The Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA) has launched the bioenergy factsheet series today (Thursday, September 1).

The aim of the factsheet series is to provide information to a wide range of stakeholders on the various forms and aspects of this form of renewable energy.

The titles in the series to date are:

  • Bioenergy – An Overview;
  • Wood and Solid Biomass Fuels;
  • Biogas;
  • Biofuels;
  • Biochar;
  • Energy Crops.

Seán Finan, CEO of the Irish Bioenergy Association said: “We are delighted to launch our bioenergy factsheet series as a knowledge transfer and information resource for the promotion of the different bioenergy sectors.

“While other renewable energies are easier for the public to comprehend (e.g., wind or solar), bioenergy is made up of a wide range of technologies and fuels and can be utilised to provide heat, electricity, and transport fuels.”

Bioenergy makes up 67.2% of all renewable energy across the world.


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recognises that bioenergy represents the largest current contributor to renewable energy and is likely to remain that way for at least the first half of this century.

Bioenergy has a strong role in carbon removal and reduction of emissions, as well as in the development of bioenergy-based fuel alternatives for fossil fuels. It can complement the food, fibre, and forestry product sectors.

In Ireland, bioenergy requires investment, support and the right policy measures to be in place, to ensure the continued sustainability of the sector, according to IrBEA.

IrBEA president, Paddy Phelan added: “The factsheets and the ongoing work of IrBEA in each of the sectors covered, is particularly relevant in the current crisis of high fossil energy prices, security of energy supply, urgent need for decarbonisation and climate action.

“The Irish bioenergy sector is unique in that it can provide an indigenous energy solution to all the current challenges.

“Bioenergy can produce continuous, storable, and dispatchable renewable energy delivered through local supply chains, offering employment opportunities and economic activity,” he added.

What is bioenergy?

Bioenergy can be defined as any form of energy that is derived from living organisms, either plant or animal.

It encompasses a wide range of different types and origins. It can take the form of solid, liquid or gaseous fuel and can be used to provide renewable energy across a variety of sectors including heating, electricity generation and transport sectors.

What are the different forms of bioenergy?

  • Solid biofuels and wood fuels: Wood pellet, woodchip, energy crops, firewood and biomass briquettes;
  • Gaseous biofuels: Biogas and biomethane;
  • Liquid biofuels: Bioethanol, biodiesel, hydrotreated vegetable oil and bio-oil.

IrBEA was founded in 1999. Its role is to promote the bioenergy industry and to develop the sector on the island of Ireland.

The membership includes farmers and foresters; fuel suppliers; energy development companies; equipment manufacturers and suppliers; engineers; financiers and tax advisers; legal firms; consultants; planners; research organisations; local authorities; education; and advisory bodies.

Improving public awareness, networking, and information sharing, and liaising with similar interest groups are key areas of work in promoting bioenergy as an environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable energy, carried out by IrBEA.