Biogas in Ireland - Houses of the Oireachtas by shitingting

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									AN SEACHTÚ TUARASCÁIL DEN COMHCHOISTE UM ATHRÚ AERÁIDE AGUS
                      ÁIRITHIÚ FUINNIMH

TUARASCÁIL MAIDIR LE FUINNEAMH BITHGHÁS IN
                  ÉIRINN




SEVENTH REPORT OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND
                       ENERGY SECURITY



      REPORT ON BIOGAS ENERGY IN IRELAND




                         EANÁIR 2011
                        JANUARY 2011




                        PRN: A11/0079
                                                           Table of Contents


Chairman’s introduction

Rapporteur’s foreword

1. Introduction ........................................................................................................................... 7
   1.1 Biogas and bio-methane .................................................................................................. 9
2. The European Experience .................................................................................................... 10
   2.1 Overview......................................................................................................................... 10
       2.2 European biogas production ...................................................................................... 12
       2.3 Costs of plant .............................................................................................................. 13
       2.4 Sweden ....................................................................................................................... 13
       2.5 Britain ......................................................................................................................... 15
       2.6 Germany ..................................................................................................................... 18
       2.7 Denmark ..................................................................................................................... 20
3. Ireland .................................................................................................................................. 22
   3.1 Overview......................................................................................................................... 22
   3.2 Activity ............................................................................................................................ 23
   3.3 Transport ........................................................................................................................ 26
4. Analysis ................................................................................................................................ 28
   4.1 Issues for further development in Ireland ..................................................................... 30
           4.1.1 Gate fees’ effect on incentives ........................................................................... 30
           4.1.2 Infrastructure ...................................................................................................... 30
           4.1.3 Cost ..................................................................................................................... 31
           4.1.4 Scale .................................................................................................................... 31
5. Engagement with interested parties ................................................................................... 32

6. Implementation roadmap .................................................................................................... 33

Appendix 1: Members of the Joint Committee……………………………………………………………………35

Appendix 2: Terms of Reference of the Joint Committee……………………………………………………37




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Chairman’s introduction
As well as a duty to provide for the governance arrangements to ensure
an adequate level of energy security the Government of Ireland has
challenging and binding targets to meet in energy efficiency, renewable
energy deployment and greenhouse gas emission reduction.

The orders of reference of the Joint Committee on Climate Change and
Energy Security have given me scope to facilitate the undertaking of wide
ranging enquiries as to how to sustainably address the challenges ahead.

Working at all times towards a cross-party consensus we have undertaken
a range of new initiatives and relevant enquiries with a mind to provide
not only solutions but opportunities as well. As always, we have drawn on
others, but in this instance I believe we have been well-served by our
Rapporteur and advisors who are most deserving of our thanks.

It is my pleasure to commend this report to the Houses of the Oireachtas
and the relevant authorities for action.




   Chairman of the Joint Committee

   January 2011




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Rapporteur’s foreword
What follows concludes with a set of actions to be advanced by state
bodies, selected commercial state companies, the research community,
farming organisations and producers of organic wastes together with
other interested parties in the private sector with resources and ideas to
contribute.

Having reviewed developments in Germany, Sweden and the UK and
taking note of the experience of several other initiatives in Austria,
Denmark and elsewhere I am convinced that we can do more. Indeed I
know that we can do better to practically address the triple challenges of
Climate Change, Energy Security and the restoration of Competitiveness.

I have refrained from being overly prescriptive in the roadmap proposals
in order to allow those better placed and more informed to complete the
detailed and practical arrangements. That said, it is my expectation that
action will follow and that the institutions to whom this report is
addressed will without hesitation respond in meaningful terms to the
injunctions of the Joint Committee.




Simon Coveney T.D.
Rapporteur

January 2011




    The assistance of David Taylor and Associates in the preparation of this report is acknowledged




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                          BIOGAS ENERGY IN IRELAND



1. Introduction
Ireland has challenging and binding targets under the EU 2020 Climate
Change package that require innovative approaches to develop renewable
sources of energy domestically, particularly for heat and transport.

The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Change and Energy Security
has received submissions on the potential for biogas to be a renewable
energy resource for the heat and transport sectors in Ireland. The
Committee has also noted and expressed its concern on the adequacy of
the measures in the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) and
considers that biogas merits further consideration.

With this in mind, and the pressing need to meet mandatory renewable
energy in transport targets, the Committee appointed a rapporteur and
tasked its advisors to prepare a research report on biogas production and
use for Ireland, as a precursor to a transport fleet initiative that could be
commended to public bodies and would fall within the orders of reference
of the Committee.

Tackling this issue connects with the orders of reference of the Committee
which are to consider, inter alia:

      medium and long term climate change targets and the key
       measures needed to meet those targets
      the role of the agriculture sector in providing bio-fuel and biomass
       crops and consequential implications
      the levels of power supply which can be generated from renewable
       or other new power supplies
      the projected energy demand from transport and the implications
       for energy security and emissions targets.
Biogas has the potential to meet all of the challenges inherent in fulfilling
the Committee’s orders of reference, which aim to put combating climate
change at the top of the national agenda.

This report covers three sources of biogas that are plentiful in Ireland;
namely, biogas from crops (grass), from farm waste (slurry or manure),
and from organic waste (brown bin municipal waste). Because all of these
potential feed-stocks are indigenous and renewable, they can provide
largely carbon free renewable sources of energy and enhance security of
energy supply while reducing environmental impacts of waste disposal.


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          JOINT COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY SECURITY


Exploiting the economic potential of biogas in heat and transport can also
promote agriculture while finding viable uses for wastes and fallow land
that would otherwise lie idle, in addition to boosting farm incomes and
modernising our agriculture sector.

The question arises as to why such an initiative should be undertaken
now. Governments around Europe are struggling to meet targets for
renewable energy in transport in the light of issues around the
sustainability of sources of bio-fuels and their environmental impact.

In addition, there are Ireland-specific reasons for looking at biogas now.
The country has an economically important and successful agriculture
industry, with large herds of cattle and sheep and an international
reputation for producing quality meat and dairy products for export.

However, this is tempered by the fact that a large proportion of Ireland’s
greenhouse gas emissions are methane emissions from ruminants and
agriculture placing Ireland among the highest group of GHG per capita
emitters in the EU.

With tacit acknowledgement that there is no policy to reduce the national
herd, it is imperative to look at options to reduce emissions from
agriculture, and to develop those carbon-free sources of renewable
energy with the potential to strengthen the agriculture industry.

This need to reduce emissions from agriculture dovetails with a parallel
need to find new sources of renewable energy (RE) to sustainably meet
national obligations for RE in transport and heat provision in Ireland.

Biogas has certain advantages over other alternative transport fuels and
the economics of its production from wastes are enhanced by the
requirements to meet the EU Landfill Directive and the Renewable Energy
Sources Directive’s mandatory RE in transport target.

The review aimed to:

     set out the level of recourse to anaerobic digestion in Ireland

     review best practice on biogas development in three countries

     identify the most interested parties in Ireland

     put forward a model for early implementation to provide evidence
      for further policy development.




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                         BIOGAS ENERGY IN IRELAND


The Committee hopes that this study will complement other work done in
the area and provide the spark that initiates a sustained programme of
exploitation of biogas in the expectation that it will provide economic and
environmental benefits while contributing to security of energy supply.

The study offers an overview of current activity in Ireland in the field,
looks at the European experience of attempting to use biogas as a
significant source of fuel and energy, before going on to propose a model
for early implementation that is rooted in international experience.




1.1 Biogas and Bio-methane
Biogas is the methane-rich gas that develops when micro-organisms
decompose organic materials in an oxygen-free environment such as is
present in an anaerobic digester. The principal other constituent gas is
carbon dioxide, which can be removed along with other gases, so that the
resulting gas is upgraded to bio-methane, meaning gas of natural gas
quality and suitable for use as, for example, vehicle fuel.

The reason why bio-methane is a particularly interesting alternative fuel
from an environmental perspective is because the biogas which is
associated with the natural decomposition of organic wastes and which
would otherwise be released to the atmosphere has a greenhouse gas
potential about twelve times (depending on the methane content) that of
carbon dioxide.

Biogas is an inevitable product of traditional waste disposal methods such
as land-filling of organic waste, and it is readily released from the
treatment of farm slurry, and potentially in Ireland’s case, by fermenting
purpose grown organic grass silage.

Every tonne of food waste digested rather than sent to landfill could
reduce emissions by between 0.5 and 1 tonne of CO2 equivalent (DEFRA,
2009). Treating 1 tonne of food waste by anaerobic digestion can produce
0.24 tonnes of bio-fertiliser, which has the potential to save about 25kg of
CO2 equivalent from inorganic fertiliser displaced.




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          JOINT COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY SECURITY




2. The European experience
2.1 Overview
While there has been plenty of activity in promoting the harnessing of
biogas in agricultural settings, especially in the Nordic countries and in
Germany, Austria, France and Switzerland, most of its use has been
directed at generating electricity rather than for heat or transport uses.

This is mainly down to the attractive feed-in tariffs for electricity from
renewable sources and the absence of subsidies for the costs entailed in
providing the large additional infrastructure including plants to clean and
upgrade the biogas into bio-methane a vehicle quality fuel, and attendant
user costs with using it as a transport fuel.

The general experience seems to be that while there has been promotion
and plenty of information made available about developing biogas
resources across Europe, it was until recently under-exploited and for the
most part local and operating on a small scale. In the context of the EU
2020 Climate Change package targets additional measures are considered
to encourage the industry, even in countries which have successful
schemes.

Flagship projects have been established in Gothenburg (Sweden) where it
is used as a vehicle fuel, Lille in northern France, where biogas is being
used for the public transport bus fleet and again in Sweden where a train
is run on biogas. However, even where demonstrations have been
successful, the diffusion into other towns and cities in the countries
examined has been very limited.

Recourse to the natural gas distribution network to allow for the
distribution of natural gas quality bio-methane for use in vehicles has
promising potential to judge by recent experience in Europe, most notably
in Germany. Using tried and trusted technology to upgrade the biogas to
bio-methane can provide wider market access and a means to cope with
seasonal and other variations in the supply of biogas.

However, a 2006 study conducted for the Swedish Energy Agency claimed
that an enlargement of the Swedish natural gas network would be a
blocking factor for the diffusion of renewable energy sources in general,




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                         BIOGAS ENERGY IN IRELAND


and for biogas in particular – presumably this is because of the lower
cost, affordability and convenience of natural gas.

Sweden is currently the leading country for biogas upgrading to bio-
methane for use as a vehicle fuel, with most of the biogas coming from
centralised anaerobic digestion plants treating municipal sewage. Part of
the reason for the take up in transport is the centralised nature of
production in municipal sewage treatment plants and the low electricity
price for the competing use of biogas that effectively forces it into
markets other than electricity production.

About 10 per cent of the biogas produced in Sweden is upgraded to
vehicle fuel where the market price of bio-methane, relieved of duties and
taxes, is approximately 20-30% lower than petrol on an energy basis,
making it an attractive alternative for fleet users.

With the exception of Sweden, however, a fuel standard for bio-methane
has not been implemented in the rest of Europe, which is a potential
market barrier and an inhibitor to its use as a vehicle fuel. Across Europe,
much of the support for biogas has been directed at electricity production
with a smaller but growing proportion for combined heat and power.

Switzerland is also developing biogas-based transport and has introduced
an exemption from fuel taxes (mineral oils tax) for fuels with a positive
lifecycle analysis (LCA). The exemption is granted where the LCA, subject
to other sustainability criteria, indicates a reduction of 40% or more of
greenhouse gases compared to fossil fuels based on well to wheel.

A recent Swiss study has shown that compressed natural gas (CNG)
fuelled vehicles offer a reduction in CO2 emissions of 20-25% compared
with gasoline. Thus the potential for natural gas and biogas-powered
vehicles to cut greenhouse gas emissions is 20-25% and 90%
respectively.

A 2007 study found a wide range of actors involved in the bio-methane
industry but most are focussed on their specific sector and not on
promoting the diffusion of bio-methane as a vehicle fuel.

Although vehicle manufacturers offer biogas and CNG fuelled vehicles, it
is a peripheral rather than a core motor industry activity. The bulk of
equipment suppliers support and service the production of biogas for
electricity and heat.




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          JOINT COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY SECURITY


Bio-methane upgrading technology is supplied to a relatively small market
segment, mainly in Sweden and Germany (approximately 50 plants of
500Nm3/h and above).

All in all, the use of biogas in transport vehicles is quite limited across
Europe, and the evidence of new initiatives being taken by European
countries currently to encourage its use, driven by the EU 2020 targets,
suggests that further incentives are needed to achieve scale.

Notwithstanding the limited use of biogas in transport there is growing
interest in natural gas fuelled vehicles. The drivers are the rising costs of
petroleum based fuels, the outlook for security of supply and the need to
lower environmental emissions and reduce the impacts of greenhouse
gases and particulates. Large natural gas fuelled engines such as those
suitable for buses and commercial vehicles are noticeably quieter than
their diesel equivalent which is an additional advantage in urban
environments.

Security of supply and diversity of fuel source is a powerful long term
strategic driver and the penetration of vehicles running on compressed
natural gas is highest in those countries and member states with high
single import source dependence for refined fuels.

However, at a local and regional level, several city administrations
(particularly those that are prone to atmospheric inversions and other
conditions that can give rise to smog) are actively encouraging the use of
CNG fuelled buses and city delivery vehicles as well as cars.



2.2 European Biogas production
European production of primary energy from biogas reached 7.5million
tonnes of oil equivalent (toe) in 2008, a 4.4% increase on 2007 (an
addition of 318.6ktoe). Landfill biogas accounted for 38.7% of the total
followed by 13.2% from waste treatment plants (urban and industrial).
(EurObserver, 2009)

The other main sources were agricultural biogas units (combining liquid
manure with substandard cropped cereals, for example), and centralised
co-digestion units (liquid manure with other organic matter and/or animal
waste) and solid household waste methanisation units. These collectively
accounted for 48.2% or almost half of Europe’s biogas production in
2008.



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                          BIOGAS ENERGY IN IRELAND


Germany and the United Kingdom are Europe’s leading biogas producers,
together accounting for over 70.4% of primary renewable energy
production and 68.3% of biogas electricity production in the EU.

According to EurObserver, historical growth rates were too low to meet
the European Commission’s White Paper targets of 15Mtoe bio-energy in
2010. EurObserver estimated production would be 8.2Mtoe in 2010 (an
annual growth rate of 4.4% in 2009 and 2010). This is 52% of the target
and total biogas production would amount to 5.5% of the biomass target
in the European Commission’s “Biomass Action Plan” (149Mtoe in 2010).

EurObserver believes that price rises in feed-stocks will limit the growth of
agricultural biogas production, which it sees as the driving force of biogas
growth in Europe, keeping output below previous forecasts.



2.3 Costs of plant
A 500kWe biogas plant on a farm costs around €2 million (including CHP;
without the costs of distribution of the heat). The investment costs for
units with 1 million Nm3/year of upgraded bio-methane ranges between
€3.4 million for stand-alone plants and €3.9 million to €4.7 million for gas
grid connected plants, depending on distances from grid to the upgrading
plant and to the bio-methane filling stations. (AEBIOM, 2009)

The most economically attractive size of bio-methane plant according to
industry association AEBIOM, is a production capacity of between one and
two million Nm3 bio-methane p.a. Larger plants can be economic if the
input material is available in close range (e.g., large-scale cattle rearing,
fields of dedicated biogas crops or waste water treatment facilities).

The industry association has found that economy of scale plays an
important role for the viability of investment in facilities for upgrading the
raw biogas to natural gas standards.



2.4 Sweden
Sweden has around 17,000 natural gas vehicles, and over 55% of the gas
used in transport is bio-methane. Sweden is the only European country
where sewage treatment plants are the dominant source of biogas.




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          JOINT COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY SECURITY


Furthermore, Sweden is the leading country for biogas upgrading to bio-
methane as vehicle fuel. In 2007 around 10% of Swedish biogas was
upgraded to vehicle fuel standard to serve a market where the equivalent
energy price of bio-methane was about 20-30% lower than petrol.

In 2006 there was a big breakthrough for biogas in Sweden it being the
first year that the sales of biogas exceeded the sales of natural gas to
vehicles. Of total CNG sales for vehicles, biogas made up 54%. During
2006 about 24 million cubic meters of biogas was used for vehicles,
replacing the equivalent of 25 million litres of petrol (Biogasmax, 2009).

There are currently 223 plants in Sweden, being: 138 municipal sewage
treatment plants, 60 landfills, 3 industrial wastewater treatment plants,
14 co-digestion plants, and 8 farm plants. Biogas production reached
1.2TWh in 2006 with 19% used as fuel.



Figure 10: Use of biogas – Swedish Energy Agency ER 2008:02




The municipality of Stockholm has supported the use of biogas for
vehicles since the mid-1990s, mainly for use in light-duty vehicles; for
example, the municipality-owned light-duty vehicle fleet.

The raw biogas comes solely from the treatment of sewage sludge in the
Henriksdal and the Åkeshov sewage treatment plants. At the end of 2006,
there were approximately 3,000 bio-methane cars, 30 buses and 30
refuse trucks in use in the Stockholm area.

Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city, has made large investments in
the production and distribution of biogas as well as use of gas vehicles
which have been manufactured in West Sweden since the middle of the
1990s.




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An initiative, “Biogas Väst”, began in 2001 as a regional collaboration
project in western Sweden covering the Gothenburg region and the
county of Vastra Gotaland, focusing on biogas for vehicles.

When Biogas Väst started in 2001, there were nine gas fuelling stations
and approximately 800 vehicles in Western Sweden. By 2008 Western
Sweden had 36 gas fuelling stations, approximately 7,000 vehicles and
eight facilities producing biogas for automotive purposes.

Gas for vehicles (biogas and natural gas) replaced around 18 million litres
of petrol in 2007, with an expected reduction in greenhouse gases by the
equivalent of 22,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. Bio-methane is priced at
€1.29/Nm3, which is equivalent to €1.02/Nm3 of gasoline.

Investment in Western Sweden in biogas facilities, infrastructure, fuelling
stations, pipelines and swap-bodies up to and including 2007 is estimated
at around €64 million. Investment in gas-powered vehicles including cars,
light transport vehicles, buses and trucks was between €171 and €190m.

In Vasteras, a 20-year agreement for the use of biogas in public transport
has been signed by Svensk Vaxtkraft as producer, the City of Vasteras as
the feed-stock supplier, and the city public transport provider as user.

Vasteras’ biogas production is based on a combination of urban and
agricultural feedstock, with the residuals used for bio-fertiliser, making it
an interesting case for regional expansion in this area of Sweden. The
biogas from the two production sites is upgraded and used as vehicle fuel
for buses, refuse collection vehicles and cars. The biogas produced is
sufficient to supply at least 40 city-buses, 10 refuse-collection vehicles
and some 500 cars and other light transport vehicles.

Power companies Goteborg Energi and E.ON are collaborating to build the
world’s first large–scale biogas plant. Using forest raw material, GoBiGas
will soon produce enough bio-methane to power 80,000 cars. The first
stage, a large demonstration facility with an output of 20MW, is planned
to go into construction in Autumn 2010 and is expected to be up and
running in the first half of 2012 (Goteborg Energi).



2.5 Britain
Around 1.6Mtoe of primary energy was produced from biogas in Britain in
2008. Landfill sites provide the main source of biogas, accounting for
86.5% of the UK’s primary energy production from biogas. Electricity


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          JOINT COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY SECURITY


conversion from biogas energy is well developed, with 5.3TWh produced
in 2008. (EurObserver, 2009)

While the UK government is pro-active in legislating for and incentivising
renewable sources of heat and renewable fuels for transport, the
Department of Energy and Climate Change is planning to calculate the
proposed tariff for bio-methane injection on the basis of parity with the
feed-in tariffs rather than on the basis of a rate-of-return approach.
(DECC, 2010)

Generators will have the option of generating electricity from biogas
through on-site combustion, or turning the biogas into bio-methane for
injection into the grid. They could receive support for renewable electricity
for generating electricity from biogas with the DECC wanting to avoid a
comparison between support levels rather than appropriate use
determining generators’ choices between electricity generation and bio-
methane injection. (DECC, 2010)

However, this approach will lead to creation of a tariff that is much lower
than competing renewable generation sources and is unlikely to prompt
investment in additional capacity for bio-methane injection. The proposed
tariffs or renewable heat incentives (which is at public consultation) would
see bio-methane injection receive 4p/kwh (thermal), compared to
5.5p/kwh for onsite biogas combustion.

This also compares very unfavourably with the proposed tariffs for
biomass (9p/kwh for small installations, 6.5p/kwh for medium-sized
installations), and for solar (18p/kwh for small installations, 17p/kwh for
medium-sized installations). Even smaller scale installations using bio-
liquids (up to 45kw) will receive 6.5p/kwh. (DECC, 2010)

The reasoning behind the lower tariffs is the difficulty in calculating the
actual resource cost, because of gate fees for waste. Given that over 86%
of British biogas comes from landfills, the DECC wants to ensure that
biogas producers are not overpaid, as they are already receiving payment
to deal with the waste.

The DECC found that biogas injection had the lowest cost under its
particular assumptions, estimated at only £1/MWh. It recognises that this
resource cost is very dependent on assumptions about the level of the
“gate fee” for receiving waste. The cost is substantially higher if the
revenue from gate fees is lower — either because of competition for the
resource or because other types of feedstock (whether other types of
waste or energy crops) are used. (DECC, 2010)


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A British company, Gasrec, produces a liquid bio-methane (LBM) fuel from
landfill gas and domestic waste which it claims can be directly substituted
for both CNG (compressed natural gas) and LNG (liquefied natural gas)
for use in gas powered and dual-fuel vehicles, or for decentralised power
generation.

The company’s flagship plant at Albury landfill in Surrey began producing
LBM in 2008. The site receives the majority of Surrey’s domestic waste
and is capable of producing around 5,000 tonnes of LBM per annum,
which is enough to power either 100 HGVs or up to 500 LGVs per annum.

Gasrec’s fuel is being trialled on a small scale by a number of large
retailers in Britain including the supermarket chain Waitrose which will run
an initial five home delivery vehicles on Gasrec’s LBM; Sainsbury’s, which
uses Gasrec’s liquid bio-methane for a number of its dual-fuel vehicles;
and Tesco, which runs 25 home delivery vehicles on the fuel. Coca-Cola is
running trials of a 21-tonne Iveco Stralis vehicle running on Gasrec’s fuel.

Under the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat government a major push
is underway to increase energy from waste through anaerobic digestion
and biogas production for multiple uses.

The UK produces about 100 million tonnes of food, farm and other organic
waste each year which the government believes could generate up to 7%
of the renewable energy required in the UK by 2020.

There are currently around 37 anaerobic digestion plants in the UK using
food and farm waste, with around 60 planned or under construction. A
further 220 water treatment plants have anaerobic digestion facilities for
sewage treatment.

The UK government is providing £10 million for five projects under the
Anaerobic Digestion Demonstration Programme. Ten anaerobic digestion
(AD) facilities currently process 2-3% of UK municipal and commercial
food waste with a further 10 under construction, and 60 to 70 in the
planning system. The number of plants operating on farms has grown to
approximately 25, with at least 15 more planned.

The government is also revising environmental permitting regulations to
encourage the development of AD plants with a public consultation which
was to close on the matter by the end of November 2010.




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2.6 Germany
Germany has quickly become the biggest producer of biogas in Europe
(3.7Mtoe in 2008) by deploying on-farm and small scale methanisation
plants which account for 71.2% of the total (EurObserver, 2009).

It is also the leading producer of primary energy from biogas (48.7% of
the EU total) and the leading biogas electricity producer (41.7% of the EU
total), mainly due to the attractive feed-in tariffs for electricity from
renewable sources.

Hamburg is using bio-methane in its airport buses and is also planning
bio-methane CHP in its new port housing area.

Germany has set long range targets for bio-methane in gas supply of
10% by 2030. The targets are derived from Federal and EU energy and
environment goals and are supported by analysis in 2006 and updated in
2010 by several German research institutes.

The background is Germany’s high dependence on imported oil (97%)
and gas (80%), its desire to ensure the sustainability of bio-fuels while
meeting its 2020 renewable energy targets, and awareness of the
economic and security of supply risks inherent in overdependence on oil
products. Social objectives related to rural development, landscape
preservation and the provision of economic opportunity to farmers and
landowners were all part of the policy mix driving biogas development.

The German Energy Agency “Dena” is co-ordinating an impressive biogas
energy platform in the form of a “biogaspartner” network comprised of a
wide range of industrial and utility stakeholders. The aim is to foster
innovation by relying on a mixture of co-operation and competition to
develop an effective supply chain to meet climate change targets and
create an industrial export base.

The principal policy support mechanisms were legislated for in 2006 and
2008 and provide for generous feed-in tariffs and additional technology
bonuses for biogas produced from a defined range of substrates and gas
uses.

The tariff was scheduled to drop by from 1.5% to 1% each year for new
projects after 2009. However, the feed-in tariff per kWh of electricity
(kWhe) was €0.1167/kWh (for capacities up to 150kWe) in 2009 and the
plan is for the premium for renewable electricity from agricultural biogas
to rise from €0.06 to €0.07/kWh for plants below 500 kWe.



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Germany also has a bonus for production units using more than 30%
liquid manure (€0.04/kWh for plants below 150kWe and €0.01/kWh for
plants below 500 kWe) and a €0.02/kWh premium if the main source is
waste from cleaning natural open spaces for units below 500 kWe. The
bonus for cogeneration was slated to rise in 2009 from €0.02/kWh to
€0.03/kWh for units below 20MWe with a technology bonus of €0.02/kWh
maintained.

The main markets for biogas in Germany are in combined heat and
power, space heating, and transport. By the end of 2010 there will be
more than 70 bio-methane plants connected to the gas network across
Germany producing 54,000 cubic metres/hour of bio-methane from
agricultural crops, agricultural residues and other organic wastes.

The first two bio-methane plants were put into operation at the end of
2006, a further five followed in 2007 and around 30 plants were
connected to the gas network at the end of 2009. If all the bio-methane
to be produced in 2010 were applied as a biofuel, over 250,000 natural
gas fuel compatible vehicles could travel an average of 20,000 km each.

In comparison to other biofuels, bio-methane is ranked by Dena amongst
the highest net fuel energy yield per hectare of cropland. A similar
mileage can be achieved with bio-methane as with biomass to liquid
second generation fuels, and almost twice that of ethanol, 1.6 times that
of biodiesel and rapeseed oil. However, where, as is the norm in
Germany, purpose grown crops are the feedstock, it comes at a higher
cost.

The markets for biogas are also the subject of supply chain development.
For example the feed-in tariff has applied for some time to electricity
generated from biogas. In many cases the electricity was generated in the
absence of a use for the heat and overall efficiency was low. The current
policies include bonuses for approved technology requirements to
eliminate such waste.

In the case of grid injection, biogas is accounted for statistically and there
is a requirement for balancing out over the year so that no more biogas
can be sold than was actually produced in the year. The injection of
biogas into the grid also facilitates fleet owners who choose biogas.

Prevailing feed-in tariffs are high in comparison with the level of support
commonly offered for renewable energy in Ireland. The base tariff for
clean gas is comparable to the full support offered for renewable
electricity in Ireland notwithstanding a 3 to 1 difference in market prices.


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           JOINT COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY SECURITY


In addition to these prices there are bonuses for the use of cultivated
biomass, for landscape conservation and for conditioning of the raw gas.
Thus the short term subsidies are costly at current gas prices and are
clearly set to build industry capacity and capability rapidly to service the
home market and further expand on the back of markets that develop
abroad under similar policy stimuli.

Dena was clear that the first step for development of bio-methane fuelled
transport is the creation of a framework for the market deployment of
natural gas fuelled vehicles; otherwise transport applications may be
restricted to niche local markets and captive fleets for bio-methane use.

With incentives, the agency said its experience was that in general, feed-
in tariffs seem to work better than quota regulations, especially in terms
of deregulation and market player diversity.

The information to hand is that there are issues around the returns to
investors and suppliers of feed stock substrates where some sources are
over-compensated.




2.7 Denmark
Denmark offers a good model for Ireland to look at, especially when
considering biogas from farm wastes and crops, given its high level of
agricultural activity and similarly small population and size of country.

In Denmark there are two types of biogas plants:

      Joint biogas plants – which receive manure and waste from a
       number of farms, as well as industrial and household waste. The
       gas produced by these installations is sold to local CHP plants.

      Farm biogas plants – that utilise the waste from a single farm;
       mainly manure. (Energymap.dk)

There are 20 joint (community) biogas plants and 60 farm plants
operating in Denmark. About 65% of biogas produced is used
productively, 30% to generate electricity and 35% for heating purposes.

The Danish government wants to see at least 50% of all farm manure
used to make biogas within the next 10 years. Incentives to encourage
this development include 20% capital grants and high electricity prices.



                                     20
                              BIOGAS ENERGY IN IRELAND


The government also plans paying the equivalent of €0.12 per kWh for
electricity from bio-energy fuelled generators. Farmers assert that at least
€0.14/kWh is needed to make any income from the manure biogas.

There are only around 80 farms in the whole country with biogas plants
out of around 5,500 pig production units and 5,300 dairy farms. So far,
Denmark has concentrated on centralised municipal or cooperative biogas
plants where manure from farmers, as well as industrial by-products such
as slaughterhouse waste, is processed. There are 20 of these in the
country, with the biggest plant processing manure from 60 farms or
200,000 tonnes of manure yearly.

The average Danish community biogas plant obtains its income from
three different sources each accounting for about one third of receipts;

      sales of electricity

      sales of heat for district heating

      fees for receiving industrial waste.

Danish farmers commonly add an extra ingredient to the mix in the form
of high grade waste oil from the food industry, which is made up of fish oil
and animal fats. The effect of adding waste oil at concentrations of 2%-
5% in addition to the animal manure, can double the gas production of
the feedstock and makes the investment much more attractive for the
farmer.

The waste oil used in general contains 700-1,000Nm3 of biogas per m3 of
waste product. Because of growing competition to obtain this oil it is
expected that farmers in future will have to pay for it.




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          JOINT COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY SECURITY




3. Ireland
3.1 Overview
Dr Jerry Murphy at UCC is actively researching using grass as a feedstock
for the production of biogas using anaerobic digesters. He is currently
working with Bord Gáis to translate some of this research into action on
the ground. A number of his studies have expanded on the rationale and
economic justification for using grass as a source of fuel in the context of
meeting the mandatory RES-T targets of 10% by 2020.

Bord Gáis is showing increasing interest in biogas as fuel for heating,
transport and electricity generation. It has commissioned and published a
report that claims a conservative estimate of the potential bio-methane
resource in Ireland is 0.4 billion Nm3/annum or 7.5% of the national gas
demand requirement (the equivalent of heating 300,000 homes annually).

The gas utility believes further work needs to be done to make bio-
methane a viable energy option for Ireland but most of the obstacles
identified in its report could be resolved with the support of Government
and the relevant regulatory bodies.

Among the key recommendations for action in the report to Bord Gáis
were the setting of national targets for a proportion of gas demand to be
met from bio-methane, review of the Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff
(REFIT) to support bio-methane fed directly into the natural gas grid as in
Germany, and new standards and rules to allow bio-methane producers to
inject directly into the gas grid.

Bord Gáis also pointed to the critical need for renewable energy and
waste management policies to be aligned to deliver certainty to industry
around feedstock supply and related issues over the life of a facility.

In the light of all the pressures on farmers and noting the disparity in the
pace of development here compared to Germany, Sweden, Switzerland
and the UK, it would seem that further supports are needed to spur
development of an Irish biogas industry, whether that uses slurry, sewage
organic waste or purpose grown grass as a feedstock.

Dr Murphy has shown that when compared with the other Irish based
systems for renewable fuel production (rapeseed and wheat), grass based
bio-methane is preferable as it does not require arable land. Only 9% of



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                         BIOGAS ENERGY IN IRELAND


Irish agricultural land is arable (compared to 91% under grass), so any
significant diversion of arable land away from food production would have
a major impact. Grassland does not need to be ploughed and planted
each year like rapeseed and wheat which require annual ploughing.

With 3.4 million hectares of grassland potentially available for energy crop
production in Ireland (silage, hay and pasture), if 10% of this land was
made available for energy, the equivalent of 1.05 million cars could be
fuelled with compressed bio-methane. There were 1.88 million private
cars in Ireland in 2007 thus 10% of the current grassland available in
Ireland could fuel over 55% of passenger cars.

However, there are clear barriers to the development of a full-scale
biogas sector here according to recent research:

A recurring theme, however, is the lack of consistent legislation regarding
anaerobic digestion and the use of biogas/bio-methane, and this is acting
as a barrier to the development and economic success of the industry. For
the industry to succeed economically, the implementation of cohesive
legislation is required. (Smyth, Smyth and Murphy, 2010)

In terms of target attainment, under the EU Renewable Energy Sources
Directive biofuels produced from residues and lingo-cellulose material
(such as grass) are awarded ‘double credit’ when establishing compliance
with the 2020 target of 10% renewable energy in transport, thus
strengthening the case for bio-methane as an effective transport fuel.



3.2 Activity
Irish farm incomes have been declining for some time, with many farmers
relying on subsidies to turn a profit. However, agriculture is responsible
for 27% of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions and the potential for
reducing these is very limited. The Committee has noted that the
Renewable Energy Sources Directive transport (RES-T) targets are
challenging and on these grounds it requested further government action.

Anaerobic digestion (AD) of grass to produce biogas or bio-methane has
been put forward as a multifaceted solution to both problems, which could
help meet energy and emissions targets, reduce dependence on imported
energy, and provide additional farm income.




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          JOINT COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY SECURITY


Biopower, an Irish company, is currently working on establishing a large
number of AD plants around the country and has submitted a proposal for
a nationwide project under the “Your Country, Your Call” competition.

Biopower’s proposal is to create a network of 50 AD plants around Ireland
that would be supported locally. Local farmers would supply slurry and
sell silage/maize as feed-stocks to the plants while acquiring digestate for
fertiliser. Local businesses and domestic householders could supply source
segregated food waste with businesses or others acquiring the heat
generated from the facility, along with local public buildings such
hospitals.

The plants would be 60% owned by the private developer/operator and
40% by a local farming co-op set up for the purpose, while the capital
investment needed would come from a mix of bank debt, investors and
SEAI grants. Direct employment in operating the plants is small, but they
could play a key part in meeting 2020 targets on heat.

Grass biogas/bio-methane fares poorly under the current combined heat
and power tariff structure, which is geared toward feed-stocks of zero
value that attract a gate fee. Under current conditions, the most
economically viable outlet for grass bio-methane is sale as a renewable
heating fuel. However, location and access to market could be real issues.

Four farm digesters are operating in Ireland: three generate thermal
energy for use on site and one of these delivers electricity to the grid. The
feedstock is predominately slurry and energy crops are not employed.
However, the expertise, knowledge, and equipment for growing,
harvesting, making and storing grass silage already exist on Irish farms.

According to experts at UCC, with the constraints imposed by agricultural
and biofuels policy, grass bio-methane is the best energy crop for meeting
the 2020 renewable transport energy target in Ireland.

However, Murphy et al. found that “Under present conditions, the only
financially viable option for grass biogas/bio-methane in Ireland is use in
an on-site CHP plant, and viability is heavily dependent on heat markets
and farming subsidies. Profits are low and there is little incentive to switch
from current farming practice.

There is currently no tariff structure in place for grid injection, although
the development of such a structure is underway. This analysis shows
that grass bio-methane injected into the grid is not competitive with
natural gas. Co-digestion can improve the economics, but the An Bord


                                      24
                         BIOGAS ENERGY IN IRELAND


Pleanala regulations pose challenges for the industry. The question is
therefore how grass biogas/bio-methane can offer a competitive return
for farmers, while at the same time offering a competitive alternative to
consumers.”

Murphy suggests that a revised system of tariffs be introduced. A flat rate
of €0.12 per kWh is paid for the electricity component of biogas CHP. The
tariff is paid regardless of whether a gate fee is received or the feedstock
is purchased. Nor are there any allowances for the non-monetary benefits
of AD, for example, to encourage use of cattle slurry.

Germany’s tariff structure uses graded tariffs which depend on feedstock
type, plant size, and AD technology type, among other factors and have
been successful. German tariffs are €0.1718 per kWh for on-site CHP
plants and €0.1818 per kWh for CHP plants using grid bio-methane.

The production of grass bio-methane to produce biogas that meets EU
biofuel standards is dependent on the production process used. An
analysis from the Environmental Research Institute in Cork suggested
that an essential element of a grass bio-methane facility is the reduction
in emissions associated with the operating energy demands of the
digester and other equipment required.

They suggested the purchase of green electricity and the minimisation of
thermal energy input were essential to achieve high net reductions in
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The researchers also found that
vehicles must be optimised for bio-methane as multi-fuel vehicles cannot
achieve the GHG reductions projected for bio-methane.

Where the process is optimised, a reduction in emissions of 54% can be
delivered. If grassland sequestration of carbon is also taken into account
(0.6tC/ha-1 yr-1) it would lead to a reduction in emissions of 75%.

This suggests that bio-methane produced from grass silage is one of the
most sustainable biofuels for transport in Europe. It respects the fact that
for reasons of cross-compliance the EU does not want to see grassland
converted for production of biofuels with the loss of carbon sequestration
and the possible impact of large-scale land use change on emissions.

The International review of waste policy, carried out by Eunomia, for the
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government,
recommended that incentives for the use of biogas from anaerobic
digestion be re-examined. It opined that in Ireland, the best outcome for
biogas use would be as vehicle fuel with incentives to support this.


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          JOINT COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY SECURITY


The EPA backed the swift implementation of any new policies put forward
by the Eunomia report on the grounds that it would assist in providing
certainty to the waste industry in Ireland and would allow for accelerated
investment programmes that are necessary if organic waste is to be
treated and landfill avoided.



3.3 Transport
UCC research found the break-even price of compressed bio-methane
from grass varies between €0.078 and €0.132 per kWh. Excise duty is not
charged on gas used as a propellant, but VAT at 21% has to be added,
giving a minimum selling price (i.e. break-even price) of between €0.096
and €0.163/kWh. Current prices of petrol and diesel are within this range.

With the price of CNG significantly lower than that of petrol and diesel,
considerable user savings are possible if bio-CNG is sold at natural gas
prices free of excise duty. If a 10% bio-methane/90% CNG blend is used,
the break even price is between €0.0199 and €0.0217 MJ-1 (based on UK
CNG prices). At 53% of the price of petrol and 71% of the price of diesel
(for the higher price of €0.0217 MJ-1), it is a competitive fuel.

The obvious stumbling block for the sale of bio-methane as a transport
fuel in Ireland is the absence of a market, with currently only two natural
gas vehicles in the country. To put this in context there are over 10
million CNG vehicles worldwide.

Although Directive 2009/73/EC on the natural gas market states that
biogas should be granted non-discriminatory access to the gas system,
and bio-methane is injected into the grid in other countries, as yet there
is no system for this in Ireland.

Gaslink (the Irish gas network operator) and Bord Gáis are currently
investigating a quality standard for bio-methane injection into the grid.
(Smyth et al, 2010, all above)

The key to the competitiveness of biogas/bio-methane in Ireland is the
renewable energy targets, which put it in competition, not with cheap
natural gas, but with other renewable sources. Bio-methane has an
advantage over other renewable energies in that it can be distributed
through the gas grid to a large existing customer base (Smyth et al,
2010).




                                    26
                         BIOGAS ENERGY IN IRELAND


UCC experts said that “A recurring theme, however, is the lack of
consistent legislation regarding anaerobic digestion and the use of
biogas/bio-methane, and this is acting as a barrier to the development
and economic success of the industry. For the industry to succeed
economically, the implementation of cohesive legislation is required.”

However, UCC research showed that from the analysis of the biofuels
options for Ireland, the sustainability criteria associated with biofuels in
combination with cross-compliance constraints point biofuel production
towards indigenous bio-methane production in Ireland.

It would increase energy security, and biofuels from wastes/residues are
clearly the low-hanging fruit in meeting the 10% target. While biological
waste conversion is prescribed by policy, the research found that
governments should ensure policy dictates that fuel (bio-methane) is a
product of this conversion.




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           JOINT COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY SECURITY




4. Analysis
Biogas is a useful fuel and is a necessary by-product of preferred waste
treatment processes. With limited treatment and with modest additional
investment it can be used to generate electricity or heat or both (higher
investment and more specialised application) as it arises.

Unless used in a CHP plant for which there is a year round heat demand,
it is likely under current practice in Ireland to be used to produce
electricity at a conversion efficiency of about 30%, whereas the efficiency
of electricity production in a utility scale gas-fired combined cycle plant
would be about 53%.

From the perspective of GHG abatement and of meeting renewable
energy targets, biogas would be put to better use in meeting heat or
transport demand where it would displace an equal quantity of fossil fuel
and associated carbon. The natural gas grid offers access to secure
markets for bio-methane producers.

The strong policy commitment to support upgrade of the gas to pipeline
quality and use the grid infrastructure to access markets is one of the
most striking features of the approach in Germany. That country has
favoured a strong financial stimulus behind the upstream initiatives, an
impressively fast speed of response and country wide take-up.

Gas producing plants are located close to the feedstock source and
priority markets are accessed via the grid. The approach has the added
benefit of being amenable to strict quality and accounting rules.

The development of bio-methane for transport in other countries has
generally been based on a pre-existing compressed natural gas (CNG)
fleet. Extension often builds on the fuel supply infrastructure provided to
captive fleet markets which require the placement of one or more point
refuelling facilities (e.g. fleets of buses, waste collection lorries, taxis). At
a later stage it is followed by private cars (Smyth et al, 2010).

Direct injection into the gas grid would require that the gas be suitably
treated and monitored with the cost implications of the additional
investment in plant and ongoing running costs. However, the benefits are
unlimited access to a wider gas market where the renewable contribution
of biogas could potentially count towards RES-H or RES-T targets.




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                         BIOGAS ENERGY IN IRELAND


The capital costs involved are substantial for gas producers and for
transport users and both will have to be incentivised if it is to happen.
There are no extra costs for use in heat applications as the composition of
the grid gas is unaltered. However, there are policy issues to consider
from a renewable energy in transport target attainment perspective. Bio-
gas from lignocelluloses attracts an accounting premium (for target
meeting purposes) and this is an area where there is doubt about
Ireland’s ability to meet its mandatory obligation.

Equipment costs for fleet transport users can be reduced i) by focusing
supports to align with fleet renewal policies so that additions to the fleet
are designed to run on natural gas and ii) where the gas utility owns or
leases the CNG filling station.

The approach being followed in both Germany and Sweden is exemplary
as it relates to strategic intent. However the level of incentivisation in
Germany is high and the wider economic benefits are not directly
transferable to Ireland. For example a biogas industry is being developed
there to achieve scale and on the assumption that some R&D and
demonstration is required and that there will be export markets for the
product development entailed. The products range from vehicles that are
specially designed to run on natural or biogas, to digesters and gas
cleaning, metering and injection plant as well as the intellectual property
and support services.

Methane-fuelled vehicles emit lower amounts of local (particulates) and
global (CO2) pollutants than petrol or diesel, they run on a cheaper fuel in
abundant supply, are quieter and have adequate range.

The oil dependence of the Irish economy could be reduced by displacing
oil based products with natural gas and a growing share of biogas derived
methane. Policies that support the introduction of methane as natural gas
initially and subsequently a mixture of bio-methane into the transport
fleet and fuelling infrastructure would be preferable. This would reduce
exposure to oil price volatility and make for long term security of supply.

The extra costs involved should be affordable even in current
circumstances. Costs can be minimised and benefits maximised by
focusing on large fleets that are typically restricted to city or national
territory range and providing incentives to users to opt for natural gas
compatible engines at the time of fleet renewal and natural replacement.

A small running cost incentive should be provided in excise duty
treatment to maintain impetus and secure sufficient penetration.


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           JOINT COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY SECURITY


4.1 Issues for further development in Ireland
While grass silage has been identified as the single greatest existing
biogas resource and anaerobic digester feedstock it is best processed in
anaerobic digesters along with additional farm, agricultural and other
wastes.

Supplementing grass silage with low or no cost feed-stocks can improve
operational performance, gas yield and overall project economics. The
feasibility of digestate use and the availability of feed-stocks that attract a
gate fee without compromising the disposal of the digestate are central
considerations in its viability.

4.1.1 Gate fees effect on incentives
The existence and level of gate fees has a large effect on the economics
of producing biogas and bio-methane from waste materials and can
present a barrier to reaching agreement on and securing appropriate
renewable energy incentives for the sector.

These barriers crop up because authorities see the disposal of the waste
as already incentivised through gate fees and because biogas is seen in
many cases as a by-product of another process (waste disposal) rather
than as a renewable energy source in its own right. This makes it difficult
to set a tariff for renewable energy from biogas due to the differing level
of gate fees and changes in those fees into the future.

4.1.2 Infrastructure
The scale of infrastructure needed to support biogas has obviously
presented a major barrier to its development throughout Europe, in
particular in relation to bio-methane. Not only are biogas plants
expensive, they need to be built on a scale to achieve economic viability.
The issue of grid connection either to electricity or gas grids (raising the
issue of gas quality) also needs to be taken into account.

Using biogas for transport or injection into the natural gas grid requires
upgrading of the bio-methane to remove carbon dioxide and this
represents a further costly stage in the process. The success of Sweden in
producing and using bio-methane as a vehicle fuel mirrors the large
investment in infrastructure (nearly €200million), but illustrates that
biogas as a vehicle fuel is a viable renewable fuel with the right approach.




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                         BIOGAS ENERGY IN IRELAND


4.1.3 Cost
Plants recently commissioned in Germany cost in the region of €2m for a
biogas capacity of 500Nm3/hr running on a single feedstock requiring
about 42,000 tonnes of maize per annum. The costs entailed in providing
the additional plant for upgrading the biogas to bio-methane could add a
further €2m.

It is not uncommon to have arrangements where the producers fund the
biogas production plant and the utility funds the plant for upgrading to
bio-methane. Arrangements such as these can apportion costs and risks
to those best able to assess and manage them.

However, one of the key benefits associated with bio-methane is that it
can be transported using conventional natural gas infrastructure. Bord
Gáis put forward the argument that bio-methane could be supplied to end
customers with no change to existing infrastructure or metering
equipment, avoiding the installation of district heating systems or wood
pellet/chip boilers and providing renewable heat to buildings connected to
the gas grid.

4.1.4 Scale
Approaches to scale differ across Europe. In Austria most biogas plants
are at farm scale and the gas, and/or energy produced is used at farm
level for heat, electricity or to power farm equipment. Denmark
represents a small step up in scale, with many farm level biogas plants
but also a number of community plants which take feed-stocks from a
number of farmers.

Neither country uses biogas as a vehicle fuel on a large scale but this may
simply reflect the incentives favouring electricity generation.

Sweden has developed a large-scale biogas initiative, with hundreds of
filling stations and thousands of vehicles running on bio-methane while
Germany and Britain represent the face of large-scale biogas industry, the
former which uses a large amount for electricity but also injects upgraded
gas directly into the grid while mainly using sewage plants to provide
feed-stocks.

Most of Britain’s biogas comes from landfills, but with increasing EU
regulation on land-filling of biodegradable organic waste across Europe,
the scale of the industry is set to decline as biodegradable waste is no
longer sent to landfills.


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          JOINT COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY SECURITY



5. Engagement with interested parties
The Committee is taking the opportunity to fuel and encourage a move to
promote biogas and realise the potential of bio-methane as a viable
sustainable fuel to improve Ireland’s environmental performance, reduce
greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to security of supply while
reducing dependence on fossil fuel imports.

There are a small number of parties interested in anaerobic digestion and
biogas/bio-methane in Ireland, but they have significant resources behind
them, which suggests that with appropriate regulatory and administrative
action and the proper incentives in place, the industry could take off.

With this in mind, the Committee may ask the following organisations to
provide written evidence and if necessary appear before it, with a view to
both tapping their expertise and hearing their business case. This would
enable the Committee to take soundings on the priorities for legislative
action to enable the industry to move forward in a serious way:

        Bord Gáis
        Biopower
        Biogaspartner (A representative from Germany)
        Teagasc/SEAI
        IFA

This may also inform the implementation roadmap and proposals that
follow in the next section and could identify further industry-specific
barriers that have not come to light.

The Committee’s policy proposals aim to;

        remove barriers to industry development,
        improve incentives to spur growth of the industry and
        fulfil its mandate under its terms of reference.

Furthermore, a positive image and reputation for biogas needs to be
established in Ireland. Aspects to cover are; planning considerations,
environmental compatibility, the dependability of biogas and the potential
for a sustainable closed cycle of energy production and use.

This could be built on the back of appropriate scale regional
demonstration that covers aspects such as: i) the application of biogas in
local heat markets and ii) a large scale plant where the economics of gas
injection into the gas grid are proven under Irish conditions.


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                        BIOGAS ENERGY IN IRELAND



6. Implementation roadmap
    Create a steering group to oversee an Agency (SEAI, Teagasc, and
     the EPA) sponsored validation study of the economic, environmental
     social and rural development benefits of a large scale initiative.

    Model the validation stage along the lines of the German policy
     preparation and ex-ante validation studies. Include the most recent
     findings and assessments (2010).

    In parallel convene a learning-by-doing pilot-scale activity overseen
     by a member of the principal Agency group and include those
     commercial semi-state players in a position to commence trialling
     out of their own resources.

    Encourage An Post and Bus Eireann to develop a roadmap for their
     participation by way of substitution of compressed natural gas
     powered vehicles on fleet replacement.

    Create a one-stop shop for anaerobic digester developers and
     investors with the support of Teagasc, the SEAI and the EPA.

    Approach IFA on creating centralised biogas plant for farm wastes
     and explore ways of tapping investment.

    Enlist Bord Gáis to promote prospects for co-investment in
     upgrading plants, Gaslink for grid access and both on infrastructure
     by way of a network of refuelling facilities.

    Seek tax breaks (ACAs and VRT) on natural gas powered vehicles
     from Government on the grounds that they offer a 25% saving on
     GHG emissions.

    Informed by the results of the validation studies at bullet points one
     and two above establish an industry/agency network, working on
     the German model, to develop the industry, information,
     infrastructure and investment.

    Engage the regulatory and standards authorities in the setting out
     of a detailed roadmap to deliver technical and regulatory
     compliance requirements.




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JOINT COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY SECURITY




                         34
                                 BIOGAS ENERGY IN IRELAND


                             APPENDIX 1:
                     Members of the Joint Committee


Chairman: Dinny McGinley TD (FG)


Deputies:              Bobby Aylward TD (FF)
                       Joe Behan TD (IND)
                       Simon Coveney TD (FG)
                       Seymour Crawford TD (FG)
                       Martin Ferris TD (SF)
                       Michael Fitzpatrick TD (FF) (Vice-Chairman)
                       Seán Fleming TD (FF)
                       Phil Hogan TD (FG)
                       Finian McGrath TD (IND)
                       Liz McManus (LAB)
                       Trevor Sargent (GP)
                       Mary Wallace (FF)


Senators:              Paudie Coffey (FG)
                       Fiona O’Malley (PD)
                       Ned O’Sullivan (FF)
                       Joe O’Toole (IND)

Notes:
   1. Deputy Dara Calleary was discharged from the Committee and Deputy Mary Wallace was
       appointed to the Committee in substitution for him, by order of the Dáil on 10 July 2009.

   2. Deputy Ciarán Cuffe was discharged from the Committee and Deputy Trevor Sargent was
      appointed to the Committee in substitution for him, by order of the Dáil on 27 May 2010.

   3. Deputy Seán Barrett was discharged from the Committee and Deputy Dinny McGinley was
      appointed to the Committee in substitution for him, by order of the Dáil on 8 July 2010.
      Deputy McGinley was elected as Chairman of the Committee on the same day.

   4. Deputies Simon Coveney and Andrew Doyle were discharged from the Committee Deputies
      Leo Varadkar and Seymour Crawford were appointed in substitution for them, by order of
      the Dáil on 13 October 2010.

   5. Deputy Leo Varadkar was discharged from the Committee and Deputy Simon Coveney was
      appointed to the Committee in substitution for him, by order of the Dáil on 11 November
      2010.




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JOINT COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY SECURITY




                         36
                         BIOGAS ENERGY IN IRELAND




                              Appendix 2:

         Terms of Reference of the Joint Committee



That a Select Committee, consisting of thirteen members of Dáil Éireann,
be joined with a Select Committee, consisting of four members of Seanad
Éireann, to form the Joint Committee on Climate Change and Energy
Security, to consider, inter alia:

- medium and long term climate change targets and the key measures
needed to meet those targets;

- the role of the Agriculture sector in providing bio-fuel and biomass crops
and consequential implications;

- the levels of power supply which can be generated from renewables or
other new power supplies;

- the projected energy demand from transport and the implications for
energy security and emissions targets;

- such other matters as may be referred to it from time to time by both
Houses of the Oireachtas

and to report thereon to both Houses of the Oireachtas in advance of the
conclusion of the post-Kyoto negotiations by the United Nations
Framework Committee on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the associated
EU 2020 burden sharing process.




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