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C o n t e n t s

Ireland has fourth highest municipal waste per person in EU27.

- 3-7 W IND E NERGY Harnessing the benefits of Irish wind power.

EU decision will help Europe catch up with Ireland on recycling.

Mainstream ‘Energy Bridge’ to export Irish wind power to the UK

Major improvement in landfill operational standards.



Kenneth Matthews, chief executive, IWEA.

Flood risk management at the Office of Public Works.

PA G E 2 1 Biomass heat and power.

- 30 E NERGY M ANAGEMENT Simple steps for energy management.

PA G E 2 5

- 11 W ATER S ERVICES NFGWS delivering quality drinking water services.

PA G E 5 Eddie O’Connor, founder, Mainstream Renewable Power.


- 31-32 E NERGY P OINT Latest energy developments in Ireland and overseas.


Keeping an eye on air pollution.

Northern Ireland wind energy deal.

- 17-19 CHP Understanding Combined Heat and Power.

PA G E 6 Top 10 tips for specifying a CHP system.


Diarmuid Twomey, development manager, Mainstream Renewable Power.

Waste management.

PA G E 3 1 Padraig Hanly, md, GT Energy.

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Harnessing the Benefits of Irish Wind Power While the wind energy industry in Ireland has made major advances towards meeting the country’s EU 2020 targets on renewable energy, there is a danger that progress might be stalled and the sector’s full potential remain unexploited. he wind energy industry in the Republic Ireland comprises of approximately 151 wind farms in 22 counties, which as of July 2012 had 1677MW of grid connected generation capacity. Operated by SSE Renewables and with 72MW of installed capacity, Ireland’s largest wind farm is located at Meentycat in County Donegal. “There are approximately 2,000 people working in the industry which could, according to the Deloitte study in 2009, increase to more than 10,700 by 2020 by meeting our binding EU targets. Although the first wind farm in Ireland was built at Bellacorick; County Mayo 20 years ago, there was only 300MW built at the end of 2005. However, a greater interest in renewable energy along with an appetite for development in the last decade leaves us in a strong position today,” explains Kenneth Matthews, chief executive of the Irish Wind Energy Association.

our 2020 targets.” The Government’s National Renewable Energy Action Plan anticipates that wind energy will be required to contribute at least 3521MW to meet the target by 2020. The balance is expected to be generates from hydro power (234MW), biomass (274MW) and wave energy (75MW). “However, with a long term stable, regulatory and financial framework wind energy can do much more than meet our own targets,” he remarks.


Onshore and Offshore Wind Some 239MW of wind energy capacity was installed onshore in 2011. With onshore wind costing in the region of Eur1.7 million per megawatt to build, this equates to investment of Eur406 million into developing wind energy in Ireland last year. A further 1,548 MW of new wind generation has been contracted with either ESB Networks or EirGrid. Grid connection offers have been issued to 3900MW of Gate 3 projects, the majority of which have yet to accept their offers.

Some 239MW of wind energy capacity was installed onshore in 2011

Kenneth Matthews, chief executive of the Irish Wind Energy Association.

According to the IWEA, 25MW of Ireland’s 1677MW wind export capacity is generated through offshore wind. This comes via the Arklow Bank project in the Irish Sea. “There is however, huge potential to generate offshore wind in Ireland and it is estimated that there is potential to develop up to 50GW of offshore wind off the Irish coast, of which 10GWs is in sites that may readily be exploited by current technology in the Irish Sea,” he points out. He adds: “Ireland has the potential to export 6–7 GW of electricity by 2025 and has the ability to attract between Eur1.7 and Eur2.7 worth of investment for each megawatt of power exported. It is within our reach to become an energy centre for Europe as long as we have the right tools to do so.” 2020 Targets Ireland’s EU 2020 targets are to generate 16% of total energy consumption from renewable sources and 40% of gross electricity consumption. ”To meet our binding 2020 targets we do need to build over 300MW of renewable energy per year,” says Kenneth Matthews. “The latest forecasts from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland as to the amount of renewable generation required to meet our 40% renewable electricity target is just under 4000MW. Our latest build out survey suggests that there will be just over 100MW built in Ireland this year which will need to be addressed to ensure we meet

Obstacles to Growth So what are the main obstacles to achieving the targets and how can they be overcome? “To maximize on the abundant potential for inward investment, jobs and energy security, we need to ensure we have a long term stable, regulatory and financial framework,” he replies. “Investor confidence is driven by market stability. Wind farms are a long term asset which need long term policies. IWEA will be front and centre on challenges that the industry will face.” Outlook For Funding A recent study commissioned by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) confirmed that the European wind industry grew more than twice that of the EU’s overall GDP between 2007 and 2010. According to the IWEA, this proves that wind can play a key part in reshaping Ireland’s economy. Kenneth Matthews comments: “The recently released REFIT 2 and the government’s intention to seek an extension to the backstop date for REFIT 1 along with an expected export framework show a solid government commitment towards renewable energy and this presents even further confidence for investors. These positive indicators are a start to ensuring a long term stable, regulatory and financial framework sought by investors.” Another barrier to achieving the full potential of Ireland’s abundant natural renewable energy resources has been the pace of installing the necessary network infrastructure to accommodate the required wind energy development.



25MW of Ireland’s 1677MW wind export capacity is generated through offshore wind.

“There is a strong emphasis from us as an association to the importance of ensuring the grid is built as required. There needs to be better awareness of the crucial role infrastructure plays among planning bodies, local representatives and the general public. An analysis of the benefits from the development of strategic economic infrastructure should be carried out.” He elaborates: “Timely grid access is another key ingredient for success. Investment in Grid 25 is required for strengthening the grid; this will enable greater customer access to the full network while supporting the delivery of renewable which will reduce the wholesale price of electricity. It is widely recognized that there was little investment in the grid in the


1980’s to which Ireland is playing catch up. However substantial work has been put in by Eirgrid and ESB networks in recent times, most notably with the upgrading of the 110kv network and some 220kv lines. There is often the view that the grid is only delivered for generation but it needs to be delivered for the security of supply and allow for demand growth. The benefit of a good grid is being able to cope with increased demand.” According to the IWEA, parties within Gate 3 need to be provided with the information they require to accept an offer and develop projects. A strategy for processing remaining applications and the appropriate method for selection of projects for future gates also need to be considered. “With the move towards the EU Target Model, the trading of electricity between Member States will become increasingly important,” he remarks. “There will be a greater need for strategic infrastructure development at a European level. Ireland needs to be involved in this development to ensure that we can maximise the export opportunities.” Future Challenges So what does he regard as the significant challenges facing the wind energy sector over the next eight years to 2020? ”For now

we must concentrate on the progressing matters of the EU Target Model, the REFIT 1 extensions while also pushing for 2030 binding targets. As a target for the next eight years we must aim to progress development sooner rather than later,” he responds. “We need to be building over 300MW to keep in line with our targets. The pipeline for project delivery needs to be managed to ensure reasonably consistent delivery year on year.” The IWEA chief executive concludes: “The current ‘boom and bust’ of project delivery is killing the supply chain as there is no consistency year on year and companies struggle to cope with the changes. By enabling a more consistent delivery of projects the companies in the supply chain can have more certainty.” I

According to the IWEA, wind can play a key part in reshaping Ireland’s economy.



Mainstream ‘Energy Bridge’ to Export Irish Wind Power to the UK Involving first phase investment of Eur3 billion, the ‘Energy Bridge’ project being developed by Mainstream Renewable Power, the Irish and international renewable energy company, is an ambitious venture designed to export electricity generated by wind farms in the Irish midlands and off the east coast to Britain, to help the UK meet its EU 2020 renewable energy targets. ainstream Renewable Power was established by Irish wind energy pioneer Eddie O’Connor in 2008, following the Eur1.1 billion sale of his Airtricity business to Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE). Currently employing 158 people in 13 offices in nine countries, Mainstream operates across four continents. The company’s core business is to develop and build wind and solar plants – both onshore and offshore. In some instances, the assets once developed are sold off but Mainstream also owns and operates many of its developments. Mainstream can handle all the stages of a development including securing land, wind analysis, GIS, environmental studies, consenting, procurement and financing. Indeed, Mainstream is one of Europe’s leading offshore developers, with a portfolio of 5.5GW across Scotland, England and Germany. It is also developing over 6.5GW of onshore projects across Canada, Chile, South Africa and the US.


Mainstream Renewable Power is one of Europe’s leading offshore developers.

Energy Bridge The planned 5,000 MW Energy Bridge will deliver electricity generated onshore and offshore in Ireland via an underground capable system to the UK electricity grid. The onshore part of the scheme involves the establishment of a wind park in the Irish midlands, with the capacity to supply

1,200MW. This will be connected via an ‘Energy Bridge’ running under the Irish Sea to the UK. The remaining 3,800MW of wind energy capacity will be sourced from offshore wind farms in the Irish Sea. The cable will be entirely independent of Ireland's existing electricity system, and so will be free from the associated connection delays and capacity constraints. Mainstream has already secured a connection to the UK national grid, following investment of Eur500,000, and has identified 900 eligible landowners in the Irish midlands, where new wind turbines will be sited. The Energy Bridge project will be developed in five phases – each providing roughly 1,000MW per annum to supply the total of 5,000MW by 2020. Eur3 Billion First Phase Investment Phase 1 of the Energy Bridge project will focus on delivering the 1,200MW of Irish onshore wind energy to the UK by 2017. This will entail investment of Eur3 billion – Eur1.6 billion on the establishment of the Energy Bridge DC cable infrastructure and Eur1.4 billion on developing 1,200MW of wind farm capacity in the midlands. Mainstream will not, however, build or own the cable infrastructure. “Cable projects such as this are generally the preserve of the large balance sheet utility-scale development companies,” explains Diarmuid Twomey, Development Manager for Ireland, Mainstream. “We are in talks at the moment with two European transmission operators, the equivalent of EirGrid in Ireland. They are the type of companies that in the UK are currently building the connectors from offshore wind farms into the grid network itself. It is a regulated industry in the UK, controlled by Ofgem. The cable operator/owner can expect an 810% return on the electricity supplied.” The 1,200MW Irish onshore element of

Eddie O’Connor, founder of Mainstream Renewable Power.

the project will incorporate about 400 turbines spread across eight large projects that will be within 30-40 kilometers of each other. All will be connected to a central hub in Offaly for conversion to DC. ”A key aspect of the entire project is that there will be no overhead infrastructure – everything will be underground,” he stresses. When Phase 1 is completed, the cable will be in use only a third of the time and so the other phases of the project will be advanced to increase utilisation and the revenue from exporting electricity. “The idea is to add further capacity in phases until there is a requirement for a second cable,” says Diarmuid Twomey. Compelling Logic According to Mainstream, Ireland has sufficient potential wind energy to power 19 times its electricity requirement. Ireland is well placed to meet its EU target of generating 40% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, having already reached 18%, and has four times the amount of wind farms that are needed to attain this end goal still waiting to be connected to the grid system. By contrast, the UK at just 8% is still well short of its 2020 target of 30%. Ireland, which currently has no wind energy exports, has the potential to help meet this shortfall and in the process reap major economic benefits from selling its renew-



Diarmuid Twomey, Development Manager for Ireland, Mainstream Renewable Power.

able energy abroad. Eddie O’Connor explains: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Ireland and especially the midlands. We’re going to supply the UK with a big chunk of its electricity needs, generating Eur2.5 billion per annum in revenue which is almost the same as our dairy exports last year.” Eddie O’Connor continues: “This will not be paid for by the Irish consumer but the benefits to Ireland will be enormous. Germany today creates eight direct jobs for each MW installed and then another two to three indirect jobs. We’re talking about 5,000MW so we can realistically create 54,000 new jobs through manufacturing, construction and long-term operations and maintenance.” Progress to Date Mainstream has spent the past year undertaking analysis to identify the most appropriate areas to site the onshore wind farms. These areas, which span six counties in the midlands, are already designated for wind farm development by the local authorities, are in sparsely populated areas and have suitable wind speeds and characteristics. “We have identified about 900 eligible private landowners, half of which are required to make the project viable,” says

Diarmuid Twomey. “A big advantage for farmers is that the land can continue to be used for farming purposes when the turbines are erected. Animals can continue to graze around them and crops can be sewn right up to the base of the turbine, which occupies less than half an acre. This is an opportunity to generate a very substantial and guaranteed revenue stream over a 25 year period which will have minimal impact on the land, providing an additional revenue to future generations of farmers.” Distinctive Feature In addition to the entire cable infrastructure running underground, another distinctive feature of the Energy Bridge venture is that it will entail establishing wind turbine production in Ireland. “The intention is to tender in 12 to 18 months time to several turbine suppliers but only select one in order to achieve economies of scale. A condition of the tender is that the successful turbine supplier will establish assembly in Ireland, creating 3-4,000 jobs in the Offaly area or on the east coast of Ireland.” Diarmuid Twomey elaborates: “It is very expensive to ship a fully finished unit so it makes economic sense for a turbine supplier to complete final assembly as close to the site as possible to lower costs. But it is also a requirement of both the planning application and the project itself that it brings some form of employment and provides a benefit to the locality.” Offshore Development Phase 1 will deliver 1,200MW of onshore wind energy by 2017 but the remaining 3,800MW will be sourced offshore. “There are currently five offshore wind projects in the Irish Sea. However, we don’t have a support mechanism in Ireland for offshore wind, so these projects are essentially

trapped at the moment and don’t have any means of connection,” Diarmuid Twomey says. Energy Bridge will offer a common conduit for connecting these projects to the UK grid system. Linking up these various projects will dictate the precise route of the Energy Bridge cable under the Irish Sea.

Mainstream Renewable Power was established by Irish wind energy pioneer Eddie O’Connor in 2008, following the sale of his Airtricity business to SSE.

Energy Bridge will not be in competition with or duplicate the activities of EirGrid in connecting Ireland with the UK but will be complementary. “The East-West Interconnector is a regulated asset of EirGrid and the impact it will have on the Irish market is as yet unknown. It is not certain that any power will be exported because of the price differential,” comments Diarmuid Twomey. “Our cable is different in that it will recognise the type of power being exported across it and it is dedicated to renewable energy. That will allow it to earn a higher renewable price in the UK, which is not the case with the Moyle Interconnector, which currently links the transmission systems of Northern Ireland and Scotland.” I

€200 Million Investment in Wind Farms by Energia nergia has invested Eur200 million in developing renewable E sources of energy through its portfolio of ten wind farms. This includes the company’s most recent projects at Corkermore and Drumloughill Wind Farms in County Donegal and Crighshane and Church Hill in County Tyrone. One of Ireland’s leading providers of sustainable green energy, Energia will shortly have 550MW of operational renewable electricity capacity contracted within its energy portfolio, with a further 290MW of wind farm projects currently in development across Ireland. 75% of the portfolio is contracted with third party wind farms, giving Energia the broadest wind farm coverage in Ireland. Overall Energia has a 25% market share of wind generation throughout Ireland under contract. One of Energia’s most recent developments is its new 9.2 megawatt wind farm in Caherdowney, County Cork. Located near 6

the Cork-Kerry border, the Eur14 million Caherdowney Wind The turbines at Caherdowney Wind Farm will Farm is currently near produce 9.2MW of renewable power, enough to power 9,200 homes. ing completion. The turbines are Enercon E70 models with a hub height of 64.5 metres and a rotor blade diameter of 70 metres. The site was chosen due to its high average wind speeds (category one rated) and once the wind farm is fully operational it will be capable of powering up to 9,200 homes. Energia Group comprises of Energia Supply, Energia Renewables and Energia Generation and is Ireland’s largest independent supplier in the Irish business energy market, with a 28% market share of the business electricity and gas market on an all–island basis with over 65,000 customers. I



Significant Challenges Face Wind Farm Developers By Gavin Blake, Associate Solicitor, Beauchamps Solicitors he recent plans announced by both T Mainstream Renewable Power and Element Power for large scale wind farms in the Irish midlands are ambitious to say the least. Each company proposes to export several thousand megawatts of electricity ‘direct’ to the UK without interacting with the Irish electricity grid. The impetus for these projects is being driven to a large extent by the UK, which has indicated that it would welcome the opportunity to import wind-generated power from Ireland in order to meet its 2020 renewable energy targets. Mainstream Renewable Power and Element Power see the clear opportunity that this offers. Significant Challenges In order to deliver on their plans, which will literally cost billions of euro, both companies face significant challenges. Aside from securing the necessary finance, legislation will need to be enacted to allow renewable energy generated outside the UK to avail of the proposed British feed-in tariff. To this end, talks are well underway between the Irish and UK governments with the aim of having an inter-governmental agreement in place over the coming twelve months. Securing planning permission will be another key challenge. Both companies have announced that they intend to fast-

track their proposals through An Bord Pleanala under the Planning and Development (Strategic Infrastructure) Act 2006 (“SIA”), thereby avoiding local planning authorities. The threshold in order to go down this route is that projects must exceed 25 wind turbines or 50MW. However, even where this threshold is reached it is up to An Bord Pleanala to decide whether the project in question is “strategic” for the purposes of the SIA. At present, both companies are approaching landowners in the midlands with a view to entering into option agreements in order to secure the lands that will be required if the projects ultimately proceed. These option agreements (which tend to have a duration of five to eight years) will allow the companies the time to get their ‘ducks in a row’ in terms of other aspects of the projects e.g. securing planning permission, finance etc. Legal Advice Should the projects ultimately proceed, the option agreements entitle the companies to call for a grant of a lease of those parts of the option lands that the developers require for location of wind turbines, access roads, cables etc. From the perspective of landowners, it is crucial that they seek legal advice from practitioners with proven expe-

rience and a track record of advising in relation to wind farms. In the event that either company elects to proceed and take a lease of a landowner’s property, there is the potential for the landowner to receive a valuable additional stream of income. However, landowners also need to be aware of restrictions that developers will generally seek to impose upon them during the term of both the option agreement and any lease that may subsequently be granted. In summary, these recently announced plans are very much a good news story for the country as a whole. If these projects proceed, Ireland could expect to see clear rewards in terms of employment opportunities, increased revenue from taxation (and possible royalties) from the generated electricity and annual rates paid by the wind farms to local County Councils. For further information contact Gavin Blake, Associate Solicitor, Renewable Energy Group, Beauchamps Solicitors, Email g.blake@beauchamps.ie. I

Gaelectric Signs Contracts With ENERCON For 13.8 MW Carn Hill Wind Farm aelectric has entered a turbine supply agreeG ment, and an ENERCON PartnerKonzept (EPK) full maintenance agreement, with ENERCON, current European market leader and the world’s leading provider of electrically excited direct drive turbines, for the supply of turbines for its Carn Hill wind energy project in County Antrim. ENERCON will also provide, in close cooperation with Gaelectric, most of the civil and electrical infrastructure for this wind farm. Gaelectric has completed the first stage of construction at Carn Hill. This agreement with ENERCON will see the completion and commissioning of the project during the first quarter of 2013. The Carn Hill project comprises 6 E-70 wind

turbines with 2.3 MW rated power each. These turbines are similar to those supplied by ENERCON to Gaelectric’s wind energy project at Skrine, County Roscommon, which was commissioned in 2011 and is successfully generating renewable electricity to the national grid. Once commissioned, Carn Hill will generate sufficient renewable power to meet the electricity needs of 7,900 homes and contribute to the displacement of approximately 25,000 tonnes of CO2. Gaelectric has secured a power purchase agreement with Electric Ireland for the sale of power generated at Carn Hill. The project represents a total investment of £20 million. Carn Hill is part of the first phase of Gaelectric’s onshore wind portfolio in Ireland which will see a total of £200 million invested by 2016. I




Cost Effective Solutions From Murphy Surveys urrent weather conditions and recent C flood events have highlighted the need for the comprehensive Catchments Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Studies that are currently being carried out by the Office of Public Works (OPW). These studies will assist in ensuring that mitigating measures may be put in place where appropriate, upon a river catchment basis. The studies must be carried out using the latest floodplain and river topographical information so that flood models will accurately replicate actual or design flood events. Any resulting flood prevention schemes can then be designed based upon the model findings. Over the years, Murphy Surveys have been heavily involved in undertaking floodplain surveys to varying requirements and specifications. All of which has lead to MSL amassing extensive experience and


knowledge in: • Flood dynamics • Survey techniques – tailored to urban towns and cities, flood pains, rural areas, coastal areas and intertidal estuaries • Data management, resource scheduling & project management – all of which

are key parts in the surveying process, given the large geographical areas and the number of crews on site, particularly during adverse weather conditions • Local knowledge - enables us to plan surveys based upon the most suitable tidal windows and areas, that can only be surveyed safely, under low flow summer conditions This specific expertise has meant that Murphy Surveys were able to simultaneously undertake multiple CFRAM river and floodplain survey contracts, over a large number of geographically extensive areas. River and Floodplain surveys form the first essential step, in a chain of events that can only be progressed to the next stage if the previous stage has been completed accurately and within the time constraints. Part of this process is to pass the data collected on to a third party for



Flood Risk Management at the Office of Public Works he Office of Public Works (OPW) was designated by Government as lead agency for flood risk management to implement the national flood policy following the recommendations of the 2004 Report of the Flood Policy Review Group.The Report recommended that future flood management policy in Ireland would be "to minimise the national level of exposure to flood damages through the identification and management of existing, and particularly potential future, flood risks in an integrated, proactive and river basin based manner". This role is reinforced by the transposition of the EU Floods Directive (2007/60/EC) in 2010 by Statutory Instrument SI No. 122 of 2010, where the OPW are appointed as Competent Authority to deliver on the requirements of the Directive. OPW is responsible for developing and implementing comprehensive policies and strategies for flood risk management. The primary functions of these programmes are: • To develop and deliver on flood risk management work programmes and measures; • To maintain an effective programme of maintenance of river courses where works have been completed under the provisions of the Arterial Drainage Acts: and • To advise the Government on flood risk management and flood risk management policy In fulfilling its functions, OPW works

closely with other state bodies, including local authorities. It is worth noting, however, in relation to major emergencies, including flood events, the Principal Response agencies are the Gardaí, the HSE and the relevant Local Authorities. In such emergencies, OPW provides assistance to these agencies if requested to do so, often in the form of technical input or the supply of equipment. In addition to its co-ordinating role as lead agency, OPW delivers on the management of flood risk through a number of work programmes: • The Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) programme, • A capital works and maintenance programme of major and minor flood relief schemes to address existing areas at risk, • Strategic Information & Guidelines including Planning & Development guidelines and hydrometric information to inform the design of flood relief schemes. Substantial progress has been made by the Office of Public Works, as lead agency, in coordinating the implementation of the recommendations of the 2004 Report and on improving flood management systems. Milestones achieved to date include: – Launch of the Guidelines on the Planning System and Flood Risk Management (2009), to provide a robust and transparent framework for planners to ensure sustainable and safe development, and minimise potential future increases in flood risk

hydraulic modelling. Specific software had to be developed by Murphy Surveys for the CFRAM survey contracts in order to meet the requirements of the project. Prior to undertaking CFRAM surveys, Murphy Surveys identified the key elements that were crucial to successfully completing the projects, and invested heavily in: • Survey equipment • Quality staff • Staff training, in excess of 80 • Research and development • Software development • Backup and support team • Health & Safety management systems. Murphy Surveys are now the first surveying company in Ireland to have recently been awarded the Safe T Cert certificate of achievement, and are accredited to ISO 9001, ensuring that Murphy Surveys

are a competent company and compliant with all quality standards that were required on the projects. Each year seems to bring new occurrences of flooding around Ireland. While Murphy Surveys have no control over the weather they are however, dedicated to continuously developing new survey methods and deliverables to clients by way of improving quality standards, health & safety standards and updating their equipment to the latest and most innovative available on the market. To date Murphys Surveys have almost completed five CFRAM survey contracts in challenging conditions, continue to carry out a sixth, and are shortly to commence a seventh. Murphys Surveys continue to be actively involved in tailoring survey procedures and systems, so that they can deliver a cost effective solution. I


– Launch of the national flood mapping website (www.floodmaps.ie) in 2006, which has since been maintained and kept up to date. This provides information on past floods, informing the public, planners and other interested parties of areas of potential flood risk based on past events. – The launch of the CFRAM programme and the undertaking of pilot CFRAM studies for the rivers Lee and Dodder and for the Fingal East Meath area. Catchment Flood Risk Assessment & Management Programme The Catchment-based Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Study Programme was initiated early in 2006 as a core programme within the overall flood risk management programme as a mechanism for delivering on many aspects of the new policy. The purpose of the CFRAM programme is: • To assess and map existing and potential future flood risk, through the identification of flood hazard areas and the associated impacts of flooding; • To identify viable structural and non-structural measures and options for managing the flood risks for localised high-risk areas and within the catchment as a whole, and, • To prepare a strategic Catchment Flood Risk Management Plan (CFRMP) and (Continued on Page 27)




NFGWS Delivering Quality Drinking Water Services ntil the early 1950s piped water supplies were virtually unheard of outside of Ireland’s larger towns and cities. Rural communities relied on buckets and barrels for their daily water needs, drawing supplies from wells, rivers or lakes - a painstaking and laborious chore. In 1955 a committee comprising representatives of the Department of Local Government and the Local Sanitary Authorities carried out a comprehensive assessment of water provision and sewerage services throughout the State. This Committee identified the non-availability of piped water in rural areas as a major unresolved issue and their conclusions formed the basis of a three-pronged strategy launched in 1959:1. the provision of regional schemes by the sanitary authorities. 2. the provision of group schemes by local communities where reliable local sources were available. 3. the provision of piped water by individual householders where neither of the other approaches were feasible. The benefits of the group approach were quickly recognised by the Department and every effort was made to encourage its widespread adoption. Under the group scheme approach, a number of applicants pooled their grants and provided voluntary labour. Local authorities encouraged group development by: 1. providing supplies for groups from their own sources. 2. taking potential group development into consideration when developing public schemes. 3. encouraging the infill of regional schemes by private groups. Group schemes flourished in the 1960s/1970s, often through the efforts of local co-operatives and farm organisations and, in time, the sector was providing drinking water to some 25% of the rural population. From the census of 2002, some 45,000 households indicated that they received their drinking water supply from a privately-sourced GWS. The actual figure is significantly higher. Schemes including upwards of 50,000 households are affiliated with the National Federation of Group Water Schemes (NFGWS) and unaffiliated schemes may account for between 10,000 and 15,000 further households. Some


120,000 households are currently served by publicly-sourced GWS. Top of the Political Agenda Water and wastewater services rose to the top of the political agenda in 2011, as the new government looked for viable solutions to address legacy issues, not least the exceptionally high levels of unaccounted for water on public distribution networks and the problems associated with deficient municipal sewerage systems, as well as issues associated with individual waste water treatment systems in unsewered areas. A trenchant and sometimes hysterical debate developed in relation to the pros and cons of universal metering, a charging system based on metered usage after a generous free domestic allowance and the maintenance of septic tanks.

In the midst of all of this, throughout 2011 the rural water sector got on with the job of resolving their own legacy issues and with taking further, decisive steps towards the delivery of professional and quality drinking water services to their members. While commentators busily look for international comparisons to evaluate various proposals from government, they have generally failed to see that the experience of Irish group water schemes over the past 15 years provides answers to at least some of the major questions being asked. Crippling Problems The NFGWS too were in a position where historic underinvestment and the lack of a co-ordinated strategy led to crippling problems for most schemes. Through the Rural Water Programme (RWP) they were given

the means to turn this situation around and the structures that would ensure delivery. The NFGWS in partnership with the Environment Minister and his Department, the local authorities and other rural organisations delivered on the promise of the RWP and, year on year, the federation continues to build on that delivery. By way of example, in 2011 construction was completed on the remaining three projects of the DBO (Design, Build & Operate) bundling upgrade strategy, the main plank in the plan to resolve deficient drinking water quality on group water schemes. That was truly a landmark achievement, today some 45,000 householders across large areas of rural Galway, Mayo, Roscommon and Leitrim, as well as householders in rural Sligo, Cavan, Monaghan, Meath, Wicklow, Wexford, Kildare, Carlow, Laois, Kilkenny, Clare and Limerick are enjoying a quality drinking water supply where they did not have one before. The DBO bundling strategy was never an easy upgrade strategy for the Federation, but they sold it on the basis that it was agreed national policy. In doing so, they persuaded schemes to set aside their own upgrade plans. On many occasions the federation went further, encouraging schemes to dissolve and to reform as part of a new, larger, amalgamated structure. The job was made easier by the fact that DBO upgrades were given priority, with the Exchequer providing 85% funding for mechanical and electrical works as well as for the construction of interconnecting pipes on amalgamating schemes and for universal metering, in addition to the 85% funding towards other capital works. What persuaded most schemes to go the DBO route, however, was the assurance that they would not be left to carry the ongoing contractual commitment and associated financial burden of these plants without State support. An additional subsidy would be provided on an ongoing basis towards the operation and maintenance of these plants and towards the replacement of scheduled capital items. These assurances were given form during the negotiations on subsidy arrangements in 2008, when a separate Strand B subsidy entitlement was agreed for group schemes in bona fide DBO projects. The outstanding issue of the Capital Replacement Fund was finally



Tullyinchin, Mountain Lodge, Cootehill, Co. Cavan. Tel: +353 49 432 3000 Fax: +353 49 433 0043

Design and construction of Waste Water Treatment Systems for Domestic and High Strength Waste Waters • Purpose built Dissolved Air Flotation plants for Primary Treatment of High Strength Waste Water • Prefabricated integrated inlet fine screening and flow measurment • Specialise in upgrade of ageing WWTPs while maximising use of existing structures and plant • Tertiary treatment of effluents by unique packaged Deep Bed Sand Filtration • Energy recovery using latest Anerobic Digestion Process

• TURBINE will provide plant assessment, upgrade design and costing, references available for completed upgades undertaken

addressed in 2011, following negotiations between the Federation and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (DECLG). For the past 15 years, the installation of effective water treatment systems has been the primary objective of the Rural Water Capital Programme. While this objective has been realised in all of the schemes in DBO projects and in many stand-alone schemes that have seen improvements in their disinfection facilities, there are still small schemes dotted around the country where microbiological failures are occurring or have the potential to occur because of inadequate or malfunctioning disinfection systems, or because some form of simple filtration may also be required. For a relatively small investment, the federation can achieve 100% compliance across the GWS sector. It is crucial that the Rural Water Capital Programme remains active in relation to this priority objective. It is also critical that an assessment is carried out on what needs to be done and that the federation sees targeted investment to resolve actual or potential threats to public health. It is important too that the Rural Water Programme doesn’t lose sight of the hundreds of publicly sourced schemes that have legal responsibility for water in their networks, but not all of the means to effectively manage those networks. Where there is no plan for the taking-in-charge of such schemes, they will need (at a minimum) the tools to monitor chlorine residual levels and to effectively clean their pipes. Those publicly sourced schemes that have requested taking-in-charge are in a state of limbo.

completion of all works associated with the DBO upgrade strategy, the federation expects to see a reduction in the commitment to capital spending over the coming years, but it would be very shortsighted. In the absence of sustained investment, the NFGWS will simply be accumulating problems that will have to be addressed at significantly greater cost further down the road.

Without active, functioning, motivated committees of management, the burden often falls on a single individual, possibly the sole surviving trustee. The process of taking these schemes in charge has to be accelerated. Similarly, priority has to be given to those remaining few pockets of the country where communities are deprived of a quality drinking water supply, even though there is a group water scheme supplying quality water a short distance away. In 2011, a special funding package was introduced to address this issue, but there is no evidence from the regional reports that this was availed of. In advance of the reintroduction of such financial support, the federation needs to see a comprehensive assessment of those communities that might be serviced by a GWS so that a structured work programme can be put in place. Because of the focus on human health, the other infrastructural needs of the GWS sector – including pipework and reservoirs – have been largely consigned to the backburner for many years. Given the virtual

Universal Metering Nowhere has that investment demonstrated better value for money than in the GWS experience of universal metering. Stories of substantial reductions in water demand as a result of this strategy – allied to a realistic charging policy based on metered usage after a free water allocation – come from all parts of the country. Again and again, the social, economic and environmental benefits of such an approach are being confirmed by the actual experience of group water schemes. Armed with an equitable charging policy, group water schemes are successfully collecting money owed by their members, even in a time of economic hardship. Given the federation’s experience to date, they have put the case to Minister Hogan that a relatively small capital allocation be made towards the completion of universal metering on all group water schemes. The year-on-year growth of the NFGWS continued in 2011 as a new record was set for the number of affiliated schemes. This is testimony to the work of the development officers on the ground and to the recognition amongst schemes that the NFGWS delivers real benefits to them. I

Veolia Water Partnering Group Water Schemes to Meet Local Water Management Challenge eolia Water Ireland currently have 4 V separate Design Build Operate (DBO) Contracts that collectively cover 24 separate Group Water Scheme and Local Authority treatment plants throughout Cavan, Monaghan, Roscommon and Galway. These contracts were amongst the first water services contracts to be procured under the DBO format and they continue to demonstrate the importance of the contractor and Group Water Schemes developing a partnership approach to the long term operation of these vital assets. As the DBO contractor, Veolia Water have designed and built the works to treat the anticipated water quality from a wide range of raw water sources, from both surface waters (lakes & rivers) and ground water. Over the 20 year operational phase, Veolia Water has the responsibility to produce top quality water and ensure the treatment plants are operated and maintained

appropriately. All Schemes are tested rigorously and validated externally to ensure that the treated water complies with all drinking water legislation. The nature of the long-term contracts has allowed Veolia to develop dedicated teams that are locally based, have detailed knowledge of the individual schemes, and provide 24/7 coverage to all treatment plants. The benefits of this approach have been evident during recent extreme weather periods and challenges with raw water quality. Detailed monthly reports and quarterly monitoring meetings with the individual

Group Water Schemes, along with on-line access for the Groups have proved essential tools to ensure that communication is maintained between all parties. In addition, the importance of day-to-day contacts and relationships between the Contractor and individual Groups cannot be overstated. Veolia Water have also developed strong relationships with the National Federation of Group Water Schemes, which provides an overall point of contact that can effectively address operational issues across different Group water Schemes. Veolia Water are the largest provider of water services globally, with thousands of operational contracts around the world supplying all population sizes, from large cities such as Paris to individual Group Water Schemes. This global experience and knowledge is fully leveraged to enable Veolia Water to meet the challenges of these long-term contracts successfully. I




Group Water Scheme Directors, Officers and Committee Members Exposed to Legal Action “The vast majority of Group Water Scheme Directors, Officers and Committee Members are leaving themselves and their schemes exposed to potential legal action,” reports Billy Redmond of Arachas Corporate Brokers. chemes, their Directors, Officers and Committee members can be sued for alleged actions or lack of action, resulting in sizeable payments being made. They should be aware that any action taken against them puts their own personal assets in jeopardy when defending a claim. They are personally liable and the scheme either cannot or will not defend them. The “it won’t happen to me” attitude is still prevalent. As the volume of legislation increases, organisations with far more limited resources are at much greater risk than the large corporate entities with their battery of advisors. In addition to company board Directors, the exposure also extends to non-executive Directors and Officers of a company. Boards of Governors, members of committees or charitable trusts or voluntary groups have a similar exposure. In


Billy Redmond, Group Development Director of Arachas.


fact, members of schemes or committees may have a higher exposure as their position may be part-time and therefore the time required to keep “up to speed” with the changing legislation may not be available. Virtually any decision can lead to an action or a lawsuit. This may be taken by creditors, contractors, members or indeed a state regulatory agency. You can not plead ignorance. In a recent legal case, the court stated quite categorically that each Director has a duty to inform themselves of its affairs. Directors and Officers Liability Insurance It is estimated that virtually every public company and large corporate takes out Directors and Officers Liability insurance to cover themselves against these types of cases. Conversely, fewer than 10% of SME’s take out this cover. This is mainly because they have not been made aware of the potential exposure they face and how Directors and Officers Liability cover can mitigate this exposure. No responsible scheme would continue to trade without Employers and Public Liability insurance together with adequate Fire and Business protection cover. Operating however without Directors and Officers Liability insurance leaves potential exposure to the Scheme and the continued viability of the organisation and its personnel. This exposure can be transferred in the form of Directors and Officers Liability Insurance. Indemnity The proposed cover for members will

incorporate Indemnity in respect of claims made in respect of: * Wrongful acts, including employment related wrongful acts committed by directors or officer, trustee, member of governing body, member of committee, council member, employee (including volunteer) of the organisation, including: – Employment related wrongful acts – Breach of trust, breach of duty, error, omission, misstatement, misleading statement, neglect Loss of documents (up to a sub limit of Eur25,000) – Defence costs and legal representation expenses for claims against the scheme under the Safety, Health & Welfare legislation – Claims made against an insured person for involuntary, constructive or gross negligence manslaughter – Emergency costs – Extradition proceedings – Bail bond costs – Public relation expenses, crisis costs, reputation protection expenses – Defence costs for contractual liability – Liability of an insured person for unpaid taxes. In summary, given the potential costs of claims and the increase in compensation culture together with the relatively inexpensive premiums available for this cover, organisations might be well-advised to consider Directors and Officers Liability insurance. For further information contact: Arachas Cork Office, 9 Eastgate Avenue, Eastgate Business Park, Little Island, Cork - Tel: 021 4270505 Fax: 021 4275540. Arachas Southeast Office, Marine Point, Belview, Waterford - Tel: 051 877700 Fax: 051 877702. Arachas Dublin Office, The Courtyard, Carmanhall Road, Sandyford Business Estate, Dublin 18 – Tel: 01 2135000 Fax: 01 2135001. I



Keeping an Eye on Air Pollution n Ireland, air pollution is monitored by Eur7 billion annually, the projected health the Environmental Protection Agency benefits are estimated to be about Eur42 bil(EPA) and local authorities at 24 stations lion, highlighting its cost effectiveness. throughout the country every hour. The A suite of new EU Directives setting out a EPA also produces annual reports on air completely new approach to the monitorquality. They include details of the monitoring, assessment and management of air qualing and assessment of national air quality, ity has been adopted in recent years. The obtained from all the air quality monitoring objectives include avoiding, preventing and stations run by the EPA and the local reducing the impact of harmful air emisauthorities. sions on human health and the environEU directives set down the standards for ment. monitoring, assessing and managing ambient air quality in Ireland and the other The biggest threat now facing our air quality is Road Traffic emissions from road traffic. Member States. Ireland does not have serious outdoor air The principles to this approach were set quality problems. This is largely due to the down by the European Commission in 1996 through the Air eradication of the burning of coal in many urban areas during the Quality Framework Directive. Following this, four 'daughter' 1980s and the early 1990s. directives established limits to specific pollutants. However, this The biggest threat now facing our air quality is emissions from Framework Directive and the first three 'daughter' directives were road traffic. The implementation of pollution abatement measures replaced by the Ambient Air Quality and Cleaner Air for Europe in the form of air quality management plans or short-term traffic (CAFE) Directive in 2008. restrictions, should these prove to be necessary, are a major new The fourth 'daughter' directive specifies target values and moni- challenge for local authorities. toring requirements for arsenic, cadmium, mercury, nickel and Of course, air pollution can affect the health and well-being of polycyclic hydrocarbons. This was transposed into Irish legislation sensitive population groups and eco-systems. I in the Ambient Air Regulations 2009. The CAFE Directive was transposed into Irish legislation by the Air Quality Standards Regulations 2011. It replaced three earlier AXIS environmental services provide a professionstatutory instruments: the Air Quality Standards Regulations 2002, ally tailored air quality the Ozone in Ambient Air Regulations 2004 and S.I. No. 33 of monitoring and environ1999.


Target Values These regulations set down the limit or target values for the following pollutants: • Sulphur Dioxide • Nitrogen Dioxide and Oxides of Nitrogen • Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5) • Lead • Benzene • Carbon Monoxide and • Ozone. While the CAFE Directive did not change existing air quality standards, it did introduce new obligations relating to fine particulate matter (PM2.5). This is considered to be particularly harmful to human health. In Ireland, levels of PM2.5 are generally low and fall within the new CAFE limit values. However, all Member States are must calculate the current exposure of their population to PM2.5 and take steps to reduce this exposure by 2020. The final average exposure indicator and national exposure reduction target will be determined in 2012. EU Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution The first of the thematic strategies launched in the European Commission's 6th Environment Action Programme was the CAFE programme and the Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution. This Strategy aims to reduce the number of premature deaths from air pollution-related diseases by almost 40% by 2020, with 2000 as the base year. It also sets out to reduce the damage caused to forests and their ecosystems by air pollution. While the implementation of this Strategy is estimated to cost

Environmental Management Stack Emissions Monitoring CEMS QAL 2 Assessment CEMS /AMS Calibrations Ambient Air Assessment EIA / EIS Air Dispersion Models Occupational Air Assessment Noise Monitoring Vibration Monitoring Licence Applications ISO 14001 EMS

Contact Details are: AXIS Environmental, Unit 5, Cahirdavin Business Centre, Ennis Road, Limerick T: +00353 61 324587 E: info@axisenv.ie


mental consultancy service to both the private and public sector. Our mission is to provide clients across Ireland and Europe with key air quality measurements, project management and abatement solutions for all types of industry, from planning services through to completion. We have a highly skilled professional team working together, using best available technology from across the globe, with practical experience to attain high quality results and continued customer satisfaction. We have grown our business based on exceeding customer requirements whilst providing optimum value. It is our business to nominate, consult, manage, calibrate and report on air quality in line with client expectations and legislative requirements.



Understanding Combined Heat and Power Mark Coyne, Technical Director at Dalkia, (utilities and energy services management expert) outlines the key elements of Combined Heat and Power and how optimum energy savings and environmental benefits can be made. ombined Heat and Power C (CHP) is a robust technology for reducing energy costs. CHP plants generate both useful heat and electricity at the same time. The principle is simple – with any combustion type engine, large quantities of heat are wasted. In the case of your car engine for example, 60% of the energy in the petrol or diesel is rejected to the atmosphere in the form of waste heat either through the exhaust or to air passing over your radiator. On a larger scale, coal-fired power plants on the electricity grid typically reject up to 65% of the input energy of the coal to atmosphere. Even the latest technology gas fired generation plants can reject 45% of the input energy. CHP plants differ as they capture as much of that heat as possible. The more heat captured, the more savings and environmental benefits. This is due to the over-

all greater efficiency of providing electricity and heat from a CHP plant over conventional grid power and boilers. CHP is ideal for sites on the natural gas network with large year round heat requirements: industrial plants with process loads, swimming pools, hotels or hospitals. CHP plants typically come in two main forms: Gas reciprocating or gas turbines. Typically gas engines power smaller CHP

plants up to 5 MW electrical and can generate heat in the form of hot water. Gas turbines typically power CHP sites on large industrial sites such as breweries, milk processing plants or pharmaceutical plants with a large year round heat load. CHP providers usually advise on the best option for your particular facility and circumstances. There are various commercial options to buy a CHP plant. Most CHP providers offer the option of either buying the plant outright or to finance the plant and sell you heat and power at a discounted rate over a fixed period. Whatever your particular circumstances or your commercial preferences, when well matched to the site conditions, CHP provides significant energy savings and environmental benefits. This translates to both costs savings and carbon savings. I

ZeroPoint Brings First Irish Biomass CHP Plant on Stream roduction has commenced at US-based P renewable energy company ZeroPoint Clean Tech’s first Irish biomass gasification facility, producing carbon negative heat and power in Newry. ZeroPoint has supplied the biomass gasification plant to Kedco, which focuses on the production of clean energy in the UK and Ireland. The combined heat and power plant utilises state-of-the-art gasification, highefficiency engine, and software integration technology to produced renewable heat and power from biomass. ZeroPoint’s first site is operational in Germany. ZeroPoint’s carbon negative process utilises biomass to create renewable gas and yields biochar as a co-product. Biochar is a highly stable form of sequestered carbon with multiple uses in agriculture and industry. Renewable gas from the ZeroPoint solution is cost competitive with burner tip natural gas in much of the world. The gas in Ireland is combusted in a gas

engine to produce power for the local utility grid. The gas and engine also produce useable heat. The ZeroPoint Solution can be deployed to produce renewable synthesis gas used in gas engines, steam boilers, thermal applications, or co-firing with coal, oil, biogas or biomass. ZeroPoint is currently working with a number of strategic relationships to assemble and deploy a basket of similar projects

across North America and Europe. “Biomass technologies are fundamentally differentiated from wind and solar technologies,” says ZeroPoint chairman, John Blend. “Traditional wind and solar voltaic power are intermittent with weather and nightfall whereas biomass projects deliver base load energy and integrate more easily with utility grids. We see biomass filling a growing role in renewables as well as delivering highly attractive returns to project investors. I believe, at the moment, we are the only solution provider in the world to enable multiple, grid-connected, carbonnegative power plants and we plan to empower additional sites in the near future.” ZeroPoint is also aiming to commercialise a patent pending process to upgrade sewage sludge and other low-grade materials for improved gasification and combustion as well as working to convert syngas into liquid hydrocarbons. I




Top 10 Tips For Specifying a CHP System There is rapidly growing interest in Combined Heat and Power (CHP) as a viable alternative to traditional renewable energy supplies. David Hatherill, Engineering Manager at Finning Power Systems, offers advice on the effective selection and specification of a CHP system.


ombined Heat and Power is the production of usable heat and power in a single process. When generating electricity, a large amount of heat is produced as a by-product. In traditional power generation methods this is wasted, but a CHP system recycles this heat. This reduces the transmission and distribution losses that occur when fuel is burned, increasing the efficiency of the system. Schemes are mainly used by the industrial, commercial and some public sectors - mainly those needing a great deal of heat such as hospitals, universities, leisure centres, offices and retailers. Tariff quality metering will qualify CHP as eligible for payments under the Climate Change Levy ‘Good Quality CHP’ scheme. A CHP system is a sizeable investment, which is why the specification process is so important: mistakes at this stage can be costly. Golden rules for specifying a CHP system are: Top 10 Tips 1. Know your annual heat and power requirement. CHP is ideal for buildings requiring heat and power together for more than 4000 hours a year. 2. Know your electrical load profile. It’s more important to understand the base load profile rather than the mean or peak. This will ensure the system runs efficiently. 3. Know your heat demand in kW and degrees C. CHP configurations vary widely according to the amount of heat required - and the temperature it is required at. Some engine manufacturers offer engines with much higher jacket heat recovery temperatures than others. 4. Know how much you currently pay for heat generation using gas or oil and electrical

power without CHP. By knowing your current billing figures, you can produce a precise cost comparison demonstrating the potential savings to be made from each CHP system. 5. If in doubt, undersize. A CHP that’s too large for the application won’t save money, whereas a CHP that is too small will although slightly less than it otherwise could. 6. Understand lifecycle cost. The cheapest CHP solution identified during the procurement process will not necessarily be the cheapest to run over a period of time. 7. Track record. There are many existing CHP systems which under-perform, so look for a supplier with a good track record.

8. Purchase an operations and maintenance service contract. Buy an O&M contract at the same time as the installation, this will guarantee the system’s performance. 9. Listen to the supplier. To offer a product which performs well and is cost effective, reputable suppliers understand where money needs to be spent - and where economies can be made. Be wary of specifications prepared by anyone who does not own, operate or maintain CHPs. 10.Know which renewable payments you can apply for. The viability of CHP can vary greatly according to these payments.

combines electricity with wasted heat, and there is usually a 3:1 improvement in the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere. Traditional renewable energy sources are oversubscribed, making CHP an excellent and viable alternative. With the benefit of a high quality and secure energy source system on site, companies can reduce their dependency on the national grid for power. Finning is the sole supplier of Caterpillar engines and generators in the UK and Ireland. As market leaders in power generation, Finning offers the full range of Caterpillar diesel and gaseous fuelled generator sets, backing product sales with unrivalled service and support through their 26 branches and 1600 employees. For more information on CHP in Ireland please contact Tony Lyons on +353 1 247 4000. I

CHP – A Viable Alternative Although good quality CHP may not be as ‘clean’ as renewable energy, nevertheless as it is usually a gas-fired product, it is cleaner than many other fossil fuels. It is efficient because it ENVIRONMENT & ENERGY MANAGEMENT, JULY/AUGUST 2012



Established in 2006, we have grown to provide our wood pellet distribution nationwide and supply both domestic and commercial premises. Customers include a number of schools, hospitas, unversities and leading business establishments. Backed by a fleet of 5 trucks and a well trained and dedicated staff, Leinster Pellets are the no. 1 choice for premium quality wood pellets.

ISO Competitive Edge Ltd is a prominent, wholly Irish owned company. We provide specialist services to assist companies in meeting specific project demands and acquiring a variety of certification standards.


Contact us: w.kingston@isoceltd.com Tel: 01 6690581. Web: www.isoceltd.com

LEINSTER PELLETS Hollywood, Co. Wicklow Tel: 0818 HEAT 4 U Fax: 045 483898 Mob: 087 6116600


Reaping the Potential of Biomass


iomass can be converted to different forms of energy including heat, power, combined heat and power (CHP) or liquid biofuels. There are a number of processes that can be used to recover energy from biomass fuels: • Direct combustion of biomass material. Some processing of biomass may be carried out prior to combustion eg sorting, chipping, pelleting or drying. • Thermochemical processes - where solid biomass is upgraded to a liquid or a gas by pyrolysis and gasification. • Decomposition of solid biomass to liquid or gaseous fuels by processes such as anaerobic digestion and fermentation.

Fuel + oxygen = carbon dioxide + water + energy: This is the simplest way to produce heat energy from biomass. The heat, often in the form of steam, can be converted to electricity and/or it can be used for heating houses and buildings. Technology used for combustion varies depending on the scale of the plant. For larger industrial scale facilities such as wood processing industries or apartment complexes, the use of a wood-fired boiler would be more appropriate to meet higher heat demands. Of course, using combined heat and power (CHP) for such large-scale facilities would be the most efficient method of producing energy (CHP facilities have efficiencies of over 85%). Gasification Gasification is an advanced conversion process that offers a method of power generation with higher efficiencies than combustion-based steam cycles. It is a process in which biomass is converted to higher grade fuels prior to combustion. Basically biomass is partially oxidised at high temperatures to produce biogas. This biogas contains a mixture of carbon monoxide,

hydrogen and methane. The advantage of this process is that undesirable particulate matter and pollutants are removed. A variety of gasification systems are available eg fixed bed, fluidised

Edenderry Power Operations THE 120MW Edenderry power plant (EPL) is part of the Power Generation & Renewable Energy division of Bord na Mona. The peat and biomass co-fired base-load plant, commissioned in 2000, is currently operating in the Single Electricity Market (SEM). Using modern bubbling fluidised bed boiler technology, the plant supplies about 3% of Ireland’s annual electricity requirement. It directly employs 45 people, of whom around 250 are employed indirectly in the supply of fuel and services to the plant. The Edenderry plant has operated since its commencement with a uniquely high level of cost efficiency and flexibility. This achievement contributes to Bord na Mona’s ambitious plans to be a leader in renewable energy generation, by providing approximately 500MW of wind and biomass capacity by 2015, supported by flexible thermal plant. While the power plant generates around 120MW of exported electricity, it is also a large user of power; the in-house load accounts for about 10MW of power generated. From the outset, EPL has had a strong commitment to quality assurance. It was the first company in Ireland to achieve certification to the ISO 9001 Quality, 14001 Environmental and 18001 Health & Safety standards, as part of an integrated business management system.

As an EPA-licensed Integrated Pollution Prevention Control (IPPC) site and with biomass co-fuelling becoming a more important feature of the business, the company sees achieving certification to the EN 16001 Energy Management standard as a natural progression for existing management processes. It also sees it as providing an opportunity to link in with energy-management best practice across a range of industries. Energy Efficiency

As a power generator, EPL is very aware of the importance of energy efficiency for both its commercial performance and environmental obligations, which are at the forefront of its business planning. Its business management system is based on a continuousimprovement structure where incremental improvements over time deliver large, sustainable, long-term benefits to the business. The company sees an opportunity to use innovation and technology to achieve energy efficiencies across the complete production cycle. One example is management of the boiler system to maintain optimum heat transfer capability and achieve ongoing energy-efficiency improvement. The current on-line explosives cleaning methods used are the result of an innovative four-year development project which involved developing site- specific technologies adapted from other industries.



bed gasifiers and pressurised gasifiers. Although not yet demonstrated in Ireland, large-scale gasification of wood with subsequent use of a gas turbine and combined cycle generating plants to produce electricity has been demonstrated with success in Europe. Pyrolysis Pyrolysis is a means of converting solid organic material into a liquid biofuel by heating at high temperatures in the absence of oxygen. The resulting pyrolytic or ‘biooil’ can be refined to products in a manner similar to refining crude oil and can be used for electricity production in diesel engines. Pyrolysis oils are easy to transport and store. However, some improvements in the properties of pyrolysis oils, followed

by standardisation of the quality of oils, are needed for successful introduction to the commercial market. Anaerobic Digestion Biomass is converted to biogas by

Anaerobic Digestion (AD). This is the breakdown of organic waste by bacteria in an oxygen-free environment. AD can take place in a specially designed AD plant or naturally at landfill sites. Farm, municipal or industrial-based AD plants process waste material into biogas (containing methane and carbon dioxide). The waste/feedstock is placed in an airtight container (digester) along with bacteria. Depending on the waste and system design biogas typically contains 55-75% pure methane. This biogas can be upgraded to fossil (‘natural’) gas, which typically contains 70-96% methane. The liquid fraction of the remaining digested feedstock can be returned to the land as a fertiliser and solid fibre used as a soil conditioner. I


Wood Fuel From PM Processing stablished over 25 years ago, PM Processing is one of E Ireland’s leading timber harvesting and wood chip manufacturers. Based at Macken in County Fermanagh and with depots at nearby Derrylin and Ballivor, County Meath, the company has grown into a highly successful family-run enterprise. Founded and directed by Pat McManus, PM Processing began as a single timber harvester operation. Since then Pat has steadily grown the business, to provide a full forest to mill service. The company currently operate a number of harvesters, forwarders and a small fleet of HGV lorries, harvesting up to 10,000 tonnes of timber per month. The company has grown to become strong and experienced in all aspects of timber harvesting, extraction and haulage operations. In 2008, having identified a niche in the market for wood fuel as an alternative to traditional fossil fuels, PM Processing invested in a Jenz Hem 561 mobile wood chipper. The timber used in the production of woodchip is bought from stateowned forests, Coillte and private growers. The woodchip product is a uniform size of either G30 or G50 and can vary between 20 and 50 per cent moisture, all depending on individual customer specification. The woodchip is supplied using 20


tonne walking-floor, tailor-made delivery trailers for efficient off-loading. The company supplies woodchip to customers using substantial amounts of heat such as mushroom growers, nurseries, pig farms and schools. The biggest customer currently is the Bord Na Mona power station in Edenderry, County Offaly where woodchip is used in its co-firing system for energy production. PM has been supplying woodchip to Bord Na Mona for over two years now, delivering 1,000 tonnes of woodchip in an average month. Being a power station, Bord Na Mona can take wood chip of varying moisture contents, which enables PM a faster turn-around time on timber stock. Smaller boiler systems require a much drier product, between 20-30 per cent moisture, therefore a longer drying period of stock is needed for this. While PM Processing will continue primarily as a timber harvesting company, the company looks forward to the future with great positivity regarding the outlook for biomass as a prominent renewable energy fuel. For further information contact PM Processing on Tel 028 66 348545, Mobile 07836 296 572, E-mail pmprocessingltd @live.co.uk or visit www.pmprocessingltd.com. I



Smisco helping Food Processors Cut Energy and Water Usage by up to 70% Located in Mitchelstown, County Cork, Smisco Food Equipment is one of Ireland's most established engineering companies with years of experience in the manufacture of equipment dedicated to the meat, poultry, dairy and hygiene industry. misco has specialized in the design and manufactures of energy efficient sterilizers for the past 25 years and now has a complete range available for knives and all types of slaughtering tools, which the company is now marketing worldwide to the meat and poultry industry. In conjunction with this development, Smisco has launched onto the market a sensor operated sink merged with sterilizer.


8 hours for 25 of Smisco’s hand knife washers is 7 cubes (7,000 litres) – a reduction of more than 50% in water usage over conventional hand/knife washers. This new design according to Liam Conlon, founder and managing director of Smisco, offers major benefits to processors. “In a conventional slaughterhouse where up to 30 units are used, these new hygiene facilities are a no brainer,” he says, Smisco has a tried and tested product range and is currently the main supplier to the Dawn Meats Group both in Ireland and the UK. Smisco has also supplied to the Rosderra Irish Meats Group along with Ashbourne Meats in Roscrea County Tipperary.

Carcass Splitting & Briskett Saw Sterilizers. Whizzand Knife Sterilizer.

Improved Efficiency Smisco has designed a sensor operated knife and hand washer complete with electronic knife sterilizer. The innovative system will wash hand and knife over a 6 second period discharging 0.7 litres of water compared with conventional sinks using 9 litres per minute. In a conventional abattoir slaughtering 300 cattle per day, the daily consumption is 280 liters per butcher washing a knife after every procedure. The total water consumption over

Smisco boasts one of the most advanced and versatile engineering facilities in Ireland.

Indeed, the company’s client list reads like a whose who of the Irish food industry and includes Kepak Group, Glenaine Fine Foods, Hodgins Sausages, Brady Family Ham, , Flesk Meats Cork, Tipperary Co-op, TMCL Meats and many more blue chip food producers located throughout Ireland. Smisco boasts one of the most advanced and versatile engineering facilities in Ireland. The factory at Mitchelstown has been designed to manufacture almost any type of food processing equipment to cater for large or small food processors, specializing in almost every level of food processing, from the animals in the field, through to the kitchen. Drawing upon its extensive in-house expertise, Smisco is constantly seeking new ideas for improving excellence in the food industry and aims to be brand leader in equipment, manufacturing new technology where ever possible.

Liam Conlon, founder and managing director of Smisco Food Equipment.

Proven Benefits “Until a few months ago we did not know what the real benefits of our sterilizers were until we went in to Ashbourne Meats and carried out an in house survey. After a six months test we learned that the benefits of our sterilizer had a saving of over Eur1,000.00 per day in oil for heating and that the water consumption per head reduced from .38c/u per head to as low as .17c/u per head,” explains Liam Conlon. “The added bonus was that the waste effluent plant in the factory was handling an unnecessary quantity of 60,000 liters per day (60m3cu). According to the financial director, the payback on investment was achieved over a 40 Kill day.” For further information contact Smisco Food Equipment, Limerick Rd, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork. Tel 025 84279, Fax 025 84888. I

Chest Sterilizer.




Ireland Meeting Most EU Waste Recovery and Recycling Targets Ireland is well advanced in achieving most of the EU waste recovery and recycling targets, with the exception of end of life vehicle targets. he economic downturn is having a marked influence on municipal waste generation, which has decreased by 16 per cent since it peaked in 2007, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Waste Report 2010. The quantity of household waste collected for treatment fell by 5 per cent in spite of an increase in population. The recovery rate for packaging waste increased to 74 per cent. The main findings of the report were that in 2010: • Municipal waste generation fell by 3.6 per cent compared to 2009. • Household waste recovery increased by 11 per cent compared to 2009. • Household waste collected for treatment fell by 5 per cent and commercial waste collected fell by 12 per cent compared to 2009. • Municipal waste recycling achieved a rate of 38 per cent, a 3 per cent increase compared to 2009, and close to the EU27 norm of 40 per cent.


Ireland Well Ahead of EU Packaging and Recycling Targets Ireland’s packaging recovery and recycling rates continue to exceed EU packaging recycling targets. The EU target for packaging recovery was 60% in 2011 with Ireland’s recovery rate of about 74% for 2010, placing it in the top six amongst other and longer established European countries for packaging recycling. “The major investment made by Repak and its members over the years, which was Eur29 million in 2010, has seen packaging recycling rates increase exponentially from 15% in 1998 and proves the major role packaging recycling has played in helping Ireland meet its other EU landfill diversion and bio waste targets,” says Dr Andrew Hetherington, chief executive Repak Ireland. He continues: “While this success in packaging recycling is to be applauded, the whole area of recycling continues to be a major challenge for this country and requires constant vigilance, particularly with regard to enforcement.”

• Ireland met its 2010 EU Landfill Directive target for diversion of

Ireland Has Fourth Highest Municipal Waste Per Person in EU27 In Ireland, 636 kg of municipal waste was generated per person in 2010, the fourth highest in the EU. 57% of this waste was landfilled, 4% was incinerated, 35% was recycled and 4% was composted. In the EU27 overall, 502 kg of municipal waste1 was generated per person in 2010, while 486 kg of municipal waste was treated per person. This municipal waste was treated in different ways: 38% was landfilled, 22% incinerated, 25% recycled and 15% composted. The amount of municipal waste generated varies significantly across Member States. Cyprus, with 760 kg per person, had the highest amount of waste generated in 2010, followed by Luxembourg, Denmark and Ireland with values between 600 and 700 kg per person, and the Netherlands, Malta, Austria, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and Portugal with values between 500 and 600 kg. Finland, Belgium,

Sweden, Greece, Slovenia, Hungary and Bulgaria had values between 400 and 500 kg, while values of below 400 kg per person were recorded in Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia and Latvia.

biodegradable municipal waste from landfill. • A recovery rate of 74 per cent was achieved for packaging waste, exceeding the EU target of 60 per cent by 2011. • Ireland is failing to meet the End of Life Vehicle Directive targets for reuse, recovery and recycling of vehicles and their components. • 29 per cent of occupied houses do not participate in, or are not offered, a waste collection service. • At current fill rates, 15 of the 28 currently active municipal solid waste landfills in Ireland will close in the next three years. There is a remaining national landfill capacity of 12 years. • Use of waste as an energy fuel grew by 20 per cent from 2009 figures to 183,000 tonnes in 2010. EPA director general Laura Burke comments: “There has been a significant reduction in the amount of municipal waste generated in Ireland, from a peak of almost 3.4 million tonnes in 2007, to less than 2.9 million tonnes in 2010. The economic downturn is continuing to have a marked influence on waste generation, particularly



in the commercial waste and construction and demolition waste streams. When the economy begins to improve, it is important that we decouple waste generation from economic growth.” Ireland is making good progress towards achieving its EU targets in areas such as packaging waste, waste electrical goods and batteries. “While Ireland has met its 2010 target for the diversion of biodegradable waste from landfill, the more stringent EU targets coming into effect in 2013 and 2016 under the Landfill Directive will be much harder to achieve and will require continued investment in the infrastructure needed to treat biodegradable waste,” she points out. Priority actions identified by the EPA

include: • Policies and actions necessary to decouple waste growth from economic growth need to be implemented, with waste prevention at their core; • Continued support for resource efficiency and conservation initiatives in relation

to waste, water and energy is required to deliver reduced costs for public and private enterprises and reduced impacts on the environment; • Diversion of very large quantities of food waste from landfill remains a key priority that must be addressed if Ireland is to comply with the Landfill Directive; • State policy to require householders to avail of a collection service will help address problems associated with large number of households not availing of such a service; • Action needs to be undertaken to improve the reuse, recovery and recycling rates for End of Life Vehicles to ensure that Ireland complies with the relevant EU targets. I


EU Decision Will Help Europe Catch Up With Ireland on Recycling EEE Ireland has embraced Ireland’s new recycling chalW lenge as the countdown begins to the new WEEE Directive Legislation which has to be implemented into Irish Law by February 14th 2014. The Recast of the Directive sets new challenges for the WEEE industry including a collection target of 45% rising to 65% for all EEE (electrical, electronic equipment) placed on the Irish market and an increase of the recycling rate of most categories of WEEE by another 5%. This will require Ireland to effectively collect double the amount of old and broken washing machines, toasters, televisions and other household appliances that needs to be recycled over the next decade. Leo Donovan, chief executive of WEEE Ireland, says: “We are

delighted with the release of this directive as it provides a framework for WEEE recycling for the coming years. Whilst we are proud of the achievements to date, WEEE Ireland does not underestimate the challenges ahead in meeting the new higher targets.” In 2011 WEEE Ireland collected 7.88kg per head, which was almost double the 4kg target as set out by the EU. With nearly 11million electronic items recycled last year, Ireland is well ahead of the European average and this needs to be sustained. I


Bord Gais Energy Adding More Wind Capacity onstruction at Bord Gais Energy’s Garracummer Wind Farm in County Tipperary is well C underway with the completion of the substation and civil works. Turbine deliveries began in July and the first two turbines have now been erected on site (in spite of the bad weather).

Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; and Rose Hynes, Bord Gais chairman, at the opening of the company’s first developed wind farm - Ballymartin Wind Farm in County Kilkenny.


The project is due to be energised in October 2012 and be fully operational in early 2013. The project will bring an additional 42MW of wind energy online for Bord Gais Energy and forms part of a Eur400 million investment in wind energy over the next three years for the company. Bord Gais Energy recently opened its first fully developed wind farm, Ballymartin Wind Farm in County Kilkenny. In addition to Garracummer, which will be the largest facility in the company’s wind farm family, Bord Gais Energy has a second site under development Knockacummer Wind Farm in County Cork. Within the next five years wind will form the majority of Bord Gais Energy’s generating assets with 1,179MW of installed wind capacity – enough to provide energy for over one million homes. Wind is by no means a constant resource and so in addition to wind energy, Bord Gais Energy has a rapidly growing electricity generation portfolio with a number of strategic investments in tidal, ocean and micro-generation companies, as well as in R&D in biogas and smart metering. Also on the agenda of the Assets division is the development of an open-cycle gas turbine power generating plant. Another project with great potential for the future is the generation of biogases. Bord Gais Energy is funding research into the potential for the commercial development of biomethane to the same standard as natural gas. I



Flood Risk Management at the Office of Public Works (Continued from page 9) associated Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) that set out the measures and policies that should be pursued by the OPW, the Local Authorities and other stakeholders to achieve the most cost effective and sustainable management of flood risk within the catchment.1 A national programme of catchment flood risk assessment and management (CFRAM) Studies has been commissioned by the OPW. The OPW has appointed engineering consultants to 6 river basin districts. There is further information available to the public on www.cfram.ie. In 2007, the EU ‘Floods’ Directive came into force, requiring Member States to: – Undertake a Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment (PFRA) by 22 December 2011, to identify areas of existing or foreseeable future potentially significant flood risk (referred to as ‘Areas for Further Assessment, or ‘AFA’s) – Prepare flood hazard and risk maps for the AFAs by 22 December 2013, and, – Prepare flood risk management plans by 22

December 2015, setting objectives for managing the flood risk within the AFAs and setting out a prioritised set of measures for achieving those objectives. The public consultation stage of the Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment was concluded on 1st November 2011. Comments and observations received were assessed and the OPW completed the process and reported to the EU Commission by the date set out in the Directive. The CFRAM programme is a major undertaking in assessing the national flood risk. For example the outputs from the first pilot on the River Lee includes: – The production of over 1,100 flood maps showing flood extents, flood depths and flood velocities. – Some 250km of channel surveys and over 275 square km of detailed 3D floodplain models (DTM). – Development of 9 detailed hydraulic computer models of the river and its tributaries. – Production of an Inception Report, Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) scoping & final Reports, Hydrology Report, and Hydraulics Report. Where the flood extent maps identify important infrastructure at risk from severe flood events, it will allow the infrastructure owners to put protection plans and measures in place to prevent damage or to reduce the impact on the infrastructure when a severe flood event occurs. Assessment and management of co astal flood risk are also incorporated in CFRAM programme. Major Capital Works Programme To address existing areas at risk from flooding, OPW is continuing with its capital flood relief activities, in which more than Eur218 million has been invested in the last ten years. This has resulted in the com-

pletion of several flood relief schemes throughout the State, which have brought much needed relief and peace of mind to residents and business owners in those areas. Under the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Medium Term Exchequer Framework 2012-2016 the Government has allocated Eur45 million per annum for flood risk management. In addition, a separate allocation is made on the current expenditure side for maintenance by the OPW of schemes completed under the Arterial Drainage Acts. Eur17 million has been provided in 2012 for this maintenance work in addition to the Eur45 million capital allocation. Minor Capital Works Programme The Minor Flood Mitigation Works & Coastal Protection Scheme was introduced by OPW in 2009 to provide funding for works costing up to Eur500,000 to local authorities to undertake measures to address small-scale localised flooding problems within their administrative areas, for which straightforward solutions can be identified and implemented within a short time-frame. The Scheme complements the range of other ongoing OPW programmes, including carrying out major flood relief schemes, and flood studies, that are aimed at managing national flood risk in a proactive and comprehensive way into the future. Since the Scheme’s introduction in 2009, OPW has approved funding of over Eur25 million in respect of over 350 projects across the country. The Scheme has continued in 2012, and this year to date funding of over Eur2 million has been allocated to local authorities.




Major Improvement in Landfill Operational Standards The regulation of landfills by the EPA has resulted in significant improvement in landfill operational standards. y July 2009 (the latest date for compliance with Landfill Directive requirements), all open MSW landfills were landfilling in lined cells, collecting leachate, undertaking extensive environmental monitoring, operating a weighbridge and maintaining records of waste accepted. In addition, virtually all open MSW landfills were flaring/utilising landfill gas.


Compliance Assessment Compliance with legislation is assessed by the EPA through the completion of site inspections and audits and monitoring of both emissions and the quality of the environment. Where necessary to secure compliance, enforcement actions are taken which may include the issue of notices of non-compliance and prosecutions. Regulation of landfills and enforcement of licence conditions and waste legislation, coupled with consolidation of the landfill sector has led to positive environmental outcomes.

The EPA reviews landfill licences to address the requirement under the Landfill Directive to reduce landfilling of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) to 50% and 35% of 1995 levels by 16/07/2013 and 16/07/2016 respectively. Landfill of BMW in 2008 was found to be 280,000 tonnes over the 2010 Landfill Directive limit. The reviews are also addressing odour management issues identified as part of EPA audits. The EPA has identified seven priorities for the landfill sector. These are:

Diversion of BMW Almost 1.2 million tonnes of BMW were landfilled in 2008. In line with EU Directive requirements this needs to reduce to 0.610 million tonnes in 2013 and 0.427 million tonnes in 2016. Increased diversion will require that landfill operators gain an understanding of and control the BMW content of waste accepted to landfill, the provision of capacity for treatment of BMW and priority enforcement by Regulators. Landfill Gas Landfill gas is a source of greenhouse gas (methane) and poses other environmental risks if not managed properly. Landfill operators must ensure that landfill gas is collected and used to produce energy or flared and avoid causing harm or nuisance off-site. In this regard, there appears to be greater scope to use landfill gas to produce energy and operators should pursue this. Landfill gas is also odorous and accounted for 71% of all complaints in relation to licensed facilities in 2009. Landfill operators should implement odour management plans to provide for comprehensive control of odour. The EPA has engaged in significant enforcement in relation to this issue and continues to prioritise it. Environmental Liabilities and Financial Provision Significant financial provision is required to fund future closure, restoration and aftercare costs at landfills which continue to pose an environmental risk after closure. This challenge becomes even greater against a backdrop of declining revenues at landfills in recent years. Landfill operators must ensure that plans and financial provision are in place for closure/aftercare. Cover and Capping Cover and capping of landfilled waste are critical to the successful prevention of nui-

sance and control of landfill gas and leachate. Although cover was applied at all landfills in 2008, EPA surveys have found that it was applied correctly in only 50% of cases and operators need to address this in accordance with EPA guidance. Leachate Management Landfill leachate poses an environmental risk to ground and surface water if not properly controlled. The licensing of urban wastewater treatment plants by the EPA may limit leachate treatment capacity at urban wastewater treatment plants and landfill operators need to be aware of and plan for this. The EPA has observed reoccurring failures to maintain leachate levels less than the maximum 1m above the base of landfills and landfill operators must take measures to strictly comply with this requirement. Waste Acceptance Robust waste acceptance procedures are required to ensure that waste is disposed of in the correct class of landfill (inert, non-hazardous or hazardous). Gypsum waste, for example, deposited with organic waste can break down into hydrogen sulphide gas, which is colourless, odorous, toxic and flammable. The waste sector needs to take measures to prevent disposal of gypsum waste with organic waste. Significant measures are already in place to address some of these priorities. Future EPA reports will assess the progress or otherwise of implementing these actions and in addressing the priorities. I




Simple Steps For Energy Management arren Maher, product manager of LV D products and systems at Schneider Electric, offers advice on easy yet effective energy management. Energy management is continually evolving and thus requires complete and constant engagement; it isn’t a case of simply applying new technologies or processes and hoping for the best. In order to achieve tangible results it is imperative to constantly assess the impact of energy saving methods and in doing so, observe any additional savings achieved which can be used to pay for further investment. To place this into context, statistics show that by not maintaining an energy management programme, reductions in consumption and therefore fuel bills, can increase by up to eight per cent on any savings already made. This becomes even more relevant

given that on average major companies have been faced with a 21 per cent rise in their average bill since the end of 2010. Therefore the onus is on the user to take an acute, dedicated approach. With this in mind, Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, has broken energy management down into four simple steps, with businesses able to use the results achieved at each stage to pay for the next part of the cycle. These consist of: ‘Measure, Fix the Basics, Automate and Monitor and Improve’. The first basic principle, measurement, is perhaps the most vital. Before jumping in

at the deep end with sustainable technologies, it is vital to first gain a full understanding of existing energy commitments to understand the current situation. The second step involves a focus on engagement to encourage simple behavioural changes which can often make a massive difference. The third step involves the use of automation, where businesses can reduce their reliance on human participation, whilst optimising energy efficiencies. The fourth and final step is to monitor, maintain and improve by continuously assessing energy consumption and patterns of usage. Energy efficiency is a constant and thus requires a constant approach. Only in this way is it possible to ensure that, when it comes to the energy management cycle, businesses remain firmly in the fast lane. For further information on effective energy management solutions go to: www. schneider-electric.co.uk. I


Omex Extends Magmex Range With New Patented Product ew Magmex 1060 grade from Omex N Environmental is a combined magnesium/calcium hydroxide suspension product which incorporates a formulation for treatment applications where higher alkalinity levels are required to enhance metal precipitation. The 60% solids-based product is manufactured under carefully controlled conditions in a patented process. This produces a low viscosity product that combines the safe and effective neutralisation properties of magnesia with the increased pH levels provided by the lime content. The result is a new Magmex suspension grade that maximises neutralisation efficiency in the treatment of acidic wastewaters and control of pH levels in both anaerobic 30

and aerobic systems. With three grades of Magmex manufactured as concentrated aqueous, Omex has the capability to meet different customer needs, storage requirements and applications. For large scale applications, requiring accurate pH neutralisation and low volumes of precipitated sludge, Magmex 740 is the standard formulation while for smaller scale operations where longer term storage in IBCs is required without the need for agitation, a magnesium hydroxide suspension Magmex 706 - is available. Concentrated magnesium hydroxide suspensions have been developed as an environmentally friendly solution for wastewater neutralisation applications. This safe,

easy to handle and control material overcomes many of the problems associated with the use of traditional acid neutralisers such as caustic soda or lime. Call 01553 770092 or email environmental@omex.com or visit www.omex.co.uk. I





Northern Ireland Wind Energy Deal Wind energy company Simple Power and Northern Ireland’s biggest electricity retailer Power NI have announced a working partnership which sees the electricity company purchase power generated by Simple Power’s single wind turbines across Northern Ireland. The contract term extends for fifteen years. In a first-of-its-kind partnership for a medium wind energy company in Northern Ireland, Simple Power will generate 50 megawatts of clean, renewable electricity for distribution by Power NI – enough to power the equivalent of around 50,000 homes. The Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) framework covers all of Simple Power’s 200 medium scale

Pictured are: Stephen McCully, managing director of Power NI, and Paul Carson, founder and chief executive of Simple Power.


enabling it to supply 30 per cent of its energy from on-site renewable sources.

Sainsbury’s Now the Largest Solar Panel Operator in the UK and Europe Supermarket group Sainsbury's has installed 69,500 new photovoltaic solar panels, or 16 MW of power, across 169 stores in the UK. The significant investment means collectively Sainsbury's supermarkets currently host the largest solar array in the UK and Europe. The solar power will reduce Sainsbury's total CO2 emissions by an estimated 6,800 tonnes per year, and each store's energy consumption as well as delivering energy cost savings. The retailer worked closely with solar manufacturing and installation businesses to make the contract viable, and find the most efficient and cost-effective way to execute the project across its store estate. Justin King, chief executive of Sainsbury’s, says: “We already produce far more solar power than most commercial solar farms. We believe the retail sector should take another look at solar energy as a viable way to reduce its impact on the envi-

single wind turbines which it is installing across Northern Ireland over the next five years and represents a major milestone for wind energy in the region. “Our power purchase agreement with Power NI helps towards Northern Ireland’s renewable energy target of 40% by 2020,” says Paul Carson, chief executive of Simple Power. “Our partnership with Power NI not only meets demands for Northern Ireland’s renewable energy generation now and in the future, it is also benefiting the local economy by creating a strong local workforce to support this new green economy.”


ronment. Supermarkets have the equivalent of football fields on their roofs, many of them underutilised. It's a perfect time to turn that space into something positive.” The investment in onsite renewable energy technologies is part of Sainsbury's ambitious corporate target to reduce its operational carbon emissions by 30% absolute and 65% relative by 2020 compared with 2005. This is part of a broader target of an absolute carbon reduction of 50% by 2030. As well as solar panels Sainsbury's has installed over 40 biomass boilers and has recently announced the roll out of an innovative geothermal heat pump technology at up to 100 stores, tapping renewable energy from deep underground to provide heating and hot water. It follows Sainsbury's successful world-first use of geothermal technology at its Crayford store,

GT Energy to Deliver UK’s Largest Geothermal Heating Project Plans to tap into the heat that occurs naturally underground and establish the UK’s largest deep-geothermal heat plant have been unveiled by developer GT Energy. The project will tap into one of the UK’s largest geothermal resources, located beneath Manchester called the Cheshire Basin. This natural energy reservoir equates to the heating consumption of approximately 7 million homes. The proposed development is also expected to generate ‘green economy’ skills and jobs in the region and will support the development of a low carbon economic zone. With plans to develop 500MW of capacity of the UK’s estimated 100,000MWth potential, GT Energy has set itself a strategic goal of becoming the UK’s primary provider of renewable heat energy. The company already has a number of projects


underway in the UK and Ireland, including planning permission for a geothermal electricity generation plant in a Dublin suburb. GT Energy is due to announce a range of further investments in the coming months including another four projects.

Padraig Hanly, managing director of GT Energy.


UK AD Sector Could Expand by More Than 800% in Next 8 Years Anaerobic digestion plants that 31




Bus Eireann Pilots Ireland’s First Ever Natural Gas-powered Bus Bus Eireann is trialing the country’s first natural gas-powered bus in a move that may help reduce fuel costs and benefit the environment. The natural gaspowered city bus is operating across a number of city routes in Cork in a trial that will examine the potential fuel and emission savings from the vehicle, as well as its operational performance. The trial is being undertaken in partnership with Bord Gais Networks. The use of natural gas-powered buses results in significantly improved air quality in cities. Studies have shown that they reduce emissions such as nitrogen oxides, sulphur and soot, which affect health (especially heart and respiratory systems). Natural gas-powered buses also provide significant savings in fuel costs. In some European cities, reductions of up to 50 per cent in fuel costs are achieved compared to diesel. Natural gas-powered buses are an established technology with over 320,000 natural gas-powered buses in operation globally in cities such as New York, Madrid, Verona and Barcelona. In addition, there are over 14.5 million natural gas vehicles (NGVs) being used worldwide. Following the completion of the trial, Bus Eireann will evaluate the performance of the vehicle and if it proves successful, the company will look to purchase gas-powered vehicles for use on publicly subvented services subject to funding being available.

turn waste and purpose grown crops into energy have the potential to power more than 2.5 million UK homes by 2020, a new report by CentreForum suggests. Yet the think tank warns that this vision will only be realised if certain barriers to sector growth and development are removed. The report 'Hit the gas' sets out a number of advantages to expanding the anaerobic digestion sector. It praises anaerobic digestion for generating a multi purpose biogas that is easy to transport and store, and for diverting food waste from landfill. Anaerobic digestion currently produces around 1.3 TWh of energy in the UK - enough to 32

power 300,000 homes. CentreForum believes that the sector can expand by more than 800 per cent (11 TWh or 2.5 million homes) over the next eight years if the recommendations of its report are followed. Report co-author Quen tin Maxwell-Jackson comments: “Anaerobic digestion technology has so many clear advantages over other waste treatment and energy generation options that it is very surprising it has not taken off in a big way yet in the UK. But that is because trying to get an anaerobic digestion scheme up and running at the moment is like trying to win a cycle race with the brakes on.” The report's other author Thomas Brooks adds: “There are some simple things government can do to release the brakes on anaerobic digestion. For instance, simply banning organic waste to landfill in England, as they are already planning to do in Scotland, would give anaerobic digestion a huge boost.”


The Minister for Public and Commuter Transport, Alan Kelly TD pictured alongside Alan Connolly and Maeve Cashman, both aged 10 from Blackrock in Cork, launching Bus Eireann's trial of the country's first natural gas-powered bus.


ITW Chooses Electric Ireland For New Green Energy Contract

all utilities in a business. It is a software package that enables businesses to optimise their energy usage and reduce costs through identifying and cutting out unnecessary wastage and redistributing energy. Operating in real time, Energytracked can be configured in a number of different ways as a web based system, client server system or as a multi-site or standalone system. Energytracked makes energy efficiency accessible and simple and offers companies the benefit of a better understanding of their energy costs.

ITW Hi-Cone has chosen Electric Ireland, part of ESB, to supply ‘green energy’ generated from 100% renewable sources to its Cork-based manufacturing facility. The 12-month contract, which will see Electric Ireland deliver 3GWh of energy to Hi-Cone’s site, is valued at approximately Eur400,000. The company also plans to utilise Electric Ireland’s Energytracked Energy Monit oring and Manage ment System to help deliver energy savings. Hi-Cone is a leading supplier of plastic-based multipackaging systems for global beer, soft drink and general products industries. Energytracked is Kieran Savage, senior customer relationship a flexible energy manager, business markets, Electric Ireland, and management solu- David Brophy, European manager, manufacturing, tion for monitoring service & technical, ITW Hi-Cone.