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Local Energy Wood Forecasts will Facilitate Renewable Heat Users

A new Teagasc report on the cluster based supply of wood for energy from private forestry plantations will be an important decision making tool for potential major users of renewable heat.

The SupplyChip report was launched in the BMW Assembly, Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon on the 16 October. Speaking at the launch, Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle acknowledged the carbon neutrality of wood for energy production and the potential for forestry to contribute to sustainable agricultural development as production intensifies towards Food Harvest 2020.

The COFORD funded report was co-authored by Dr Niall Farrelly and Dr Joanne Fitzgerald from Teagasc and forestry consultant Henry Phillips.

Over 3,000 individual private plantations clustered around Ballaghaderreen were assessed for site productivity and road access. “Our analysis provides a robust local wood energy forecast from private plantations which will help investment decisions by potential major heat users and help stimulate thinning and income generation by forest owners,” commented Dr Farrelly.

The report coincides with the decision by Aurivo to invest €5.5 million in a state of the art 12 MW CHP plant in their dairy ingredients plant in Ballaghaderreen. Construction is well underway.

Willie Murphy from Aurivo said that the CHP project was a key element in an ambitious 5 year sustainable energy strategy being pursued by the Co-Op.

In his opening address at the launch of the report, Teagasc Chairman, Dr Noel Cawley commented on how forestry was now an important enterprise on many farms around Ballaghaderreen and that Teagasc was committed to supporting owners through advice and training to bring their timber to market.

The report is available from the Teagasc Forestry website: www.teagasc.ie/forestry.