and this situation will only escalate. Woodchip and woody biomass is to be utilised by power stations such as Edenderry and Lanesborough. Further, there are numerous CHP facilities that will require volumes of woody biomass to meet their demands. Current demand is in the region of 500,000 cubic metres with an expectation of a 2 milion cubic metre demand by 2025.
Power stations under pressure to reduce their dependence upon fossil fuels will be the main driver for this move to renewable fuels such as woody biomass. Currently, their planning licences stipulate that there must be a sigbificant decrease in their usage of peat if they are to be allowed continue. Bord Na mona (BNM) are exploring ways they can offset their usage of peat and will be excellent client outlet for biomass material potentially.
With the proposed introduction of Rnewable Heat Incentives (RHI's) in early 2018, numerous cHP plants are likely to develop across the country with a demand for biomass to fuel their operation. This will mean that Poplar plantations will be strategically located no matter where they are planted.
To provide for this woody biomass a number of routes need to be pursued. Thinning within the private estate of commercial Sitka Spruce will satisfy a large quantity but the shortfall will need to be made up. To reduce the dependence on importing fuels from international suppliers, a more sustainable source generated locally is required - this is where Poplar can become influential in the Irish energy market.
With growth yields of up to 40 m3/ Ha/ annum in the most suitable lands, and a short rotation length of 5 years, Poplar provides a realistic, sustainable and lucrative solution.
Green Belt are working with clones specifically suited to Irish soils and climate to generate the highest yield for biomass and have already established very succesful plantations that are available for viewing (through appointment).
Contact us today to learn more and see if your land is suitable to be part of the solution.