BioPAD Officially Launched

The BioPAD project was officially launched last week during a conference and dissemination event in Ireland. The event was hosted at the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny, County Donegal, and was well attended by a broad range of people interested in the use of bioenergy and development of this sector.

The official launch took place in the afternoon with Mr Joe McHugh, T.D of Donegal North-East, a member of the Irish Parliament, providing an insightful speech regarding the place and associated benefits of bioenergy within the national mix of fuels.

Joe McHugh, T.D. of Donegal North-East officially launching the BioPAD project

It was a busy day, with the first BioPAD dissemination event taking place before the launch. The chair of the conference, Dr Helen McHenry, opened the event and introduced Ian Brannigan from Western Development Commission who outlined work undertaken within the RASRLES project and future plans of BioPAD in developing and stimulating the bioenergy market.

Michael Doran from Action Renewables outlined the work and involvement of BioPAD regarding policy actions driving the development of bioenergy. This is a key area of the project, which will involve working with all those interested in working with BioPAD to influence bioenergy policy.

Another key aspect of BioPAD was presented by Robert Prinz from the Finnish Forest Institute, Metla, Finland. This work is focussed on understanding bioenergy supply chains using a structured approach, and will use case studies from Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Finland, and Scotland.

BioPAD was delighted to be able to invite talks from its network of contacts and associate partners for the following session. This began with Michael Ó hÉanaigh, Director of Services, Donegal County Council who spoke of the approach of the local government in developing bioenergy in Donegal. Merja Rautiainen from Measurepolis followed by outlining bioenergy and measurement technology development in the Kainuu region of Finland, and Stephen Hynes from the Irish Bioenergy Association rounded of the session by outlining the development of bioenergy from anaerobic digestion and its future potential in Ireland.

Presentations were made regarding the case studies integral to the work of BioPAD on developing an understanding of bioenergy supply chains. John Jackson, Chairperson of Donegal Woodland Owners Society, discussed their cooperative model to supplying heat from local wood, which was followed by talks by BioPAD members Dr Neil James and Mikko Nivala. Neil presented the case studies in the Highlands and Islands in Scotland which has triumphed over adversity, and Mikko spoke on the successful way in which Finland use wood biomass, the potential for increased use of smaller boilers, and the ways in which others can learn for Finnish examples. The talks were all wrapped up by Dr Kenny Boyd, who outlined the importance interested parties getting involved with the BioPAD project and detailed the ways in which they can do so.

This left only the official launch to take place, which began with Paddy McGuiness, Chairperson of Western Development Commission, to give brief overview of the project and introduce Joe McHugh T.D. The successful and packed day was wrapped up by Dr Helen McHenry who gave thanks to all those involved in the BioPAD, from council members, community groups, partners and associate partners, and all other stakeholders in the bioenergy sector, all of which are integral to the future success of the project.

Partners, associate partners, and stakeholders involved with BioPAD

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About biopadblog

Developing a local bioenergy market can provide significant opportunities for rural and remote areas, by improving security of energy supply, contributing to a reduction in CO2 emissions and stimulating the local economy by creating jobs and keeping payments for energy within the local community. A new project, BioPAD (Bioenergy Proliferation and Deployment), which targets the Northern Periphery of Europe, aims to ensure that bioenergy becomes more widely used and that awareness of the opportunities it provides are increased. The project will help the development of bioenergy and improve our understanding of the links between supply and demand by looking at supply chains for a variety of bioenergy fuels and different ways of converting these fuels into sustainable energy. Understanding the supply chains and the ways bioenergy moves from fuel source to energy provision will help the establishment of robust and efficient supply services which can match local demand. BioPAD is led by the Western Development Commission www.wdc.ie (Ireland) and is funded under the ERDF Interreg IVB Northern Periphery Programme (NPP) http://www.northernperiphery.eu
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