The Irish BioEnergy Association (IrBEA) has launched the National Bioenergy Conference, which this year will include four webinar specials held over the month of October.

This year’s conference focuses on ‘COP26: The critical role of bioenergy’.

Speaking at the launch, IrBEA CEO Seán Finan said that with COP26 only a few weeks away, “our conference will focus on the critical role of bioenergy in achieving the COP goals”.

“Delegates will hear from a wide range of distinguished and knowledgeable speakers from diverse backgrounds who will share their insights into the challenges we face in delivering emissions reductions and achieving the COP26 goals,” Finan added.

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC] has recognised that bioenergy represents the largest current contributor to renewable energy across the world and is likely to remain that way for at least the first half of this century.”

Finan said that bioenergy has a “significant role to play in carbon removal, emissions reduction as well as in the development of bioenergy-based fuel alternatives for fossil fuels”.

“Bioenergy can play a complimentary role alongside the food, fibre, and forestry products sector but will require investment, support and the right policy measures in place to ensure the continued sustainability of the sector.”

All webinars are free of charge to attend but pre-registration is required.

Series of webinars for National Bioenergy Conference

The first webinar, taking place on October 6, will look at how Ireland is lagging behind Europe when it comes to the potential of bioenergy; the scale of the challenge to decarbonise heat, transport, electricity and agriculture; and the need to recognise the role of bioenergy in achieving 51% emissions reductions by 2030.

The second webinar on October 13 will look at how bioenergy offers Ireland multi-sectoral benefits, with speakers exploring areas such as: enhancing the natural environment, rural communities and creating jobs in rural areas; biogas reducing chemical fertiliser input and enhancing biodiversity; and developing sustainable communities through bioenergy projects.

The next webinar, taking place on October 20, will look at developing the bioenergy project pipeline and encouraging investment; the role of market and other supports mechanisms in deploying bioenergy; and the drivers of investment in bioenergy and the bioeconomy.

The final event on October 27 will focus on highlighting the positive developments in bioenergy across Europe and the world; challenging the inaccurate perceptions about bioenergy; and the capacity of bioenergy to enable Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon economy.