultural land provided that adequate
54
Colleran, E., et al., 2002 Feasibility study for centralised anaerobic digestion for treatment of various wastes and wastewaters in
sensitive catchment areas. Wexford: EPA.
55
The discussion here does not purport to be a legal interpretation.
43
measures are in place to ensure exclusion of livestock. The Department of Agriculture and Food
recommends that if one intends to establish an anaerobic digestion facility a list of all intended
feedstock, the sources of these materials and all intended end-uses should be sent to its Veterinary
TSE and Animal By-Products Division.
It should be noted that legislation restricting the materials that can be used in AD is to be reviewed to
allow greater flexibility in relation to the end use of the compost/digestion residue. This is being
done in order for Ireland to reach the targets on the diversion of biodegradable waste set out in the
Landfill Directive. The approval for the processing and end-use of animal by-products will be
additional to existing Local Authority and EPA approvals.
Silver Hill Foods, Co Monaghan is one of the largest duck farming enterprises in Europe and generates
approximately 70,000 tonnes of slurry per annum. It is currently installing an AD unit to process this slurry,
producing dry fertiliser, heat, power and dischargeable effluent. The unit will have an electricity
generating capacity of 150 kWe, and will be commissioned in mid 2005. The project has been supported
by the EU LIFE programme.
44
Annex G
Landfill Gas Pathway
Introduction
Landfill gas is formed by the anaerobic breakdown of waste in landfills. It is typically about 60%
methane and hence has a valuable energy content that can be captured. If it is not collected, it
dissipates into the atmosphere, with consequent implications for global pollution. Methane is a
greenhouse gas 21 times as potent as carbon dioxide.
Wells are inserted into the waste to collect the gas through a series of perforated pipes. A suction
pump extracts the gas, which is then cleaned and combusted to extract its energy value. More
modern landfills, which are fully lined and capped, give the best conditions for microbial degradation
and for gas collection.
The timeframe for production and collection of landfill gas is 10 to 15 years from landfilling, with gas
extraction peaking over about years three to six. One million tonnes of mixed waste will sustain a
1MW utilisation project for up to15 years.
The gas extracted can be used directly for heat (e.g. boiler firing, kiln firing and cement manufacture)
or in the production of electricity. In Ireland, all LFG projects to date involve electricity generation.
Status and future potential
In Ireland there are currently (end 2004) five landfill gas electricity generating plants operating with a
combined installed capacity of 20.5 MWe. The same company currently operates all five plants. The
first landfill gas sites were installed in 1996 and all sites were supported under AER programmes I, III
and V. There is a further landfill gas plant currently under construction with an installed capacity of
1.3 MWe.
Figure G.1 plots the development of landfill gas exploitation in Ireland:
Figure G.1: Landfill gas exploitation in Ireland
35
Primary energy, ktoe
30
25
20
15
10
5
20
02
20
00
19
98
19
96
19
94
0
All of this resource was converted to electricity. The electrical output from landfill gas has increased
from zero in 1995 to 7 ktoe (81.4 GWh) in 2003 with a peak of 11.8 ktoe (137 GWh) in 1999.
At typical emissions of 700 g CO2 per kWh, the 2003 contribution represents a displacement of about
57 kt of CO2 emitted. There are also additional greenhouse gas benefits from the capturing of the
methane that would otherwise have been emitted to the atmosphere56.
56
Each MWh of electricity generated represents an abatement about 4.7 tonnes (CO2 equivalent) of greenhouse gases).
45
Any landfill site over 50,000-100,000 tonnes is a feasible LFG resource, although the economic
feasibility of extraction will depend on both scale and quality of the site.
A 1997 study57 estimated that the practical LFG resource in Ireland in electrical power terms was 18.3
MWe for 2000 and 39.8 MWe for 2020. A more recent analysis by Irish Power Systems gave company
predictions of 25 MWe in 2005 and 30 MWe in 2010.
Landfill sites have a finite life of gas production, and now is the best time to exploit most of the
existing sites. Beyond 2020, a fall off in LFG development is to be expected, due to a reduction in
materials sent to landfill.
Issues
Growth in LFG exploitation has been steady but slow. New projects require investment in initial
proving trials, typically €10,000 or more. If such trials prove successful, the normal next step has been
to enter into discussions about AER contracts, power purchase agreements, grid connection and
planning permission, and then to move forward on technical development. Lead times are typically
of the order of 2 years.
To date, all LFG development has been within the AER framework, and power purchase agreements
are likely to remain important in incentivising future projects. This may cause difficulties for the
sector if AER type schemes are not continued. It may be appropriate to look at heat uses for LFG
energy, but the feasibility of this depends on the availability of demand from suitable local
applications.
57
ESBI / ETSU, 1997. Total Renewable Energy Resource in Ireland. European Union, Altener Programme.
46
Annex H
Wood Heat in Buildings Pathway
Introduction
Burning wood for energy is the oldest energy pathway of all, and remains the dominant component
of renewable energy across the world. In this report, the term wood is largely used to mean forestry
related products – from tree trunks, thinnings and bark to sawdust – as distinct from wood from SRC,
although the difference is on the supply side and chips or pellets derived from SRC are
indistinguishable from those from any other wood sources. All are treated the same in terms of
energy conversion.
The wood to heat energy pathway has a number of distinct characteristics that could bring
advantages in many situations:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Combustion technology is very well developed, widely available and relatively cheap, and is
familiar to and well understood by users
Heat can be totally decentralised and based on stand-alone systems in buildings that need no
structural connections to external fuel supply or energy delivery
Heat generation is flexible, and can match fluctuations in demand
Systems can cover all scales from very small to very large
In Ireland virtually all buildings need heat , so there is no shortage of possible applications or
demand
Local wood supply can be linked to local heat generation at a scale that will keep distances short
and could offer opportunities for complete local systems
Wood heat systems have been the focus of growth in bioenergy in several countries, notably Austria,
as mentioned in Section 2.2, where favourable supports have produced very strong uptake. Many
suppliers are now active in Ireland, and several boiler or stove systems are available, although capital
costs for wood burning systems remain considerably higher than for fossil fuel equivalents.
The diverse and decentralised nature of the pathway means that the market could take off and
produce growth very quickly once conditions are right.
Current state and potential
Wood heat in industry and in buildings represents the bulk of bioenergy deployment in Ireland today.
Renewable energy provides 1.6% of domestic energy demand (not including inputs to electricity),
which is 1.8 PJ in final demand terms58. Virtually all of this is wood burned for heat in open fires.
At a larger scale, most wood consumption, 109 ktoe or 4.6 PJ, is own-use energy generation in
industry, which includes some space heating59. There are very few examples of wood heated large
buildings outside industry.
Virtually all space heating could in theory be fuelled by wood. Oil and solid fuel fired space heating
could be seen as the first target market, as it is generally more costly than gas, and also involves
storage systems similar to those for wood heat.
Domestic wood heat in Austria
A family home in Austria has a typical heating requirement of 12 kW. This can be delivered by a wood heat
boiler or stove system consuming about 4,700 kg of pellets annually (requiring 5 m3 of storage). Annual
fuel costs would be about €900. Installation costs for such a system are of the order of €9000, but grants
are available up to 36% of these costs.
58
59
SEI, 2004. Energy in Ireland 1990-2002.
SEI, 2004. Renewable Energy in Ireland 1990 – 2002.
47
Issues for the Sector
The heat market is well developed and boilers and stoves are obviously well understood with long
histories, and so this pathway faces few barriers in terms of acceptance of the conversion
technologies. The innovative dimension is the use of wood as a fuel in chip or pellet form, and in
larger scales such as commercial buildings. While wood heat competes well in cost terms with fossil
fuels, particularly oil, a barrier remains in that modern wood-fuelled boilers and stoves are
considerably more expensive than their oil- or gas-fired equivalents. This is because the technologies
are relatively new and the market size is relatively small, and will change over time. At present, wood
stoves and boilers can be several times the cost of an oil- or gas-fired equivalent. This could severely
limit uptake in the short to medium term.
The second major issue influencing wood heat development is the fuel supply chain, its reliability,
and confidence potential users have in it. If a householder were to install a modern wood boiler
today, where would they get their chip or pellet supply? There are a small number of suppliers active
in the market now, and users could access fuel, but not necessarily easily enough that would build
confidence in future price and availability. Larger users would find it easier to access fuel now, but
again may have concerns about price stability and security of supply. An ideal future would be one in
which wood pellets or chips would be for sale at all scales – from annual deliveries in the manner of
oil or coal, to buying a weekly supply in bag form at the local garage forecourt or convenience store.
The challenge for the increased use of energy production from wood is to move from a situation of
very low levels of supply and demand to a more fully developed market where larger quantities are
involved, prices are relatively stable and there is a reliable supply chain.
Welsh Biofuels was established to create a renewable energy source in Wales, wood pellets, and to
develop demand pull for biomass. Challenges faced included the need to create a new market for the
product, the absence of a track record for either biofuels or the company in the region, and the high
capital outlay requirements. The approach taken was to focus on provision of full solutions and to develop
flagship projects to build confidence and awareness. Pellets were imported initially to build the market,
and local authorities were targeted as a market for economically competitive systems with additional
environmental benefits. Existing oil users were seen as the first target market.
A pellet plant is now up and running, making pellets from clean recycled wood, and will soon start
sourcing forestry wood also. The first major customer is Llandysul Sports and Leisure Centre, a 260 kW
system that was developed by the local authority with 50% capital grant support. The project is now a
flagship for biomass in Wales and had generated considerable interest and likely future projects. Other
residential projects have also been developed.
Once fuel supply markets are well developed, wood heat becomes an efficient, easy and clean option
for many buildings applications. Storage requirements are no greater in size than for oil, automated
supply systems can be installed bringing the fuel from a shed or tank into the boilers, and ash
removal requirements are minimal and easy to handle. Energy managers used to coal systems would
find conversion to wood particularly easy, and beneficial in many ways. Oil users would need no
more space for storage, but would have to adapt their practices to some degree. For gas users,
however, wood heat system may in many cases come across as less convenient, and possibly more
expensive. Thus, existing coal and oil users, especially those not on the gas grid, would be the most
likely to convert to new wood systems, and can be seen as the target market in the short to medium
term.
Coillte Headquarters is located at large state-of-the-art premises at Newtownmountkennedy, Co. Wicklow.
This building is the first all-timber office complex in Ireland and covers almost 25,000 square feet of floor
space. As part of the building project, a new wood fired heating system was installed. The boiler can be
fuelled by wood chips and wood pellets. The primary fuel will be pellets, but Coillte also intends to
demonstrate the systems wood chip capabilities. The boiler, with an output capacity of 95kWth, will
reduce CO2 emissions by over 27 tonnes p.a. compared with natural gas. Installed cost of the unit equated
to €283 per kW.
48
Annex L
Energy Crops
Introduction
The two main types of biomass energy crop available are energy grasses such as miscanthus, and
short rotation coppice, both producing solid biomass for conversion to heat or heat and power.
Clearly, conventional forestry grown for energy is also an energy crop, but this fuel is treated
separately as the growing side of it is well developed for other reasons, and issues specific to
bioenergy only arise in harvesting and usage.
Most SRC is based on species of willow (Salix spp.), and there are now two European breeding
programmes producing varieties specifically developed for SRC, with better growth rates, yield and
disease resistance than previous varieties. Some species of poplar are also being used. Willow SRC is
the most widely planted biomass energy crop (over 15,000 ha in Sweden alone), and it is the best
understood in terms of growing, harvesting and energy usage. It can be established easily and
cheaply using cuttings. A plantation has a life of 15-20 years, and land can be returned to
conventional use in 1 or 2 years. Different species and techniques will suit different areas and land
types, and local knowledge is important is determining the best approach in a given location60. It
generally performs best in moisture retentive soils or where it has access to the water table.
However, like any other arable crop it will give improved performance on better land.
Miscanthus grass is less developed as a biomass energy crop than SRC willow, but is attracting
increasing interest. Some trials, and some commercial plantations, are in now place.
Its main
advantage is that it offers an annual harvest and as a crop it has a greater similarity to cereals and
other conventional field crops than SRC, thus requiring less change on the part of the farmer. It can
be cut and baled with a straw baler and stored in barns. However it is a perennial crop and its deep
root structure means that reversion to a conventional crop requires some time and work on the land.
Being originally a temperate zone crop, it generally requires better climatic conditions, and better
soil, than SRC. Trials in Northern Ireland in the 1980s indicated that it was unsuitable for local weather
and soil conditions. With improvements in the crop it is being re-evaluated in Northern Ireland and
the different climatic and soil conditions in some parts of Ireland may prove more suitable for the
crop.
Biomass energy crops generally require considerably less pesticides than conventional agricultural
crops because higher levels of damage can be tolerated for an energy crop than for a food crop. This
reduces input costs and also improves the energy balance and ecological impact. SRC is considered
better for encouraging biodiversity than mono-cropped fields.
Internationally, most bioenergy policy and strategy is oriented towards a basis of energy crops into
the medium to long term, and energy crops are seen as the main future source of biomass for energy.
Current State and Potential
There is very little land in Ireland under energy crops at present. Some trial plots are in place,
covering less than 100 ha in total.
There is theoretically a huge amount of land that may be utilised were farmers to turn it over to these
crops. About 4.4 million hectares of land in Ireland (64% of total land area), is used for agriculture.
80% of this is devoted to grass, 11% to rough grazing, and 9% (396,000 ha ) to crop production.
However it is neither practical nor desirable to imagine an Irish countryside dominated by coppiced
willow.
60
RCEP, 2004
49
In the context of CAP reform and decoupling, it is projected that 11,600 ha of land will be freed up
due to a reduction in cereal production.61 At the same time, about 132,000 ha is expected to be freed
up due to herd reduction. These figures give a sense of the extent of what might be termed ‘available
land’ being far more than enough to meet projected energy crops needs.
Making assumptions about yield per ha and energy content of the dried product, the primary energy
value of the crop can be estimated at about 2.34 PJ per 10,000 ha. This means, for example, that if
20% (26,400 ha) of the land to be freed up by herd reduction in the coming years were given over to
energy crops, this would produce an energy resource of 6.2PJ. If all of this were used to generate
electricity it would meet about 23% of the 2010 target of 13.2% of electricity produced from
renewables.
This analysis is broad, but does indicate that energy crops could make a very significant contribution
to bioenergy by 2010, and certainly by 2020, on the basis of ambitious but not fanciful degrees of
uptake by farmers and with little impact on other crops.
Issues
Energy crops produce fuels identical to other wood or straw type materials produced as residues, and
no unique issues arise with regard to energy conversion (SRC can be burned, used to make chips or
pellets, and can even be used in anaerobic digestion). The important question for developing this
resource is determining the conditions under which farmers will be encouraged to grow the crops.
For SRC, some change in practices are obviously required if a farmer is used to cereals or even
conventional forestry. Harvesting in particular can be more difficult. Harvesting takes place in winter
to minimise water content and to allow nutrient recovery from leaf shedding, but this can prove
difficult if the ground is wet and soft. Much of the large scale harvesting equipment that has been
developed in Sweden and Finland is designed to work on frozen ground and on large plantations,
and could prove unsuitable for Ireland. However, the RCEP reports successful employment of a sugar
cane harvester by a willow growers’ group in the UK62. The economics are such that equipment is
best shared among a group of growers, as is already done with combine harvesters. In Northern
Ireland, the Government has purchased a harvester to support farmers and demonstrate the
technology. Miscanthus requires little innovation, so may prove less daunting to farmers, although its
suitability for all parts of the country is not yet established.
CAP reform should favour innovation by farmers in that their basic income is secure through the
Single Farm Payment, and it is expected that they will become more market oriented in choosing
what to grow to best supplement this income.
If the energy crop sector becomes a new and profitable activity for farmers it will add value to farming
and the economy. Indeed many states are driving their bioenergy crop policy primarily with
agricultural development in mind. If this sector could be fostered it would represent a truly
indigenous element of the energy system, where farmers benefit from new markets, the national fuel
mix is diversified and shifted towards indigenous inputs, and the environmental benefits of a carbon
neutral resource are captured.
Costs and benefits
The key issue for farmers considering energy crops will be their expectation of a good economic
return. This means both the size of the return, and the certainty of achieving it.
At present, projected returns per ha are less than many conventional crop choices63. The fact that
SRC does not produce revenue until the fourth year also dents its attractiveness. However, as yields
increase through better varieties and techniques, the profitability of the crops should improve. A
study in the UK suggested that a 30% improvement in yield would make energy crops competitive
61
FAPRI Ireland study on the effects of decoupling
RCEP, 2004
63
The RCEP report refers to a recent study suggesting average annual returns of Stg £187-360 per ha over a 16 year period.
62
50
with barley64. If oil and gas prices continue their recent upward trends, this will obviously also
improve the profitability of energy crops as prices available for alternative fuels rise.
Additional revenue can be available through gate fees for waste remediation. SRC is very suitable for
the bioremediation of wet wastes such as sewage sludge, although care has to be taken with regard
to uptake of heavy metals and other materials that would cause problems if released during
combustion.
The certainty of demand for the crop produced is as important to farmers as profit per hectare. While
farmers will clearly not expect guarantees of demand for the lifetime of an SRC plantation, confidence
that at least the first 2 to 3 years of harvest have a definite market is a very important factor in
decision making. This is another instance of the circular challenges in bioenergy of supply side
development needing better demand, but at the same time demand side development depending
on supply increasing in size and reliability.
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Northern Ireland has had an active research
programme on SRC for many years, and has studied crop strains, disease resistance, and best practice
growing and harvesting techniques. It also runs research and demonstration projects on the use of the
wood fuel from SRC. A 100kWe installation has been running on Brook Hall estate since 1998. It consumes
about 1.5 tonnes of wood per day.
64
RCEP, 2004
51
Annex J
Future Technologies
Introduction
Current programmes for the utilisation of bioenergy focus on traditional conversion methods
(combustion or anaerobic digestion followed by combustion) to provide heat and power and, to a
lesser extent, fuels for transport. This is likely to continue as the model to 2010.
Beyond 2010, technologies now in the research and development phase are set to supplant the
traditional methods. These new technologies will expand the range of both feedstocks and products,
while at the same time bringing major improvements to the economic viability of bioenergy systems.
In this coming era energy will be complemented by materials as products of biomass. A sense of this
shift in the utilisation of biomass can be garnered from the following statement, which guides the
thrust of bioenergy development in the US for the post 2010 era:
‘While the growing need for sustainable electric power can be met by other renewables
Biomass is the only renewable that can meet our demand for carbon-based liquid fuels
and chemicals’65
A similar theme is found in a recent OECD report on biomass66 where development of bioenergy and
biomaterials are seen as complementary strands to a long term rational policy evolution. The value
added through this dual output approach is seen as reinforcing the economic viability of biomass as a
vector for energy in a more environmentally sustainable world. There are a number of technologies
currently under development that are considered to be central in this new bioenergy paradigm. Two
pathways, in particular, are prominent.
1.
Ethanol from lignocellulosic materials with the bioethanol being used as a transport fuel, as a
raw material for the chemical industry and as an input for fuel cells. The technology is the
subject of significant research effort, particularly in the USA and Canada, where pilot plant
work is underway. Plans for a pre-commercial facility in Sweden are at an advanced stage and
it is anticipated that a 75 million litre per year plant will be operational by end 2008. When the
technology is commercial, a wide range of feedstocks will be acceptable, including wood
based materials, straw and other lignocellulosic materials from various waste streams.
2.
Gasification of biomass to produce synthesis gas (syngas) from which Fisher Tropsch diesel,
methanol, hydrogen, synthetic natural gas (SNG) and chemical raw materials can be produced.
While gasification followed by electricity generation has been much investigated and still
offers significant potential once it has been effectively commercialised, the production of fuels
and chemicals would considerably expand the range of outlets and improve the economic
viability. There are active research programmes on both sides of the Atlantic in this area. The
European Union’s FP 6 programme has identified gasification to syngas as a priority area and
an Irish university is actively involved in an Integrated Project being led by Volkswagen in
Germany.
65
Overend, R., 2004 US Perspective on Bioenergy. Presentation to the conference Success Stories in Bio-Energy, Birmingham,
April 2004.
66
OECD, 2004.
52
These technology pathways are central to the concept of the future “biorefinery” which could meet
many of the material and energy needs of tomorrow. They are the two lynchpins of the proposed
future US bioenergy development noted above. In developing a vision for biomass with a horizon to
2040 the Netherlands established a Biomass Transition project which engaged representatives from
‘government bodies, companies, environmental organisations and knowledge institutes’. The
technological pathways described above are integral parts of this vision which sees the delivery of
30% of ‘energy supply and fuels for transport’ from biomass by 204067. It is important for Ireland to
recognise this developing trend and to consider shaping a vision that embraces it. Climate and other
factors favour the production of biomass here. The opportunities that will be on offer in this new era
can be harnessed to deliver an enhanced level of sustainability based on the potential of biomass to
provide sustainable energy and sustainable materials production.
67
See footnote 9
53
Annex K
Resource estimation methods
A spreadsheet model of the biomass resources in Ireland has been developed in order to incorporate
current information on each of the biomass streams and to provide an estimate of the scale of the
resource that can be utilised for the production of bioenergy. Each of the sections below relates to a
spreadsheet in the model. Considerable detail is shown, together with the sources of all data and the
assumptions made in order to maximise transparency of the analysis. As more up-to-date data
become available and assumptions change, it will be possible to update the model, which will remain
a valuable tool. Two terms merit definition. Theoretical resource is the full extent of the resource
irrespective of other users or practical or economic questions concerning collection and energy use.
It should not be taken to be the resource likely to be utilised. The practical resource takes these
factors into account and makes assumptions about practical and economic issues. This parameter is
not definitive but is important in estimating what might be achieved.
K.1 Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)
The data for 2001 in terms of “Gross Qty available”, “Qty landfilled” and “Qty recovered” is taken from
table 4.5 in the National Waste Database Report 200168. In this analysis, the recovered waste for 2001
is divided between
•
•
•
Recov’d to Recyc. (Recovered to Recycling),
Recov’d to BioTreat (Recovered to Biological Treatment) and
Recov’d to WtE (Recovered to Waste to Energy).
Table K1 Municipal solid waste flows in 2001
Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)
Data from Table 4.5 - National Waste Database Report 2001
2001 -2020
Annual Average % growth rate
%
3.8%
Category
Paper
Glass
Plastic
Ferrous
Aluminium
Other metals
Textiles
Organics
Other
Total
Gross Qty
available
ktonnes
804
151
237
39
19
12
60
578
397
2,297
Biodegradable
Non-Biodegradable
Landfill rate
Qty
landfilled
ktonnes
638
108
221
38
18
10
56
556
347
1,992
Data from National
Assumed % going to
Waste Database
Recycling, Biological
Report 2001, Table
Treatment & WtE
4.5
2001
Qty
Landfill
Recov'd
Recov'd
recovered
rate
to
to
ktonnes
Recyc.
BioTreat
166
79.4%
100.0%
0.0%
43
71.5%
100.0%
0.0%
16
93.2%
100.0%
0.0%
1
97.4%
100.0%
0.0%
1
94.7%
100.0%
0.0%
2
83.3%
100.0%
0.0%
4
93.3%
100.0%
0.0%
22
96.2%
0.0%
100.0%
50
87.4%
100.0%
0.0%
305
1,250
742
86.7%
Recov'd
to
WtE
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
192
113
OUTPUTS
Recycling - ktonnes
Biological Treatment MSW - ktonnes - To Spreadsheet "WetBiomassResidues"
Waste-to-Energy MSW - ktonnes - To Spreadsheet "DryBiomassResidues"
Landfilled MSW - ktonnes
1,992
68
EPA, 2003. National Waste Database Report 2001.
54
283
22
0
Table K1 includes assumed percentages of the recovered waste going to each of these three
treatment options. From this, estimates of the quantities in tonnes that are recycled, biologically
treated or fed to a Waste-to-Energy (WtE) plant are made. Since there was no Waste-to-Energy in
2001 its percentages are set to zero. In line with the National Waste Database Report 2001, the SEI
assumption is that all recovered waste goes to recycling with the exception of the Organics category
which goes to biological treatment (composting and anaerobic digestion). The Outputs “Biological
Treatment MSW”, “Waste-to-Energy MSW”’ and “Landfill MSW” are carried forward to the Wet Biomass
Residues, Dry Biomass Residues and Landfill Gas spreadsheets respectively, for the year 2001.
For 2010, projections (shown in table K2) for gross waste arisings (Gross Qty available) were developed
by assuming an annual growth rate for the period 2001 to 2010 of 3.8% (growth rate used in the
Biodegradable Waste Draft Strategy Report69). The landfill rates (“Landfill rate”) are SEI assumptions,
based on Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government documents
•
•
•
“Changing Our Ways70” of 1998,
Biodegradable Waste Draft Strategy Report, and
National Overview of Waste Management Plans71.
Table K2 Municipal solid waste flows in 2010
Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)
Assumed landfill rates in 2010
Data from Table 4.5 - National Waste Database Report 2001
based on "Changing Our Ways"
2001 -2010
and BMW Strategy.
Annual Average % growth rate
3.8%
Category
Paper
Glass
Plastic
Ferrous
Aluminium
Other metals
Textiles
Organics
Other
Total
Biodegradable
Non-Biodegradable
Landfill rate
Gross Qty
Qty
Qty
available landfilled recovered
ktonnes
ktonnes
ktonnes
1,125
281
844
211
53
158
332
83
249
55
14
41
27
7
20
17
4
13
84
21
63
809
202
606
555
139
417
3,213
803
2,410
504
299
25.0%
2010
Landfill
rate
25.0%
25.0%
25.0%
25.0%
25.0%
25.0%
25.0%
25.0%
25.0%
Assumed % going to
Recycling, Biological
Treatment & WtE
Recov'd
to
Recyc.
70.0%
95.0%
40.0%
95.0%
95.0%
95.0%
50.0%
0.0%
60.0%
Recov'd
to
BioTreat
4.0%
1.0%
1.0%
1.0%
1.0%
1.0%
1.0%
45.0%
1.0%
Recov'd
to
WtE
26.0%
4.0%
59.0%
4.0%
4.0%
4.0%
49.0%
55.0%
39.0%
1,513
897
OUTPUTS
Recycling - ktonnes
Biological Treatment MSW - ktonnes - To Spreadsheet "WetBiomassResidues"
Waste-to-Energy MSW - ktonnes - To Spreadsheet "DryBiomassResidues"
Landfilled MSW - ktonnes
803
1,192
316
902
“Changing Our Ways” calls for significant levels of recycling and a 65% reduction in biodegradable
waste going to landfill, while the Biodegradable Waste Draft Strategy Report projects that 76% of
biodegradable waste will be diverted from landfill by 2009, and 55% of paper and cardboard will be
recovered through recycling. In addition, the National Overview of Waste Management Plans
indicates that landfilling of municipal solid waste should be reduced to levels of 15% and under
between 2010 and 2014 in all of the waste management regions.
69
Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government, 2004. National Strategy on Biodegradable Waste – Draft
Strategy Report.
70
The Department of the Environment and Local Government, 1998. A Waste Management Policy Statement – Changing Our
Ways,
71
The Department of the Environment and Local Government, 2004. National Overview of Waste Management Plans.
55
Taking a somewhat more conservative approach it is assumed in this model that by 2010, a 75%
diversion target for all MSW waste will be achieved. These assumptions produce the “Qty landfilled”
and the “Qty recovered” in 2010 based on the “Gross Qty available” shown in table K2. SEI estimates of
percentages going to “Recov’d to Recyc”, “Recov’d to BioTreat” and “Recov’d to WtE” are generally in line
with the Biodegradable Waste Draft Strategy Report. Significant biological treatment capacity should
be in place, in addition to waste-to-energy facility development, including the proposed plant in
Dublin. The Outputs “Biological Treatment MSW”, “Waste-to-Energy MSW”’ and “Landfill MSW” are
carried forward to the Wet Biomass Residues, Dry Biomass Residues and Landfill Gas spreadsheets
respectively, for the year 2010.
For 2020, projections (table K3) for gross waste arisings (Gross Qty available) were developed by
assuming an annual growth rate of 3.8% continuing from 2010 to 2020. For landfill rates it is assumed
that by 2020, an 85% diversion target for all MSW will be achieved – as noted above the National
Overview of Waste Management Plans indicates that this should be the minimum situation by 2014.
Table K3 Municipal solid waste flows in 2020
Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)
Data from Table 4.5 - National Waste Database Report 2001Assumed landfill rates in 2020
based on "Changing Our Ways"
2010 -2020
and BMW Strategy
Annual Average % growth rate
3.8%
Category
Paper
Glass
Plastic
Ferrous
Aluminium
Other metals
Textiles
Organics
Other
Total
Biodegradable
Non-Biodegradable
Landfill rate
Gross Qty
Qty
Qty
available landfilled recovered
ktonnes
ktonnes
ktonnes
1,355
203
1,152
255
38
216
399
60
340
66
10
56
32
5
27
20
3
17
101
15
86
974
146
828
669
100
569
3,872
581
3,291
365
216
15.0%
2020
Landfill
rate
15.0%
15.0%
15.0%
15.0%
15.0%
15.0%
15.0%
15.0%
15.0%
Assumed % going to
Recycling, Biological
Treatment & WtE
Recov'd
to
Recyc.
77.0%
95.0%
55.0%
95.0%
95.0%
95.0%
50.0%
0.0%
60.0%
Recov'd
to
BioTreat
3.0%
1.0%
1.0%
1.0%
1.0%
1.0%
1.0%
60.0%
1.0%
Recov'd
to
WtE
20.0%
4.0%
44.0%
4.0%
4.0%
4.0%
49.0%
40.0%
39.0%
2,066
1,225
OUTPUTS
Recycling - ktonnes
Biological Treatment MSW - ktonnes - To Spreadsheet "WetBiomassResidues"
Waste-to-Energy MSW - ktonnes - To Spreadsheet "DryBiomassResidues"
Landfilled MSW - ktonnes
581
1,759
545
988
These SEI assumptions produce the “Qty landfilled” and the “Qty recovered” in 2020 based on the
“Gross Qty available”. Estimates of percentages going to “Recov’d to Recyc”, “Recov’d to BioTreat” and
“Recov’d to WtE” assume greater levels of recycling for paper and plastics and that more of the organic
fraction will go to biological treatment, with limited additional waste-to-energy capacity compared to
2010. This is generally in line with the Biodegradable Waste Draft Strategy Report projections for
2016. The Outputs “Biological Treatment MSW”, “Waste-to-Energy MSW”’ and “Landfill MSW” are carried
forward to the Wet Biomass Residues, Dry Biomass Residues and Landfill Gas spreadsheets
respectively, for the year 2020.
K.2 Dry Biomass Residues
Wood Residues
The “Theoretical resource” for each of “Pulpwood residues”, “Sawmill residues” and “Forest residues”
(in table K4) was derived from production forecasts in Gallagher & O’Carroll72, the Timber Industry
72
Forecast of round wood production from the forests of Ireland 2001 – 2015 – G. Gallagher & J. O’Carroll, COFORD study 2001.
56
Development Group73 and from estimates in the COFORD study74. The estimate of pulpwood and
sawmill residues that could be available for energy as “Practical Resource” is based on the assumption
that the energy market would not draw either material from existing non-energy markets (panel
board mills, production of stakes, animal bedding, horticulture) and would be additional to that used
for energy (in drying kilns) in sawmills in 2000. The “Practical Resource” for forest residues indicated
in the COFORD study is informed by expert opinion from the UK. Conditions in the UK were
considered to be quite close to those in Ireland and the principal limitations on recovery of the
resource were the steepness of the terrain and the low bearing capacity of the soil.
Table K4 Wood Residues
Moisture
%
Wood Residues incoporates
Wood Calorific Value @ 0% m.c.
Practical recycled wood availability %
Annual growth in Recycled Wood 2001 to 2010
Annual growth in Recycled Wood 2010 to 2020
Category
Pulpwood residues
Sawmill residues
Forest residues
Recycled wood -C&D residues
2001
Theoretical Practical
resource resource
GJ/tonne Mtonnes Mtonnes
C.V.
2010
Practical Theoretical Practical
energy
resource resource
PJ
Mtonnes Mtonnes
2020
Practical Theoretical Practical
energy
resource resource
PJ
Mtonnes Mtonnes
Practical
energy
PJ
Pulp Wood Residues, Forset Residues, Wood Industry Residues & C&D Wood Residues
GJ/tonne
18.0
%
25%
60%
85%
%
3.6%
%
3.3%
60.0%
50.0%
50.0%
23.0%
7.2
9.0
9.0
13.9
1.14
0.98
1.07
0.13
0.17
0.09
0.23
0.03
1.21
0.80
2.07
0.44
1.41
1.27
1.34
0.18
0.41
0.21
0.29
0.11
2.95
1.89
2.61
1.46
2.23
1.42
1.65
0.24
1.05
0.36
0.35
0.21
7.56
3.24
3.15
2.86
The “Theoretical resource” for “Recycled wood - C&D residues” for 2001 was derived from a COFORD
study75 dealing with these residues. The best estimate as determined by this study was that wood
represented 3.5% of construction and demolition (C&D) waste. From the National Waste Database
Report 2001, C&D waste arisings amounted to 3,651,400 tonnes, of which wood would amount to
127,800 tonnes. The COFORD study also shows that untreated wood represents about 53% of total
wood. It is assumed that about half of this untreated wood was available as a practical energy
resource in 2001, or about 25% of the estimated 127,800 tonnes of C&D waste wood produced. To
derive a “Theoretical resource” for 2010, an annual increase of 3.6% is assumed (average from ESRI GDP
growth projections76 – 4% to 2005 and 3.3% to 2010) to 2010. This is extended to 2020 by using a
growth beyond 2010 of 3.3%. Given the policy driver relating to C&D waste in “Changing Our Ways”,
indicated above, the practical resource is assumed in this analysis to rise to 60% of the theoretical by
2010 and 85% by 2020. Pallet and packaging wood waste is included in the municipal solid waste
under “Other” category – see tables K1, K2 and K3. The National Waste Database Report 2001 notes
that of the 48,600 tonnes of wood generated, 85% was recovered with 6% being used for energy.
Dry Agricultural Residues
The data for “straw”, “poultry litter” and “spent mushroom compost” (shown in table K5) are taken
from the SEI study ‘An Assessment of the Renewable Energy Resource Potential of Dry Agricultural
Residues in Ireland’ in 2003. While straw production is expected to decline to the year 2012 and then
remain steady beyond that date (due to the anticipated downward trend in cereal production), both
poultry litter and spent mushroom compost levels are expected to remain stable into the foreseeable
future. In terms of the practical resource for straw, the study proposes that a reasonable assumption
would be that the quantity available for conversion to energy would remain constant at 10% of the
theoretical resource because of competing demands for straw which are likely to continue into the
future. The study determines the practical poultry litter resource, currently and into the foreseeable
future, as that which is currently landspread, with the balance of this residue being used by
mushroom compost producers. The quantity of spent mushroom compost available as a practical
energy resource is also assessed as remaining constant into the future and consists of that amount for
which a readily available landspreading option does not exist.
73
Study by Timber Industry Development Group in 2001 – unpublished.
Electrowatt-Ekono (UK) and Tipperary Institute, unpublished.
75
Potential to Recover Wood from Construction and Demolition Activities in Ireland – COFORD, 2002.
76
Fitzgerald, J., 2000. Energy Demand to 2015. The Economic & Social Research Institute (ESRI).
74
57
Table K5 Dry agricultural residues
Moisture
%
Dry Agricultural Residues incoporates
Straw Calorific Value LCV
Poultry Litter Calorific Value LCV
SMC Calorific Value LCV
MBM Calorific Value LCV
MBM qty change 2001/2010 - % change in cattle
MBM qty change 2010/2020 - % change in cattle
Category
Straw
Poultry Litter
Spent Mushroom Compost
Meat & Bonemeal
2001
Theoretical Practical
resource resource
GJ/tonne Mtonnes Mtonnes
C.V.
2010
Practical Theoretical Practical
energy
resource resource
PJ
Mtonnes Mtonnes
2020
Practical Theoretical Practical
energy
resource resource
PJ
Mtonnes Mtonnes
Straw, Poultry Litter, Spent Mushroom Compost (SMC) and Meat & Bonemeal (MBM)
GJ/tonne
13.5
GJ/tonne
9.0
GJ/tonne
3.2
GJ/tonne
16.3
%
-15%
%
1.33
0.14
0.29
0.15
0.13
0.04
0.06
0.15
1.80
0.36
0.20
2.45
1.25
0.14
0.29
0.13
0.13
0.04
0.06
0.13
1.69
0.36
0.20
2.08
Practical
energy
PJ
-2%
1.23
0.14
0.29
0.12
0.12
0.04
0.06
0.12
1.62
0.36
0.20
2.04
Annual production of meat and bone meal (MBM) in Ireland is approximately 150,000 tonnes77. This
theoretical resource is likely to show a decline through 2010 to 2020, given that herd sizes are
expected to be reduced over that period. Since there is no current use for this material, it having
been banned as an animal feed, the practical resource is assumed to equal the theoretical resource.
Although there is a possibility that confidence may be restored in terms of the use of MBM as animal
feed, it is assumed here that this will not be the case and that therefore the practical resource in 2010
and 2020 is equal to the theoretical.
Municipal solid waste to WtE
The theoretical resource, which is set equal to the practical resource, for municipal solid waste in each
year (in table K6) is derived from the MSW1 Spreadsheet as described above – “Waste-to-Energy MSW”
figure being carried forward. The resource in terms of energy is calculated based on a calorific value
of 6 GJ / tonne to take account of only the organic fraction of MSW.
In 2001 there was no WtE capacity so the theoretical resource is set to zero. In 2010, the resource
assumes that three conversion plants will be operational (the Dublin and North-East facilities and one
of the four other regions noted in the Biodegradable Waste study). By 2020 a limited increase in
capacity is assumed with the drivers for recycling and biological treatment being the dominant waste
management methods.
Table K6 Municipal solid waste and waste-to-energy
Moisture
%
WtE Municipal Solid Waste includes
MSW Calorific Value
MSW to WtE - 2001
MSW to WtE - 2010
MSW to WtE - 2020
Category
Waste-toEnergy MSW
2001
Theoretical Practical
resource resource
GJ/tonne Mtonnes Mtonnes
C.V.
2010
Practical Theoretical Practical
energy
resource resource
PJ
Mtonnes Mtonnes
2020
Practical Theoretical Practical
energy
resource resource
PJ
Mtonnes Mtonnes
Practical
energy
PJ
Organic & Non-organic component of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)
GJ/tonne
6
%
0%
%
100%
%
100%
6.0
0
0
0.00
0.90
0.90
5.41
0.99
0.99
5.93
K.3 Energy Crops
The initial estimate of area under energy crops (short rotation forestry, miscanthus, hemp, other) was
made based on short rotation forestry supplying 1% of total electricity (out of the 13.2% coming from
renewables) by 2010, or 10,000 ha. This estimate was revised downwards to 5,000 ha on the basis
that planting for the 2010 resource would need to take place by 2006 at the latest. The 2020 estimate
is based on annual planting of 1,000 ha to 2016 (table K7).
77
Report of Interdepartmental/Agency Committee on Disposal Options for Meat & Bone Meal – Department of Agriculture,
2003.
58
Table K7 Estimated energy crop resource
2001
Total
Area
ha
2010
Practical
resource
Mtonnes
Practical
energy
PJ
0
0.000
0
0.000
Total
Area
ha
2020
Practical
resource
Mtonnes
Practical
energy
PJ
5,000
0.07
1.170
5,000
0.07
1.170
Total
Area
ha
Practical
resource
Mtonnes
Practical
energy
PJ
15,000
0.23
4.050
15,000
0.23
4.050
Category
Short Rotation Coppice
OR
Miscanthus
K.4 Wet Biomass Residues
In table K8, with the exception of poultry manure, the quantities of “Manures” and “Sludges” (Food
Beverage & Tobacco and Sewage) for 2001 were taken from the National Waste Database Report
2001 while the “Biological Treatment MSW” quantity comes from the MSW1 Spreadsheet as described
above (from table K1). The figure for poultry manure was determined from discussions with the EPA78
(82,000 tonnes of poultry manure per annum), and with the inclusion of output from the Silver Hill
Foods79 project (70,000 tonnes of manure per annum - the EPA calculations did not include duck
manure).
Table K8 Bioenergy potential of wet biomass residues in 2001
Category
Qty
(ktonnes)
Cattle manure & slurry
Pig slurry
Total Cattle manure & slurry and Pig slurry
2001
Biogas
Methane Theoretical
production production energy
3
3
Mm
Mm
PJ/year
Practical
energy
PJ/year
34,754
2,413
37,167
818
531.5
19.03
0.02
152
11
7.4
0.27
0.00
Food Beverage & Tobacco sludges
67
20.1
13.1
0.47
0.12
Sewage sludges (dry solids)
38
0.9
0.6
0.02
0.01
Biological Treatment MSW
22
2.8
1.8
0.06
0.01
Poultry manure
Typical gas yields, methane content and methane calorific value (table K9) were taken from the
literature80 to estimate the “Theoretical energy” for each of the five categories (Cattle/pig Manure &
Slurry, Poultry Manure, Food Beverage & Tobacco Sludges, Sewage Sludge and Biological Treatment
MSW). The “Practical energy” was estimated by assuming recoverable quantity to AD percentages
(table K10) as follows:
•
•
78
Following discussions with the Department of Agriculture and Teagasc, low take up of
AD for cattle manures and slurries was assumed in 2010 due to the simplicity and low
cost of the land spreading alternative, resulting in low percentage for cattle/pig
manures, rising to only 5% in 2020. Conversely, given the Silver Hill Foods development
(46% of the total), the application of anaerobic digestion to poultry manure is assumed
to be high, although it should be remembered that the resource is quite limited.
It was assumed that the Food/Beverage/Tobacco industry would have high take up of
AD due to the added value of the energy generated.
Jane Brogan, EPA, 2004 – private communication.
79
Silver Hill Foods, http://www.silverhillfoodslife-env.com/html/project.asp
Centralised Biogas Plants – a contribution to sustainable agriculture, www.lr.dk/planteaul/diverse/biogas_eng.pdf: Feasibility
Study for centralised anaerobic digestion for treatment of various wastes and wastewaters in sensitive catchment areas, EPA, 2002:
Anaerobic Digestion – a detailed report on the latest methods and technology for the anaerobic digestion of municipal solid waste,
Institute of Wastes Management, 1998: Anaerobic Digestion calculator, www.esru.strath.ac.uk/EandE/Web_sites/0304/biomass/case%20study2.html.
80
59
•
•
It was assumed that Sewage Sludges would have high take up of AD due to the added
value of the energy generated.
It was assumed that AD would achieve a 50% share (in competition with composting) of
biodegradable MSW by 2010, rising to 75% in 2020 based on better value added from
the production of energy.
Table K9 Data for gas yields, methane content & methane calorific value81
3
Nm /tonne
3
Nm /tonne
3
Nm /tonne
3
Nm /tonne
3
Nm /tonne
%
3
MJ/m
Cattle/Pig manures/slurries - gas yield
Poultry manure - gas yield
Food beverage & tobacco sludges - gas yield
Sewage sludge - gas yield
Biodegradable MSW - gas yield
Methane content of Biogas
Methane Calorific Value
22.0
75.0
300
25
125
65%
35.8
Table K10 Quantities of feedstocks going to AD
Cattle/Pig manures/slurries - recoverable quantity to AD
Poultry manure - recoverable quantity to AD
Food beverage & tobacco sludges - recoverable quantity to AD
Sewage sludge - recoverable quantity to AD
Biodegradable MSW - recoverable quantity to AD
%
%
%
%
2001
0.1%
0.0%
25%
25%
10%
2010
2%
50%
40%
60%
25%
2020
5%
75%
75%
85%
50%
The SEI assumptions in table K10 form the basis of the estimated practical energy resource from Wet
Biomass Residues.
In deriving the quantities for each Wet Biomass Residues (excluding biodegradable MSW) category
for 2010 and 2020 the percentage changes shown in table K11 were used.
•
•
•
The percentage changes in animal numbers for cattle and pigs (from which the changes in
manure output are estimated) for 2010 were taken from the FAPRI Report82; the SEI percentage
assumptions to 2020 are based on numbers in that year being the same as 2012, the last year
covered by the FAPRI report. For poultry manure the percentage changes are based on
changes in poultry meat production as projected by the FAPRI report.
Sludges from the Food/Beverage/Tobacco industry were assumed to grow in line with GDP as
estimated by the ESRI83 report; it is assumed that the projected GDP growth rate from 2005 to
2010 will continue to 2020.
Sewage sludge quantities were assumed to grow in line with population growth projections by
the CSO84.
81
Cattle/pig manures/slurries and Poultry manure gas yields derived from Centralised Biogas Plants – a contribution to
sustainable agriculture, www.lr.dk/planteaul/diverse/biogas_eng.pdf AND Feasibility Study for Centralised AD for treatment of
various wastes and wastewaters in sensitive catchment areas, EPA 2002, R&D Report Series No. 16. Food beverage & tobacco
sludges, Sewage sludge and Biodegradable MSW gas yields derived from Anaerobic Digestion: a detailed report on the latest
methods and technology for the anaerobic digestion of municipal solid waste, Institute of Waste Management, 1998. Methane
content of Biogas derived from Biogas upgrading and utilisation, IEA Bioenergy Task 24, undated, AND Anaerobic digestion of
agro-industrial wastes: information networks – technical summary on gas treatment, AD-Nett, 2000, AND Biogas and Natural Gas
fuel mixture for the future, uk.dgc.dk/Sevilla2000.pdf. Methane Calorific Value derived from Biogas upgrading and utilisation, IEA
Bioenergy Task 24, undated.
82
The Luxembourg CAP Reform Agreement: Analysis of the Impact on EU and Irish Agriculture, FAPRI-Ireland Partnership, October
14th 2003.
83
Refer to Footnote 76.
60
Table K11 Projected changes in feedstock quantities to 2010 & 2020
2001
Animal numbers change 2010 to 2020
-cattle
-pigs
-poultry
Food beverage & tobacco sludges - change 2001 to 2010
Food beverage & tobacco sludges - change 2010 to 2020
Sewage sludge - change 2001 to 2010
Sewage sludge - change 2010 to 2020
2010
%
2020
-2.0%
-4.0%
1.5%
3.6%
3.3%
0.9%
0.6%
As before the quantity of “Biological Treatment MSW” comes from the MSW1 Spreadsheet (table K2 &
K3).
Applying these percentages produces the outputs in terms of practical energy resource as shown in
table K12 (2010) and table K13 (2020).
Table K12 Bioenergy potential of wet biomass in 2010
2010
Qty
Biogas
Methane Theoretica
(ktonnes) production production energy
3
3
Mm
Mm
PJ/year
Category
Cattle manure & slurry
Pig slurry
Total Cattle manure & slurry and Pig slurry
Practical
energy
PJ/year
29,541
2,582
32,123
707
459.4
16.44
0.33
141
11
6.9
0.25
0.12
Food Beverage & Tobacco sludges
92
27.6
18.0
0.64
0.26
Sewage sludges (dry solids)
41
1.0
0.7
0.02
0.01
316
39.5
25.7
0.92
0.23
Poultry manure
Biological Treatment MSW
Table K13 Bioenergy potential of wet biomass residues in 2020
2020
Qty
Biogas Methane Theoretical
(ktonnes) production production energy
3
3
Mm
Mm
PJ/year
Category
Cattle manure & slurry
Pig slurry
Total Cattle manure & slurry and Pig slurry
Practical
energy
PJ/year
28,950
2,479
31,429
691
449.4
16.09
0.80
Poultry manure
143
11
7.0
0.25
0.19
Food Beverage & Tobacco sludges
127
38.2
24.9
0.89
0.67
43
1.1
0.7
0.03
0.02
545
68.1
44.2
1.58
0.79
Sewage sludges (dry solids)
Biological Treatment MSW
84
Regional Population Projections 2001 – 2031, Central Statistics Office, 18 June 2001.
61
K.5 Landfill Gas
The “Landfilled MSW” quantity for 2001 (table K14) was brought forward from the MSW1 spreadsheet
(table K1) for that year. From this the theoretical energy resource was calculated based on the
methodology in the SEI Renewable Energy Resource study85, and including correction factors for
lower biodegradable waste input to landfill resulting from the implementation of waste management
strategies emphasising recycling and recovery.
Table K14 Estimated landfill resource
This category incoporates
Landfill gas yield per year over 15 years
Calorific Value of Landfill gas
LFG activity reduction (lower BMW deposit)
Recoverable landfill gas percent
Landfill Gas (LFG)
2001
3
m /tonne
10
3
MJ/m
19
%
%
50%
2010
2020
Data from SEI study - Updating the
Renewable Energy Resource in Ireland
(2004).
50%
50%
25%
50%
Reducing biodegradable waste to landfill through 2010 &
2020 - these are optimistic %, if the BMW diversion targets
are met.
2010
2020
2001
Landfilled Theoretical Practical
MSW
energy
energy
ktonnes/yr
PJ/year
PJ/year
Landfilled
MSW
ktonnes/yr
Theoretical
energy
PJ/year
Practical
energy
PJ/year
803.3
1.14
0.57
Landfilled Theoretical Practical
MSW
energy
energy
ktonnes/yr
PJ/year
PJ/year
Category
Landfill Gas
1992.0
5.68
2.84
580.8
0.41
0.21
The practical resource is calculated from the estimated percent of landfill gas that is recoverable,
using a more conservative “Recoverable landfill gas percent” than that suggested in the study.
Similarly the practical resources for 2010 and 2020 are estimated.
85
SEI, 2004. Updating the Renewable Energy Resource in Ireland. Draft report.
62
K.6 Resource Summary
Table K15 below summarises the estimated resources in Ireland in the three time snapshots.
Table K15 Summary of estimated bioenergy resources
Biomass Resource Category
Practical Energy Resource
2001
2010
2020
PJ/year
PJ/year
PJ/year
Wood residues
-Pulpwood residues
-Sawmill residues
-Forest residues
-Recycled wood -C&D residues
Dry Agricultural residues
-Straw
-Poultry Litter
-Spent Mushroom Compost
-Meat & Bonemeal
Wet Organic residues
-Cattle/pig manures, slurries
-Poultry manure
-Food beverage & tobacco sludges
-Sewage sludges (dry solids)
-Biodegradable MSW
Landfill Gas
-Landfill gas
Waste-to-Energy MSW
-Waste-to-Energy MSW
Energy Crops
-Short Rotation Coppice
Total Practical Resource
63
1.21
0.80
2.07
0.44
4.52
2.95
1.89
2.61
1.46
8.91
7.56
3.24
3.15
2.86
16.81
1.80
0.36
0.20
2.45
4.80
1.69
0.36
0.20
2.45
4.69
1.62
0.36
0.20
2.45
4.62
0.02
0.00
0.12
0.01
0.01
0.15
0.33
0.12
0.26
0.01
0.23
0.95
0.80
0.19
0.67
0.02
0.79
2.47
2.84
2.84
0.57
0.57
0.21
0.21
0.00
0.00
5.41
5.41
5.93
5.93
0
0
12.31
1.17
1.17
21.71
4.05
4.05
34.09
Annex L
Economic model - Inputs and analysis
In order to provide inputs to the economic model that has been developed, three resource scenarios
have been postulated for each of the years 2010 and 2020 based on the Biomass Resources in
Ireland. These are as follows:
•
•
•
A LOW Scenario – this assumes some improvement in relative prices for renewable
energy, some effort to address institutional barriers and limited market competence.
A MEDIUM Scenario – significant improvement in relative prices for renewable energy,
significant movement to address institutional barriers and improved market
competence.
A HIGH Scenario – major improvement in relative prices for renewable energy, success in
removal of institutional barriers and the development of a high level of market
competence.
It is important to note here that the estimates of bioenergy in these scenarios is additional to the
reference case. The reference case is defined as existing bioenergy contribution to Ireland’s Total
Primary Energy Requirement (TPER) plus anticipated developments from existing support
programmes (AER V and AER VI). This reference case is set out in Table L1 below.
Table L1: Reference case for biomass contribution to Ireland’s energy supply.
Biomass type
Dry residues (wood &
dry agricultural)
Wet residues
Landfill gas
Waste-to-energy
Energy crops
Total
Primary energy 200286
Reference case
(PJ/year)
6.37
Add to reach reference
case
(PJ/year)
1.4187
0.18
0.8
0
0
0.388
0.4489
0
0
0.48
1.24
0
0
7.35
2.15
9.5
86
(PJ/year)
7.78
Data from Renewable Energy in Ireland - Trends and Issues 1990 – 2002, SEI, August 2004.
Assumed 60% success rate for Biomass CHP category in AER VI -> 26.8 x .6 = 16.0 MWe. Since Graingers (1.9 MWe) is
developed, therefore a balance of 14.1 MWe to be developed. Based on a load factor of 66.5%, Graingers input energy is 0.23 PJ
/ year, while for the 14.1 MWe, with a conversion efficiency of 25%, the input energy would be 1.18 PJ.
88
Ringsend AD plant (4 MWe) plus 50% success rate for AD in AER VI (2 MWe x 50%) gives 5 MWe total. A load factor of 61.8%
and a conversion efficiency of 35% gives an input energy of 0.3 PJ.
89
Landfill gas projects in AER V and AER VI that have been developed or are expected to be developed give a total of 7.5 MWe.
A load factor of 64.8% and 35% conversion efficiency gives an input energy of 0.44 PJ.
87
64
The additional bioenergy potential under each scenario by 2010 is shown in table L2.
development of the details for these scenarios is presented in the following sections.
The
Table L2: Additional bioenergy potential by 2010.
Biomass type
Dry residues (wood &
dry agricultural)
Wet residues
Landfill gas
Waste-to-energy
Energy crops
Total
Reference case
(PJ/year)
7.78
Additional
2010 LOW
(PJ/year)
2.63
Additional
2010 MEDIUM
(PJ/year)
13.18
Additional
2010 HIGH
(PJ/year)
19.78
0.48
1,24
0
0
0.42
0.43
4.06
0.05
0.89
0.57
5.41
0.59
1.61
0.86
5.95
0.99
9.5
7.59
20.65
29.19
While most of the 9.5 PJ (or about 1.5% of TPER) in the reference year is in heat only applications, it
includes an installed electricity generating capacity of 43.5 MWe.
The additional 7.59 PJ in the LOW scenario for 2010 could add an extra 76 MWe of electricity
generating capacity, with an additional 19 MWth of heat from CHP applications and 90,000 tonnes
of wood chips and 20,000 tonnes of wood pellets, all of which would displace fossil fuelled heating.
The contribution to TPER in this case would be about 2.8%.
The additional 20.65 PJ in the MEDIUM scenario for 2010 could add an extra 183 MWe of electricity
generating capacity, with an additional 153 MWth of heat from CHP applications and 470,000
tonnes of wood chips and 80,000 tonnes of wood pellets, all of which would displace fossil fuelled
heating. The contribution to TPER in this case would be about 5%.
The additional 29.19 PJ in the HIGH scenario for 2010 could add an extra 259 MWe of electricity
generating capacity, with an additional 236 MWth of heat from CHP applications and 700,000
tonnes of wood chips and 120,000 tonnes of wood pellets, all of which would displace fossil fuelled
heating. The contribution to TPER in this case would be about 6%.
65
L.1 Dry Biomass Residues
For the “Dry Biomass Residues” the MEDIUM Scenario is taken as the practical resource that has been
estimated in Annex K. The LOW Scenario is assumed to be 20% and the HIGH Scenario 150% of the
MEDIUM Scenario. An exception is made for the Waste-to-Energy (WtE) MSW category where the
LOW and HIGH Scenarios are assumed to be 75% and 110% respectively of the MEDIUM Scenario –
the technology is technically and economically viable, while pressures for more recycling and
biological treatment could constrain the quantity that would be directed to WtE. Table L3 presents
the practical energy under the three scenarios for 2010 and 2020. The HIGH scenario (118% of MED)
for Recycled wood C&D residues in 2020 is constrained by the estimated theoretical resource in that
year.
Table L3: Input dry biomass residue resource data for scenarios.
Wood Residues
Pulpwood residues
Sawmill residues
Forest residues
Recycled wood -C&D residues
Dry Agricultural Residues
Straw
Poultry Litter
Spent Mushroom Compost
Meat & Bonemeal
WtE Municipal Solid Waste
Waste-toEnergy MSW
LOW
2010
MED
2020
MED
HIGH
20%
Percentage of Practical Resource
100%
150%
20%
100%
150%
PJ/yr
0.59
0.38
0.52
0.29
PJ/yr
2.95
1.89
2.61
1.46
PJ/yr
7.56
3.24
3.15
2.86
PJ/yr
11.34
4.86
4.73
3.37
20%
Percentage of Practical Resource
100%
150%
20%
100%
150%
PJ/yr
0.34
0.02
0.01
0.49
PJ/yr
1.69
0.09
0.05
2.45
PJ/yr
1.62
0.09
0.05
2.45
PJ/yr
2.43
0.14
0.07
3.67
75%
Percentage of Practical Resource
100%
110%
75%
100%
110%
PJ/yr
4.06
PJ/yr
5.41
PJ/yr
6.52
HIGH
PJ/yr
4.43
2.84
3.92
2.19
PJ/yr
2.53
0.14
0.07
3.67
PJ/yr
5.95
LOW
PJ/yr
1.51
0.65
0.63
0.57
PJ/yr
0.32
0.02
0.01
0.49
PJ/yr
4.44
PJ/yr
5.93
L.2 Energy crops
The scenarios for the Energy Crops were developed as shown in table L4 based on SEI assumptions.
Given the lead time to the first energy crop harvest (typically 4 years after planting in the case of short
rotation forestry), the practical resource that has been estimated in Annex K for 2010 (5,000 ha) is
taken to be the HIGH case here.
Table L4: Input energy crops resource data for scenarios
ECONOMIC MODEL INPUT DATA
Average Yield
Area producing energy crops
LOW
2010
MED
DryT/ha
ha
9.00
300
11.00
3,000
PJ/yr
0.05
0.59
Practical energy
LOW
2020
MED
11.00
5,000
11.00
5,000
13.000
15,000
15.00
25,000
0.99
0.99
3.51
6.75
HIGH
HIGH
L.3 Wet Biomass Residues
For Wet Biomass Residues, SEI assumptions on quantities of feedstock going to anaerobic digestion
defined the LOW, MEDIUM and HIGH scenarios. These are shown in table L5. The percentages in the
Med. case are the same as those used to define the practical resource in the Annex K.
66
Table L5: Feedstock percentages going to AD.
Low
Cattle/Pig manures/slurries - recoverable quantity to AD
Poltry manure - recoverable quantity to AD
Food beverage & tobacco sludges - recoverable quantity to AD
Sewage sludge - recoverable quantity to AD
Biodegradable MSW - recoverable quantity to AD
0.5%
46.0%
25.0%
50.0%
10.0%
2010
Med
2.0%
50.0%
40.0%
60.0%
25.0%
High
Low
5.0%
65.0%
50.0%
70.0%
40.0%
2020
Med
2.0%
5.0%
65.0%
75.0%
40.0%
75.0%
60.0%
85.0%
25.0%
50.0%
High
10.0%
85.0%
95.0%
95.0%
60.0%
The resulting practical energy quantities under the three scenarios for 2010 and 2020 are shown in
table L6.
Table L6: Input wet biomass residue resource data for scenarios
2010 - LOW
Practical
energy
PJ/year
2010 - MED
Practical
energy
PJ/year
2010 - HIGH
Practical
energy
PJ/year
Cattle manure & slurry
Pig slurry
Total Cattle manure & slurry and Pig slurry
0.08
0.33
0.82
Poultry manure
0.11
0.12
0.16
Food Beverage & Tobacco sludges
0.12
0.19
0.24
Sewage sludges (dry solids)
0.01
0.01
0.02
Biodegradable MSW
0.09
0.23
0.37
2020 - LOW
Practical
energy
PJ/year
2020 - MED
Practical
energy
PJ/year
2020 - HIGH
Practical
energy
PJ/year
Cattle manure & slurry
Pig slurry
Total Cattle manure & slurry and Pig slurry
0.32
0.80
1.61
Poultry manure
0.18
0.20
0.23
Food Beverage & Tobacco sludges
0.20
0.36
0.46
Sewage sludges (dry solids)
0.01
0.02
0.02
Biodegradable MSW
0.40
0.79
0.95
L.4 Landfill gas
For the “Landfill Gas” the MEDIUM Scenario is taken as the practical resource that has been estimated
in Annex K. The LOW Scenario is assumed to be 75% and the HIGH Scenario 150% of the MEDIUM
Scenario.
Table L7: Input landfill gas resource data for scenarios.
Percentage of practical resource
LOW
75%
2010
MED
100%
0.43
0.57
67
HIGH
150%
0.86
LOW
75%
2020
MED
100%
HIGH
150%
0.16
0.21
0.31
L.5 Model input data summary
Table L8 summarises the practical resource data under the three scenarios for 2010 and 2020 from
the previous sections.
Table L8: Summary of model input scenario resource data.
2010
Wood residues
-Pulpwood residues
-Sawmill residues
-Forest residues
-Recycled wood -C&D residues
Dry Agricultural residues
-Straw
-Poultry Litter
-Spent Mushroom Compost
-Meat & Bonemeal
Wet Organic residues
-Cattle/pig manures, slurries
-Poultry manure
-Food beverage & tobacco sludges
-Sewage sludges (dry solids)
-Biodegradable MSW
Landfill Gas
-Landfill gas
Waste-to-Energy MSW
-Waste-to-Energy MSW
Energy Crops
-Short Rotation Coppice
Total
2020
PJ/year
Low
PJ/year
Med
PJ/year
High
PJ/year
Low
PJ/year
Med
PJ/year
High
0.59
0.38
0.52
0.29
1.78
2.95
1.89
2.61
1.46
8.91
4.43
2.84
3.92
2.19
13.37
1.51
0.65
0.63
0.57
3.36
7.56
3.24
3.15
2.86
16.81
11.34
4.86
4.73
3.37
24.29
0.34
0.02
0.01
0.49
0.85
1.69
0.09
0.05
2.45
4.27
2.53
0.14
0.07
3.67
6.41
0.32
0.02
0.01
0.49
0.84
1.62
0.09
0.05
2.45
4.20
2.43
0.14
0.07
3.67
6.31
0.08
0.11
0.12
0.01
0.09
0.42
0.33
0.12
0.19
0.01
0.23
0.89
0.82
0.16
0.24
0.02
0.37
1.61
0.32
0.18
0.20
0.01
0.40
1.11
0.80
0.20
0.36
0.02
0.79
2.18
1.61
0.23
0.46
0.02
0.95
3.27
0.43
0.43
0.57
0.57
0.86
0.86
0.16
0.16
0.21
0.21
0.31
0.31
4.06
4.06
5.41
5.41
5.95
5.95
4.44
4.44
5.93
5.93
6.52
6.52
0.05
0.05
0.59
0.59
0.99
0.99
0.99
0.99
3.51
3.51
6.75
6.75
7.59
20.65
29.19
10.90
32.84
47.45
68
L.6 Energy streams distribution
SEI estimates of the distribution of the bioenergy resources in table L8 to the final energy streams are
shown in table L9. These are clearly open to debate, but are given for illustrative purposes.
Table L9: Distribution of resources to energy streams.
2010
ELEC
CHP
%
%
0%
75%
0%
0%
20%
0%
20%
20%
20%
25%
20%
20%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
50%
Wet Organic residues
-Cattle/pig manures, slurries
-Poultry manure
-Food beverage & tobacco sludges
-Sewage sludges (dry solids)
-Biodegradable MSW
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
Landfill Gas
-Landfill gas
0%
Waste-to-Energy MSW
-Waste-to-Energy MSW
Energy Crops
-Short Rotation Coppice
HEAT
Wchips
%
HEAT
Pellets
%
Wood residues
-Pulpwood residues
-Sawmill residues
-Forest residues
-Recycled wood -C&D residues
60%
0%
60%
60%
Dry Agricultural residues
-Straw
-Poultry Litter
-Spent Mushroom Compost
-Meat & Bonemeal
2020
ELEC
CHP
%
%
0%
75%
0%
0%
20%
0%
20%
30%
50%
25%
50%
50%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
25%
100%
100%
100%
75%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
100%
100%
100%
100%
100%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
100%
0%
0%
100%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
100%
0%
0%
50%
0%
25%
0%
0%
75%
0%
OTHER
HEAT
Wchips
%
HEAT
Pellets
%
0%
0%
0%
0%
30%
0%
30%
20%
100%
100%
100%
50%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%
100%
100%
100%
100%
100%
0%
100%
0%
0%
50%
0%
OTHER
Solid fuels (as wood chips or pellets) for heat only applications are considered to come exclusively
from wood residues. Generation of electricity is foreseen as being in both condensing mode and CHP
mode for 2010 and 2020.
L.7 Energy output
In order to convert the practical energy in each scenario to energy available for final energy
consumption, the assumptions on conversion efficiency and fuel calorific value shown in table L10
are applied.
Table L10: Assumptions on conversion efficiency and calorific value used in model.
Non-MSW
2010
38%
25%
55%
18.0
9.0
35%
35%
35%
35%
Electricity co-firing conversion efficiency
Biomass CHP electricity conversion efficiency
Biomass CHP heat conversion efficiency
CV of tonne of pellets in GJ/tonne
CV of tonne of wood chips in GJ/tonne
AD electricity conversion efficiency
AD heat conversion efficiency
Landfill Gas electricity conversion efficiency
Landfill Gas heat conversion efficiency
69
2020
40%
35%
55%
18.0
9.0
35%
35%
35%
35%
MSW only
2,010
25%
20%
50%
2,020
30%
25%
50%
The outputs in terms of tonnes of fuel (wood chips or pellets for heat only applications) and MWhs of
electricity and heat for each scenario are presented in tables L11 through L13.
Table L11: Energy output as final energy consumption for LOW scenario.
Wood residues
-Pulpwood residues
-Sawmill residues
-Forest residues
-Recycled wood -C&D residues
Dry Agricultural residues
-Straw
-Poultry Litter
-Spent Mushroom Compost
-Meat & Bonemeal
Wet Organic residues
-Cattle/pig manures, slurries
-Poultry manure
-Food beverage & tobacco sludges
-Sewage sludges (dry solids)
-Biodegradable MSW
Landfill Gas
-Landfill gas
Waste-to-Energy MSW
-Waste-to-Energy MSW
Energy Crops
-Short Rotation Coppice
HEAT
Wchips
Mtnes/yr
HEAT
Pellets
Mtnes/yr
0.04
0.00
0.03
0.02
0.09
2010 - LOW
ELEC
HEAT
HEAT
Wchips
Pellets
tonnes/yr tonnes/yr
2020 - LOW
ELEC
CHP
Elec
MWh
MWh
MWh
CHP
Elec
MWh
CHP
Heat
MWh
CHP
Heat
MWh
0.00
0.02
0.00
0.00
0.02
12,464
0
11,020
6,168
29,652
8,200
6,563
7,250
4,058
26,071
18,040
14,438
15,950
8,928
57,355
0.05
0.00
0.02
0.01
0.08
0.00
0.03
0.00
0.00
0.03
33,600
0
14,000
19,090
66,690
73,500
15,750
30,625
27,840
147,715
115,500
24,750
48,125
43,749
232,124
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0
0
0
25,808
25,808
23,438
1,250
689
16,979
42,356
51,563
2,750
1,516
37,354
93,182
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0
0
0
13,583
13,583
31,500
1,750
964
35,656
69,871
49,500
2,750
1,516
56,031
109,797
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0
0
0
0
0
0
7,994
10,974
11,778
1,072
8,943
40,760
7,994
10,974
11,778
1,072
8,943
40,760
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0
0
0
0
0
0
31,285
17,016
19,466
1,294
38,500
107,560
31,285
17,016
19,466
1,294
38,500
107,560
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
41,734
41,734
0
0
0
0
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
15,087
15,087
0
0
0
0
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
281,907
281,907
0
0
0
0
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0
0
308,654
308,654
617,308
617,308
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0
0
1,688
1,688
3,713
3,713
0.03
0.03
0.00
0.00
0
0
72,188
72,188
113,438
113,438
Table L12: Energy output as final energy consumption for MED scenario.
Wood residues
-Pulpwood residues
-Sawmill residues
-Forest residues
-Recycled wood -C&D residues
Dry Agricultural residues
-Straw
-Poultry Litter
-Spent Mushroom Compost
-Meat & Bonemeal
Wet Organic residues
-Cattle/pig manures, slurries
-Poultry manure
-Food Industry Residues
-Sewage sludges (dry solids)
-Biodegradable MSW
Landfill Gas
-Landfill gas
Waste-to-Energy MSW
-Waste-to-Energy MSW
Energy Crops
-Short Rotation Coppice
HEAT
Wchips
Mtnes/yr
HEAT
Pellets
Mtnes/yr
0.20
0.00
0.17
0.10
0.47
2010 - MED
ELEC
MWh
CHP
Heat
MWh
0.00
0.08
0.00
0.00
0.08
62,320
0
55,100
30,842
148,262
41,000
32,813
36,250
20,291
130,353
90,200
72,188
79,750
44,640
286,777
0.25
0.00
0.11
0.06
0.42
0.00
0.14
0.00
0.00
0.14
168,000
0
70,000
95,451
333,451
367,500
78,750
153,125
139,200
738,575
577,500
123,750
240,625
218,743
1,160,618
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0
0
0
129,042
129,042
117,188
6,250
3,444
84,896
211,778
257,813
13,750
7,578
186,771
465,911
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0
0
0
67,917
67,917
157,500
8,750
4,822
178,281
349,353
247,500
13,750
7,578
280,156
548,984
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0
0
0
0
0
0
31,976
11,928
18,844
1,286
22,357
86,392
31,976
11,928
18,844
1,286
22,357
86,392
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0
0
0
0
0
0
78,213
19,633
35,333
1,822
76,999
212,001
78,213
19,633
35,333
1,822
120,999
256,001
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
55,645
55,645
0
0
0
0
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
20,116
20,116
0
0
0
0
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
375,875
375,875
0
0
0
0
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0
0
411,538
411,538
823,077
823,077
0.03
0.03
0.00
0.00
0
0
20,625
20,625
45,375
45,375
0.10
0.10
0.00
0.00
0
0
255,938
255,938
402,188
402,188
70
HEAT
HEAT
Wchips
Pellets
tonnes/yr tonnes/yr
2020 - MED
ELEC
CHP
Elec
MWh
MWh
CHP
Elec
MWh
CHP
Heat
MWh
Table L13
Energy output as final energy consumption for HIGH Scenario
Wood residues
-Pulpwood residues
-Sawmill residues
-Forest residues
-Recycled wood -C&D residues
Dry Agricultural residues
-Straw
-Poultry Litter
-Spent Mushroom Compost
-Meat & Bonemeal
Wet Organic residues
-Cattle/pig manures, slurries
-Poultry manure
-Food Industry Residues
-Sewage sludges (dry solids)
-Biodegradable MSW
Landfill Gas
-Landfill gas
Waste-to-Energy MSW
-Waste-to-Energy MSW
Energy Crops
-Short Rotation Coppice
HEAT
Wchips
Mtnes/yr
HEAT
Pellets
Mtnes/yr
0.30
0.00
0.26
0.15
0.70
2010 - HIGH
ELEC
HEAT
HEAT
Wchips
Pellets
tonnes/yr tonnes/yr
2020 - HIGH
ELEC
CHP
Elec
MWh
MWh
MWh
CHP
Elec
MWh
CHP
Heat
MWh
CHP
Heat
MWh
0.00
0.12
0.00
0.00
0.12
93,480
0
82,650
46,263
222,393
61,500
49,219
54,375
30,436
195,530
135,300
108,281
119,625
66,960
430,166
0.38
0.00
0.16
0.07
0.61
0.00
0.20
0.00
0.00
0.20
252,000
0
105,000
112,296
469,296
551,250
118,125
229,688
163,764
1,062,827
866,250
185,625
360,938
257,344
1,670,157
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0
0
0
193,563
193,563
175,781
9,375
5,167
127,344
317,667
386,719
20,625
11,367
280,156
698,867
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0
0
0
101,875
101,875
236,250
13,125
7,233
267,422
524,030
371,250
20,625
11,367
420,234
823,476
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0
0
0
0
0
0
79,941
15,507
23,555
1,500
35,771
156,274
79,941
15,507
23,555
1,500
35,771
156,274
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0
0
0
0
0
0
156,427
22,251
44,755
2,036
92,399
317,868
156,427
22,251
44,755
2,036
92,399
317,868
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
83,468
83,468
0
0
0
0
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
30,174
30,174
0
0
0
0
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
413,463
413,463
0
0
0
0
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0
0
452,692
452,692
905,385
905,385
0.06
0.06
0.00
0.00
0
0
34,375
34,375
75,625
75,625
0.19
0.19
0.00
0.00
0
0
492,188
492,188
773,438
773,438
Based on conservative, technology specific load factors the power output in electricity and heat (heat
in CHP applications) for the three scenarios are given in tables L14, L15 and L16.
Table L14: Power output as final energy consumption for LOW scenario.
Wood residues
-Pulpwood residues
-Sawmill residues
-Forest residues
-Recycled wood -C&D residues
Dry Agricultural residues
-Straw
-Poultry Litter
-Spent Mushroom Compost
-Meat & Bonemeal
Wet Organic residues
-Cattle/pig manures, slurries
-Poultry manure
-Food beverage & tobacco sludges
-Sewage sludges (dry solids)
-Biodegradable MSW
Landfill Gas
-Landfill gas
Waste-to-Energy MSW
-Waste-to-Energy MSW
Energy Crops
-Short Rotation Coppice
HEAT
Wchips
Mtnes/yr
HEAT
Pellets
Mtnes/yr
0.04
0.00
0.03
0.02
0.09
2010 - LOW
ELEC
MW
CHP
Elec
MW
CHP
Heat
MW
HEAT
HEAT
Wchips
Pellets
tonnes/yr tonnes/yr
0.00
0.02
0.00
0.00
0.02
1.80
0.00
1.59
0.89
4.27
1.41
1.13
1.24
0.58
4.36
3.10
2.48
2.74
1.53
9.85
0.05
0.00
0.02
0.01
0.08
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
3.72
3.72
4.02
0.21
0.12
2.91
7.27
8.85
0.47
0.26
6.41
16.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
1.48
2.03
2.18
0.20
1.65
7.53
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
7.35
7.35
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
2020 - LOW
ELEC
MW
CHP
Elec
MW
CHP
Heat
MW
0.00
0.03
0.00
0.00
0.03
4.84
0.00
2.02
2.75
9.61
12.62
2.70
5.26
4.78
25.36
19.83
4.25
8.26
7.51
39.85
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
1.96
1.96
5.41
0.30
0.17
6.12
11.99
8.50
0.47
0.26
9.62
18.85
1.48
2.03
2.18
0.20
1.65
7.53
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
5.78
3.14
3.60
0.24
7.11
19.87
5.78
3.14
3.60
0.24
7.11
19.87
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
2.66
2.66
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
41.52
41.52
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
61.81
61.81
123.63
123.63
0.00
0.00
0.29
0.29
0.64
0.64
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
12.39
12.39
19.47
19.47
In the LOW Scenario, 90,000 tonnes of wood chips and 20,000 tonnes of wood pellets are produced in
2010 for heat applications. These quantities change to 80,000 tonnes of wood chips and 30,000
tonnes of wood pellets by 2020.
Electricity generation in condensing mode provides 57 MWe, falling to 15 MWe in 2020. CHP
applications are estimated to provide 19 MWe and 34 MWth in 2010, increasing to 130 MWe and 222
MWth in 2020.
71
Table L15 Power output as final energy consumption for MED scenario.
Wood residues
-Pulpwood residues
-Sawmill residues
-Forest residues
-Recycled wood -C&D residues
Dry Agricultural residues
-Straw
-Poultry Litter
-Spent Mushroom Compost
-Meat & Bonemeal
Wet Organic residues
-Cattle/pig manures, slurries
-Poultry manure
-Food Industry Residues
-Sewage sludges (dry solids)
-Biodegradable MSW
Landfill Gas
-Landfill gas
Waste-to-Energy MSW
-Waste-to-Energy MSW
Energy Crops
-Short Rotation Coppice
HEAT
Wchips
Mtnes/yr
HEAT
Pellets
Mtnes/yr
0.20
0.00
0.17
0.10
0.47
2010 - MED
ELEC
MW
CHP
Elec
MW
CHP
Heat
MW
HEAT
HEAT
Wchips
Pellets
tonnes/yr tonnes/yr
0.00
0.08
0.00
0.00
0.08
8.98
0.00
7.94
4.45
21.37
7.04
5.63
6.22
2.92
21.82
15.48
12.39
13.69
7.66
49.23
0.25
0.00
0.11
0.06
0.42
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
18.60
18.60
20.12
1.07
0.59
14.57
36.35
44.26
2.36
1.30
32.06
79.98
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
5.91
2.20
3.48
0.24
4.13
15.96
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
9.80
9.80
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
2020 - MED
ELEC
MW
CHP
Elec
MW
CHP
Heat
MW
0.00
0.14
0.00
0.00
0.14
24.21
0.00
10.09
13.76
48.06
63.09
13.52
26.29
23.90
126.79
99.13
21.24
41.31
37.55
199.23
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
9.79
9.79
27.04
1.50
0.83
30.60
59.97
42.49
2.36
1.30
48.09
94.24
5.91
2.20
3.48
0.24
4.13
15.96
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
14.45
3.63
6.53
0.34
14.22
39.16
14.45
3.63
6.53
0.34
22.35
47.29
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
3.54
3.54
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
55.37
55.37
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
82.42
82.42
164.84
164.84
0.00
0.00
3.54
3.54
7.79
7.79
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
43.93
43.93
69.04
69.04
In the MEDIUM Scenario, 470,000 tonnes of wood chips and 80,000 tonnes of wood pellets are
produced in 2010, changing to 420,000 tonnes of wood chips and 140,000 tonnes of wood pellets by
2020.
Electricity generation in condensing mode provides 105 MWe, reducing to 62 MWe by 2020.
CHP applications are estimated to provide 78 MWe and 153 MWth in 2010 increasing to 352 MWe and
573 MWth 2020.
72
Table L16
Power output as final energy consumption for HIGH scenario.
Wood residues
-Pulpwood residues
-Sawmill residues
-Forest residues
-Recycled wood -C&D residues
Dry Agricultural residues
-Straw
-Poultry Litter
-Spent Mushroom Compost
-Meat & Bonemeal
Wet Organic residues
-Cattle/pig manures, slurries
-Poultry manure
-Food Industry Residues
-Sewage sludges (dry solids)
-Biodegradable MSW
Landfill Gas
-Landfill gas
Waste-to-Energy MSW
-Waste-to-Energy MSW
Energy Crops
-Short Rotation Coppice
HEAT
Wchips
Mtnes/yr
HEAT
Pellets
Mtnes/yr
0.30
0.00
0.26
0.15
0.70
2010 - High
ELEC
MW
CHP
Elec
MW
CHP
Heat
MW
HEAT
HEAT
Wchips
Pellets
tonnes/yr tonnes/yr
0.00
0.12
0.00
0.00
0.12
13.47
0.00
11.91
6.67
32.05
10.56
8.45
9.33
4.39
32.73
23.23
18.59
20.54
11.49
73.84
0.38
0.00
0.16
0.07
0.61
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
27.90
27.90
30.17
1.61
0.89
21.86
54.53
66.38
3.54
1.95
48.09
119.97
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
14.77
2.86
4.35
0.28
6.61
28.87
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
14.70
14.70
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
2020 - HIGH
ELEC
MW
CHP
Elec
MW
CHP
Heat
MW
0.00
0.20
0.00
0.00
0.20
36.32
0.00
15.13
16.19
67.64
94.63
20.28
39.43
28.11
182.45
148.70
31.86
61.96
44.18
286.70
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
14.68
14.68
40.56
2.25
1.24
45.91
89.96
63.73
3.54
1.95
72.14
141.36
14.77
2.86
4.35
0.28
6.61
28.87
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
28.89
4.11
8.27
0.38
17.07
58.72
28.89
4.11
8.27
0.38
17.07
58.72
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
5.32
5.32
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
60.90
60.90
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
90.66
90.66
181.32
181.32
0.00
0.00
5.90
5.90
12.98
12.98
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
84.49
84.49
132.77
132.77
In the HIGH Scenario, 700,000 tonnes of wood chips and 120,000 tonnes of wood pellets are
produced in 2010. These quantities change to 610,000 tonnes of wood chips and 200,000 tonnes of
wood pellets by 2020.
Electricity generation in condensing mode provides approximately 136 MWe in 2010.
considered to fall to 88 MWe in 2020 as all generation is assumed to be CHP by that date.
This is
CHP applications are estimated to provide 123 MWe and 236 MWth in 2010, increasing to 506 MWe and
801 MWth.
L.8 Economic Modelling
The bioenergy funding estimates are based on economic modelling of the Irish renewable energy
market carried out by SEI’s economic analysts. The analysis is based on determining levelised costs
for each one of the bioenergy technologies considered in the report. These levelised costs are then
applied to the Low, Medium and High scenarios discussed above, with an assumed deployment
schedule over the period in question. Using this schedule, annual support costs are calculated on the
basis of the spread between a technology’s levelised cost and the Best New Entrant (BNE) cost. Using
discounted cash-flow techniques, these annual costs are discounted to a 2005 present value.
Levelised cost (LC) is the long-run average cost (in cents per kWh) of a generating plant’s expected
electrical output using operating, capital, and fuel costs which are annuitised at an appropriate
discount rate over the life of the plant. LC is the ratio of present value costs and present value
outputs, and is a standard metric in the energy industry. The weighted average cost of capital is
taken as 15%.
The CER has determined that the LC of the Best New Entrant (BNE) technology will be 5.36ct/kWh in
Ireland in 2005. The CERs BNE is the ‘gate price’ for electricity from a 390-400MW CCGT plant. This
figure includes an allowance of 0.11ct/kWh for carbon costs related to the pending Emissions Trading
Scheme and also an allowance for grid maintenance costs.
Levelised costs for various bioelectricity pathways are estimated to be in the range of 9.5 to 11 cents
per kWh, i.e. about 4 to 5.5 cents above BNE. The exception is landfill gas, which should be
competitive at the bid price offered in AER VI, 6.412 cents per kWh:
73
Table L17 SEI estimates of levelised costs for bioenergy pathways
Generation type
Co-firing peat (30%)
Agricultural residue CHP
Wood industry residue
CHP
Forest residue CHP
Energy crop CHP
AD CHP
LC
ct/kWhe
9.87
10.17
10.66
Difference vs CER
BNE ct/kWhe
4.51
4.81
5.30
10.66
10.46
9.77
5.30
5.10
4.41
Determining the LC of electricity from electricity-only generating plant is straightforward. However,
with CHP plant the high cost of electricity is offset by the value of the heat. The LCs of biomass CHP
electricity take into account the forgone cost of separate heat generation (such as a steam boiler),
assuming that all of the heat generated is useful. It is also assumed that the CHP plant is only used
when there is a heat load, resulting in low average load factors (~66.5%) used in calculating the LCs.
The LC of biomass CHP electricity is derived as follows:
[LC of CHP energy with all heat dumped] - [ LC of forgone heat boiler x Heat-to-Power ratio ] x %
useful heat.
It can be seen from this formula that decreasing the “% of useful heat” raises the LC of the electricity
produced. Also, the formula does not take into account the cost of any backup heat requirement.
What is the assumed deployment schedule?
The majority of the bioenergy capacity identified in the low, medium, and high scenarios is assumed
to deploy under a “post-AER VI” programme. Plant is assumed to rollout annually in four equal
portions from 2006 to 2009. For the 2020 scenarios, plant rolls out the same way from 2010 to 2019.
Under all scenarios 22.5MW of capacity is assumed to come on line in 2005 and 2006 under AER VI.
Also, one 2.25MW LFG gas project is deployed in 2004 under AER V.
An important assumption is that all of the bioenergy capacity identified in this report is deployed and
supported within a national scheme.
How is the 2005 present value of support determined?
Annual support costs are calculated on the basis of the spread between each bioenergy technology’s
levelised cost and the Best New Entrant (BNE) cost. This margin is then scaled up by the total
incremental GWhs of electricity associated with that technology in that scenario.
For example, if Biogas CHP produces 68GWh per annum thus replacing an equal amount of CCGT
(BNE) generation, the annual cost of support would be as follows, based on an electricity price of 9.77
cents per kWh for biogas CHP electricity:
(9.77 - 5.36) x 68 x 104 = €3 million
Thus, €3m would be the annual support required. This cost must be recovered, presumably through
the PSO-levy, to support the payment of 9.77ct/kWh to the biogas CHP plant. Using the discounted
cash-flow method the annual support cost (say, €3M/yr for 15 years) is discounted to a 2005 present
value. It is important to distinguish between the support costs and the actual payments made to the
bioenergy plant operator. An alternative way to describe the support cost calculation is as the
payment to the plant operator net of the forgone BNE plant costs.
In reality an incremental unit of biogas CHP electricity would not exactly offset one unit of centrally
dispatched CCGT plant. The model used to generate the support costs determines what that offset
ratio would be. Also, the actual cost of support formula would account for any relevant contract
terms.
Issues to note
Co-firing biomass with peat could represent a big component of the overall cost of support. In this
report, co-firing is quite unfavourably compared to the BNE. It could be argued that co-firing with
peat should be compared with the levelised cost of peat generation, and on this basis it is fully
74
competitive. This issue depends on how the public service obligation would operate if co-firing at
peat stations were undertaken. The support figures quoted in this report remove the element
associated with this co-firing.
Biomass CHP is very sensitive to fuel costs. Decreasing fuel costs by 10% from current level of
3ct/kWh would decrease the levelised costs by approximately 15%.
Results are very sensitive to BNE. Small changes in the BNE have large impacts on support costs.
While LCs for bioenergy technologies are likely to fall in the future, BNE is likely to increase in the
future, and this would greatly reduce the required support costs.
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Page 1
Department of Communications,
Marine and Natural Resources
Roinn Cumarsaids, Mara agus Acmhainni Nadura
Bioenergy in Ireland
Sustainable Energy Ireland
Department of Communications,
Glasnevin
Marine and Natural Resources,
Dublin 9
29-31 Adelaide Road,
Ireland
Dublin 2, Ireland
t +353 1 836 9080
t +353 1 678 2000
f +353 1 837 2848
f +353 1 678 2449
e [email protected]
w www.dcmnr.gov.ie
Sustainable Energy Ireland is funded by the
Irish Government under the National
Development Plan 2000-2006 with programmes
part financed by the European Union
This publication is printed on environmentally friendly paper
WWW.BENNISDESIGN.IE
w www.sei.ie
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