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Bioenergy 2010 – Warming to Wood Energy Carbon Neutral Solution for Ireland’s Future Energy Needs

As a nation we are at a crucial moment in time, where the right actions will determine our future wellbeing and that of generations to come. We must act now to address the issues of security of energy supply and the threat of climate change.

Presented by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), COFORD and Teagasc; Bioenergy 2010 takes place on Thursday, 17 June at the Carlton Hotel, Tralee, County Kerry and will showcase the growing importance of bioenergy and in particular refined wood fuels such as wood chips, wood pellets and wood briquettes as an efficient, flexible and sustainable source of energy for heating Irish homes and businesses and electricity generation.

The conference will outline policy drivers and provide an overview on how the market is developing, focusing on such issues as fuel quality, and supply and demand including a number of best practice case studies. One of the highlights of the day will be the study tour which will provide the opportunity to visit a woodchip fuelled district heating system developed and managed by Tralee Town Council. This is an example of a proactive approach in using local wood energy to cater for social housing needs and community regeneration. The tour will also incorporate a visit to a local forest, demonstrating first thinning, the production and transport of wood chips, and the processing of firewood to supply local markets.

Ireland is the most energy import dependent country in Europe. Given the continued threat of climate change, energy consumers in both the domestic and commercial sectors are looking for less expensive and more secure home-grown sources of energy. Today, energy costs are a critical issue and can impact significantly on the competitiveness of the national economy. Wood energy provides price stability, security of supply, efficiency and as a zero-carbon fuel, avoids the cost burden associated with fossil fuels and the recently introduced carbon tax.

There are also business opportunities to develop wood fuel and wood energy services with the potential to redirect millions of euro back into the Irish economy, at the same time sustaining thousands of jobs in fuel supply, offering significant benefits to landowners, forest owners and managers, project developers, local communities and end users. Crucially, wood energy creates direct employment and income supports to forest growers and other rural dwellers.

Increasing energy from renewable energy resources is now national policy. The Government’s White Paper ‘Delivering a Sustainable Energy Future for Ireland’ and Bioenergy Action Plan, together with the recent introduction of carbon taxes and financial incentives reflect the Government’s approach and commitment to ensuring safe, secure and renewable energy supplies.

Bioenergy 2010 is an exclusive and very attractive marketplace that will showcase the use and deployment of bioenergy and raise awareness across all sectors on the many uses and benefits to growing, harvesting and using wood fuels and energy crop products to generate heat, electricity and fuel as more and more Irish homes and businesses are warming to wood energy.