The culmination of Ireland’s contribution to the REGATRACE programme, will be marked on 1 June 2022, by the publication of the shared Vision and Roadmap for AD Biomethane Production in Ireland. This event will also provide insight to the latest policy developments and public / private initiatives relevant to progressing sustainable AD biomethane production here. It will be held in person, hosted by RGFI, with contributions from government officials, industry and academia.

Europe’s raised ambition for biomethane production and fresh concerns for energy security and pricing, as well as climate change, open up new possibilities for Ireland that will be explored in a panel discussion on the EC  “REPower EU” plan and the keenly awaited Irish Government Renewable Heat Obligation Scheme – essential to bridge the funding gap.

Collaboration and capacity building are central themes, with a special emphasis on public private collaboration. Teagasc, Ireland’s Agriculture and Food Development Authority, is developing one of its main research centres and demonstration sites, at Grange in County Meath, as a centre of excellence for farm based biomethane production. This engagement is particularly important as Teagasc is the national body providing integrated research, advisory and training services to the agriculture and food industry and rural communities.

There is a growing recognition in Ireland of the broad scope for circular economy opportunities aligned with biomethane production. RGFI, through Board member, Dr James McGreer, has been contributing to the production of the EBA White Paper on Biogenic CO2. Dr McGreer chairs the EBA Biogenic CO2 working group and this event will provide a preview  of the document, due to be published in June.

While the agri-food industry and the requirement to decarbonise industry’s thermal processes,  remains high on the agenda in Ireland, the biomethane opportunities for the transport sector are also evident and transport will be well represented at the REGATRACE event.

Ireland’s Department of Transport has issued a public consultation on its Renewable Fuels for Transport Policy.  This includes implementation of the transport elements of the recast Renewable Energy Directives (‘REDII’) and consideration of the EU fit for 55 proposals.

Input is sought on several questions relevant to biomethane and hydrogen production,  including the scope of the policy, the level of renewable energy in the transport sector in 2030, the trajectory to that point, methods of meeting an increased obligation, the introduction of an additional obligation for advanced biofuels, technical challenges, cost impacts and the move to an energy basis for calculating the obligation.