A major focus for Ireland over the course of the next 10 years, leading to 2030, is to transform its energy sector by increasing reliance on renewables from 30% to 70%. This ambitious target has been recently stated in the All Government Action Plan, Ireland’s roadmap to achieving its 2030 carbon reduction target. To achieve this target, the energy sector will have to operate in an innovative, imaginative and collaborative manner. Energia have most certainly ticked all these boxes with the development of their new Bioenergy Plant.
The Bioenergy Plant, located beside the company’s existing two major power stations at Huntstown in north Dublin, will begin full operation by the end of 2019 and will generate 4.8 Megawatts of electricity per hour. Work is underway to connect the new plant to the national grid’s electricity distribution system.
The plant will use anaerobic digestion to convert organic waste such as food waste, into methane rich biogas which will then be used to generate renewable electricity. Elements of the material remaining after the process can be used as organic fertiliser for crops and gardens. When fully operational, it will be one of the largest anaerobic digestion plants on the island of Ireland. The project supports Energia’s ambition to be the leading producer of bioenergy in the all-island energy market.
Energia have already partnered with Panda, a leading and long-established waste management company in Ireland. The processing agreement, which will see 70,000 tonnes of Panda’s organic waste annually pass through the plant, will represent 70% of the overall capacity of the Huntstown plant, and there is further potential to increase the intake of organic waste to provide even more renewable energy to communities across Dublin.
The Bioenergy Plant is just one part of Energia’s Positive Energy strategy and contributes to their overall renewable energy portfolio. Energia already supplies approximately 21% of Ireland’s total wind power from 22 wind farms across the island of Ireland. All of this has allowed Energia to provide their customers with electrical energy that it is 100% renewable for the past 5 years.
To date Energia has invested over €1 billion in the energy market across the island of Ireland. Energia’s new Huntstown Bioenergy Plant is indicative of their continued commitment to the development of green and renewable energy sources for the communities that they serve.
Wind power alone will not deliver Ireland’s renewable energy generation target of 70% renewables on the grid by 2030. It will take many innovative initiatives such as Energia’s Bioenergy Plant, all working together to meet Ireland’s renewable targets. More projects and initiatives like Energia’s are required and we look forward to seeing what is next in the space of energy innovation.