Wood fuelled heating systems - Opportunities and Challenges

Dublin 04 October 2007: With the challenge of sustainability being addressed in a number of sectors of the construction industry currently, the Timber Sector Training Initiative in Dublin Institute of Technology organised an executive seminar this week to look at the opportunities and challenges presented by wood-fuelled hearing systems. According to David Kirk, DIT, who chaired the seminar, 'Sustainability is now a key element of our decision making process and highlights the need for significant changes in our environmental, economic and social behaviour. With almost half of the energy-related CO2 emissions being accounted for by energy use in buildings, alternatively fuelled heating systems have attracted considerable attention at national, European and international level.'

The seminar heard that there has been a re-emergence of wood as a fuel in the drive towards renewable energy systems, resulting in many interesting opportunities and challenges in terms of design, scope and fuel supply for wood-fuelled heating systems. The contributions, from the different perspectives of the speakers, served to stimulate discussion on the future potential of such systems in Irish building.

Speakers at the seminar included (l to r) David Kirk, Head of Innovation and Industry Services, DIT; Brian O'Mahony, Programme Manager for Sustainable Energy Ireland's Greener Homes Scheme; Mary Ryan, a Forestry Specialist with Teagasc and joint manager of the Co. Clare Wood Energy Project; Ross Rabette, an engineer with Clearpower, working on the design and business development of wood-fired boilers in the commercial range; and Peter Cafferkey.

The seminar was attended by representatives from industry, architecture and the public sector. The Timber Sector Training Initiative was launched by DIT in 2002 with the financial assistance of the Forest Service. Its aim is to assist the Irish timber and furniture industries and associated professions of architecture and engineering to further their knowledge and skills in the area, and it has supported training, knowledge transfer and promotion of the use of Irish timber.

Éidin Finlay, DIT at the Seminar Registration desk, RDS

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