Enterprise opportunities in the wood energy sector

WDC invites entrepreneurs and community development organisations to workshop

The Western Development Commission (WDC) will host a wood energy workshop for entrepreneurs, business people and organisations working in community and local development on December 3rd in the Claregalway Hotel.

The workshop will discuss wood energy enterprise opportunities and the main factors affecting the development of the sector, and present the findings of two related projects which the WDC has just completed.

“The workshop will be of interest to local communities, LEADER companies, cooperatives and local authorities to learn how they can exploit the opportunities and benefit from the sector, while entrepreneurs and businesspeople can also hear successful examples of new wood energy businesses and learn about the role of public agencies,” said Gillian Buckley, WDC Chief Executive.

“If the Western Region develops a vibrant wood energy sector it will help stimulate rural development and create jobs, so the timing of the workshop is opportune. The region’s employment structure is vulnerable; there has been a 59% increase in the Live Register in the past 12 months; and the increase for males has been higher at 72%. The region’s wood resources present new enterprise and job opportunities,” she added.

Ian Brannigan, Development Manager at the WDC said,”The workshop is part of our work to develop the renewable energy sector. This is an area that plays to the region’s natural strengths. Our research estimates that, by 2020, using wood to produce heat energy could be worth an additional €15 million per annum to the economy, create up to 900 additional jobs in rural areas and provide €1.7 million each year to the West’s farming sector. Additionally the estimated CO2 emissions saved annually would equate to taking over 92,000 cars off our roads.”

The wood energy market in Ireland is relatively underdeveloped compared to international levels. However the Western Region has a huge opportunity to exploit the renewable resource as it has 40% of Ireland’s wood resources. The West could develop an indigenous, sustainable, renewable energy resource delivering 11% of the regions’ heat needs by 2020.

Bernadette Phelan, Regional Development Executive at the WDC said, “Previous research that we conducted found that, by 2020 the Western Region has the potential to supply over 470,000 tonnes of wood fuel each year, enough to heat more than 800 medium to large scale heat users such as hospitals, hotels, swimming pools, care homes and large office blocks. The workshop will present the findings of work that the WDC has conducted in partnership with Donegal County Council and Údarás na Gaeltachta. We will also launch two information booklets at the workshop; Wood Energy and Community Enterprise: A Guide and Wood Energy and Local Authorities: Donegal Case Study.”

Teagasc, the Irish Bioenergy Association, the National Council for Forest Research and Development (COFORD) and Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) will exhibit at the workshop and their staff will be available to deal with queries.

Attendance is free of charge but places are limited so people should contact Mary Keaveney at 094 986 1441 marykeaveney@wdc.ie by November 27th.

 

Deiseanna fiontraíochta san earnáil fuinneamh adhmaid

– Tugann an WDC cuireadh do fhiontraithe agus d’eagraíochtaí forbartha pobail teacht chuig ceardlann

 Beidh Coimisiún Forbartha an Iarthair (WDC) ina óstach ar cheardlann fuinneamh adhmaid do fhiontraithe, don phobal gnó agus d’eagraíochtaí a oibríonn i bhforbairt pobail agus áitiúil a bheidh ar siúl sa Claregalway Hotel ar an 3 Nollaig.

 Ag an gceardlann déanfar plé ar dheiseanna fiontraíochta a bhaineann le fuinneamh adhmaid agus ar na fachtóirí príomhúla a théann i gcion ar fhorbairt na hearnála seo, agus cuirfear i láthair torthaí dhá thionscadal ghaolmhara a chríochnaigh an WDC le deireanas.

 “Beidh spéis ag pobail áitiúla, cuideachtaí LEADER, comharchumainn agus údaráis áitiúla sa cheardlann, mar tabharfaidh sí deis dóibh foghlaim faoi conas is féidir leo leas a bhaint as na deiseanna agus tairbhe a bhaint as an earnáil. Lena chois sin, cloisfidh fiontraithe agus an pobal gnó faoi ghnóthaí nua rathúla a oibríonn sa réimse fuinneamh adhmaid agus foghlaimeoidh siad faoi ról na ngníomhaireachtaí poiblí,” arsa Gillian Buckley, Príomhfheidhmeannach an WDC.

 Dúirt sí freisin, “Má fhorbraítear earnáil fuinneamh adhmaid bheogach i Réigiún an Iarthair, cabhróidh sé le forbairt tuaithe a spreagadh agus le poist a chruthú, agus mar sin tá an cheardlann seo thar a bheith tráthúil. Tá struchtúr fostaíochta an réigiúin leochaileach; tháinig méadú 59% ar líon na ndaoine ar an mBeo-Chlár le 12 mhí anuas; bhí méadú níos mó de 72% i gceist i measc fear. Cuireann acmhainní adhmaid an réigiúin deiseanna nua fiontraíochta agus fostaíochta ar fáil.”

 Dúirt Ian Brannigan, Bainisteoir Forbartha leis an WDC, “Tá an cheardlann seo ina cuid dár gcuid oibre chun earnáil an fhuinnimh in athnuaite a fhorbairt. Is réimse é seo a oireann do láidreachtaí nádúrtha an réigiúin. Dá n-úsáidfí adhmad chun fuinneamh teasa a ghiniúint, measann ár dtaighde go mbeadh €15 mhilliún breise in aghaidh na bliana i gceist don gheilleagar, go bhféadfaí suas le 900 post breise a chruthú i gceantair tuaithe agus go bhféadfaí €1.7 milliún a sholáthar d’earnáil talmhaíochta an Iarthair gach bliain faoin mbliain 2020. Lena chois sin, bheadh na hastuithe CO2 measta a shábhálfaí in aghaidh na bliana cothrom le níos mó ná 92,000 gluaisteán a bhaint de na bóithre.”

 Tá margadh an fhuinnimh adhmaid in Éireann neamhfhorbartha i gcomparáid le leibhéil idirnáisiúnta. Mar sin féin, tá deis iontach ag Réigiún an Iarthair an acmhainn in-athnuaite a shaothrú mar tá 40% d’acmhainní adhmaid na hÉireann sa réigiún sin. D’fhéadfadh Réigiún an Iarthair acmhainn fuinnimh dhúchasach, inbhuanaithe, in-athnuaite a fhorbairt a sholáthródh 11% de riachtanais teasa an réigiúin faoi 2020.

 Dúirt Bernadette Phelan, Feidhmeannach Forbartha Réigiúnaí leis an WDC, “Léiríonn taighde a rinneamar roimhe seo go bhfuil ar chumas Réigiún an Iarthair níos mó ná 470,000 tonna de bhreosla adhmaid a sholáthar gach bliain faoi 2020, méid breosla atá mór go leor le teas a sholáthar do 800 úsáideoir teasa ar an meánscála agus ar an mórscála cosúil le hospidéil, óstáin, linnte snámha, bailte cúraim agus ceapa móra oifigí. Ag an gceardlann cuirfear i láthair torthaí na hoibre atá déanta ag an WDC i gcomhpháirtíocht le Comhairle Contae Dhún na nGall agus Údarás na Gaeltachta. Seolfaimid dhá leabhrán eolais ag an gceardlann freisin: Wood Energy and Community Enterprise: A Guide agus Wood Energy and Local Authorities: Donegal Case Study.”

 Beidh taispeántais ag Teagasc, Cumann Bithfhuinnimh na hÉireann, an Chomhairle Náisiúnta um Thaighde agus Forbairt Foraoise (COFORD) agus Fuinneamh Inmharthana Éireann (SEI) ag an gceardlann agus beidh baill foirne dá gcuid ann chun déileáil le fiosrúcháin.

 Tá cead isteach saor in aisce, ach tá líon teoranta spásanna ar fáil; mar sin, ba chóir do dhaoine teagmháil a dhéanamh le Mary Keaveney ar 094 986 1441 marykeaveney@wdc.ie faoin 27 Samhain.