Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Irish Bioenergy Association Rejects Conclusions of ESRI Energy Review

A press release from IrBEA, the Irish Bioenergy Association, rejects the conclusions of the ESRI publication ‘A Review of Irish Energy Policy’. It ignores the considerable benefits that the development of a strong bioenergy sector in Ireland can bring while taking a very short term view on the issue of energy security.

The report, when addressing the role of renewable energy in the Irish energy mix, concentrates heavily on the role of onshore and offshore wind, while also referring to the potential of wave and tidal. The report pays only lip service to the benefits of heat and electricity produced from biomass sources.

The ESRI calls for the removal of the REFIT scheme for renewable technologies other than onshore wind. IrBEA categorically opposes such a proposal at a time when the implementation of the REFIT scheme is vital to the development of the emerging bioenergy sector in Ireland. The report refers to the intermittency of renewable technology as justification for the removal of this scheme – ignoring the fact that energy produced from biomass is a continuous secure supply. The report does not recognise the evident differences between the production of energy from biomass and the production of energy from other renewable sources.

The ESRI have missed an opportunity to delve deeper into the potential of the bioenergy sector and to recognise the very real benefits that this sector can bring to the Irish economy in terms of security of supply, sustainability and environmental benefits.

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