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Opportunities for biomass as fuel Bernard Rice. Why biofuels now? Increasing mineral fuel prices Need for new farm enterprises Need for secure fuel supply.

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Presentation on theme: "Opportunities for biomass as fuel Bernard Rice. Why biofuels now? Increasing mineral fuel prices Need for new farm enterprises Need for secure fuel supply."— Presentation transcript:

1 Opportunities for biomass as fuel Bernard Rice

2 Why biofuels now? Increasing mineral fuel prices Need for new farm enterprises Need for secure fuel supply EU Directives/obligations Kyoto Protocol, Transport Biofuels DirectiveKyoto Protocol, Transport Biofuels Directive

3 Transport Biofuels Directive substitution targets (%) 1% substitution needs 12-40,000 ha of biofuels

4 Transport Biofuels Directive No sanctions or penalties Member states obliged to: –Set substitution targets (heeding Commission’s aims) –Take measures to achieve targets –Report progress annually Review to be held mid-2006

5 First progress report Proposes excise relief on:Proposes excise relief on: –6 Million litres vegetable oil (5000 ha rape) –1 Million litres biodiesel –1 Million litres bio-ethanol (250 ha beet) –Equiv. to 0.1% substitution (EU target 2%) Cost of excise foregone ~€3MCost of excise foregone ~€3M –most would be recovered in vat, income tax etc

6 Limitations on biofuel development Low price for renewable electricity Limited excise remission for road biofuel For viability, either market support, low-cost feedstock or additional revenue source needed

7 Biofuel opportunities LIQUID BIOFUELSLIQUID BIOFUELS –Veg oil/fats as biodiesel or in modified engines –Ethanol from cereals, beet –“Biofine” process, ethanol from straw/wood SOLID BIOFUELSSOLID BIOFUELS –Straw, wood residues –Short-rotation willow + effluent disposal –Other energy crops (e.g. miscanthus, hemp) –Biogas from food wastes, animal manure

8 In this presentation Vegetable oilVegetable oil Ethanol from wheat, beetEthanol from wheat, beet StrawStraw Short-rotation willowShort-rotation willow

9 Rape-seed oil in modified engines Projects in Wicklow, Wexford, Kilkenny (6000 t/year) Present MOTR scheme should ensure viability Biodiesel From rape-seed oil, waste veg. oil, tallow 3 proposals in planning (~90,000 t/year) Excise relief needed Heating fuel Renderers already using 40,000 t/year of tallow But this is likely to be banned soon Vegetable oil opportunities

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11 Delivered fuel costs

12 BIO-ETHANOL Current Irish options Produce from wheat or beet Produce from wheat or beet Add 5% as octane booster to petrol Add 5% as octane booster to petrol Replacement for MTBE or lead Replacement for MTBE or lead (no engine modifications needed)

13 Ethanol yields From wheatFrom wheat –350 litres per tonne –3000 litres per ha From sugar beetFrom sugar beet –90 litres per tonne –4500 litres per ha

14 Delivered cost of ethanol ( wheat €100/t, beet €40/t)

15 Ethanol from wheat, beet For 2% substitution 30,000 ha beet or 40,000 ha wheat –Needs Large scale Excise relief Investor/promoter interest

16 Large quantities of both available Wood use now developing Many companies active Fewer options for strawFewer options for straw More difficult fuel More difficult fuel No market leaders No market leaders Straw and wood residues

17 Wood/straw fuel markets (1) Co-fired with peat in power stationsCo-fired with peat in power stations –Wood more suitable –Electricity value €80/tonne –Not an option for straw Combined heat-and-power plantsCombined heat-and-power plants –3 in N.I., one in Cork sawmills –Use for heat essential –Little prospect for straw

18 Wood/straw fuel markets (2) Boiler fuel –Medium size units kW –Value of heat ~€100/t of straw –High-efficiency modern boilers –Straw delivered in bales –Several wood units installed

19 Biomass boiler (Oak Park) Very efficient, expensive, capital grants needed

20 Wood/straw fuel markets (3) Stove/small boiler fuel Fuel in pellet form High-value market –(~€150/tonne) –Pellet plant in N.I.

21 Concerns about straw pellets Immature technology Lower quality? –higher ash content –binding problems –more corrosion –emissions? More information needed

22 Willow used as boiler fuelWillow used as boiler fuel Sites used forSites used for –sewage sludge injection Rapid progress in N.I.Rapid progress in N.I. Potential for 3000 haPotential for 3000 ha –trickle irrigation of dilute effluents Several projects under waySeveral projects under way Promising results to datePromising results to date Full potential not establishedFull potential not established Energy crops and waste disposal

23 Research needed onResearch needed on –volume and composition of effluents –uptake by energy crops –drying and storage of wood-chips Liaison needed withLiaison needed with –local authorities, EPA –heat users –effluent producers Establishment grants neededEstablishment grants needed

24 Conclusions Some biofuel opportunities emergingSome biofuel opportunities emerging More will followMore will follow They needThey need –Clear govt policy and supports excise relief for biodiesel, bioethanolexcise relief for biodiesel, bioethanol grants for biomass boilersgrants for biomass boilers establishment grants for energy cropsestablishment grants for energy crops –New supply chains –New partners –More R&D, short- and long-term


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