Biomass boilers to become more attractive to self-builders

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Biomass supply constraints could soon become a thing of the past with the development of Bord na Móna Bioenergy, a new division of Bord na Móna which aims to become the largest supplier of sustainable biomass in Ireland.

The move could make the option of installing biomass boilers more attractive to self-builders as finding biomass suppliers has been a hindrance to a wider uptake of the technology in Irish homes. Wood pellet fuel deliveries, for instance, would now typically only be done once a year in an Irish home with biomass boiler, which has the knock-on effect of requiring large fuel stores (the need to build a large garage and installing a high capacity hopper). Minister for Energy Denis Naughten outlined today his plans for bioenergy at the Energy in Agriculture 2017 event including the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme announced in last year’s budget (not open to homeowners). Final proposals are to be presented to Government next month detailing the technologies to be supported and their costs.
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“While national biomass supply is currently limited, Bord na Móna BioEnergy can play a role in encouraging growth and assisting farmers and biomass producers in the mobilisation and optimisation of their biomass supplies,” said Naughten, who said he recently secured Cabinet approval for the  the establishment of Bord na Móna Bioenergy. According to Bord na Móna’s Twitter account, the Bioenergy division will be launched at the Ploughing this September. “As a supply-side measure to develop a functioning domestic biomass market of scale, Bord na Móna BioEnergy represents an important step in the drive to establish reliable and environmentally sustainable sources of energy into the future,” added Naughten. UPDATE from the Ploughing (20/09/17): From CEO Mike Quinn: “We’ll be importing wood pellets and wood chip from the US and other countries until our own self-sufficient sources – like the willow plantations and fast-growing eucalyptus we’re planting on farms and on BNM land, plus the private forestry sector – come on stream over the next 10-15 years.”

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Written by Astrid Madsen

Astrid Madsen is the editor of the SelfBuild magazine. Email

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