This map covers many of our existing bioenergy resources, current bioenergy demands and the suitability, expansion potential and sustainability of these resources.

Background

We hope that this map and the set of tools attached will be highly useful. They aim to help develop a strong and vibrant bioenergy industry in Ireland.

Bioenergy is the conversion of captured sunlight in the form of plant and animal material into useful energy. This energy could be in the form of heat, electricity or transport. It is a renewable energy and as such helps to reduce carbon emissions.

Some of the more commonly used material used to generate bioenergy include:

  • forestry residues
  • purpose grown energy crops (e.g. Miscanthus)
  • agricultural residues (e.g. animal slurries; straw)
  • biodegradable fractions of municipal solid waste.

These materials are converted into energy directly (using combustion), or indirectly through formation of methane or transport fuels. These are then used to provide energy.

What you will find in this map

Biomass demand

Renewable Heat

The Renewable Heat (ReHeat) Deployment Programme was launched in March 2007 and closed in 2011. It provided assistance for the deployment of renewable heating systems in industrial, commercial, public and community premises in Ireland. The points on the map show the installation locations.

Industrial biomass users

The points on the map show only industrial biomass energy production outside of the ReHeat scheme.

Waste data 

Anaerobic digestion water water treatment plants (WWTP)

This dataset shows waste water treatment plants that use anaerobic digestion as the stabilisation method. Outputs from this process can be used in cultivating the bioenergy crop Willow in a process known as biofiltration.

Forestry datasets 

Forestry by species

This dataset takes the forestry 07 dataset and symbolises by tree type.

Forestry ownership

This dataset takes the forestry 07 dataset and symbolises by ownership. Forestry parcels are symbolised either public or private.

Suitability grids

These four datasets on our map show the suitability of land in Ireland to support a bioenergy crop:

  • Miscanthus
  • Oilseed Rape
  • Reed Canary Grass
  • SRC Willow

The country has been divided into 50x50m grid squares. Each grid square has been assigned into one of five categories:

  • High suitability
  • Medium suitability
  • Low suitability
  • Unsuitable
  • Unavailable.

An unavailable square has been applied for a number of reasons. These include existing utility installation, protected area, urban areas and existing forestry.

Factors modelled in this system are aspect, height, slope, rainfall and soil type. The darker the green the more suitable the area is to grow a bioenergy crop.

Bioenergy crop tool

Use the tool to draw a polygon on the map. Information is returned on the energy crop tool data for the area. This indicates the suitability of that area of land to support a bioenergy crop. This basically provides the results of the suitability grid for a specific area of your choosing.

Future improvements/additions

We plan to include a Transmission Gas Grid layer.

Visit the bioenergy map

Reports

You can find various reports on our bioenergy page.