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Name / Title

County Clare Wood Energy Project

Case Study Region

West of Ireland Region

Geographical coverage

County Clare and West of Ireland




Main activity / focus


The purpose of the County Clare Wood Energy Project is to support the establishment of a commercially viable wood energy sector in the county, based on wood chip from local farm forestry thinnings.  The project aimed to develop the demand for wood energy and establish a local wood chip supply chain from farm forests.


Target beneficiaries / market


The project aims to benefit the local economy by reaching national Bioenergy targets set by the government in 2007, which will allow up to 171 local people to be sustainably employed in the wood energy sector in 2020.  The contribution of the wood energy project to the Clare economy by 2020 is estimated at €9.8m per annum.

The project also suggests that reducing our carbon footprint is becoming an important strategic goal for the commercial industrial and public sectors.  Wood fuel heating emits the least CO2 per unit of energy supplied of any energy technology. The financial value of CO2 saving by 2020 in Clare from using wood chip are conservatively at €1.53m per annum.

Year established


Current Funding source(s)

Forest Service and Teagasc.


Partners include local forest owners, the Irish Forestry Contractors Association, Forest Services of the Department of Agriculture fisheries and Food, Limerick Institute of Technology, the Limerick Clare Energy Agency, Sustainable energy Ireland, Renewable Energy Skills, Shannon Development, Coillte Finsa Forestry Products, Clare Irish Farmers Association, and local and private growers.





The County Clare Wood Energy Project (CCWEP) is a Forest Service funded project whose aim is to promote the installation of wood biomass boilers fuelled by wood chip from farm forests in the county. It is managed jointly by Clare Local Development Company (the LEADER group in County Clare) and Teagasc. Since the project was launched in late 2005, CCWEP has worked with a number of companies and organisations in County Clare to identify suitable sites/buildings for the installation of medium sized wood biomass boilers and has provided on-going technical support and training for boiler procurement and installation. Significant work on the establishment of a local wood chip supply chain has also been undertaken.

CCWEP’s role is to provide advice and information to forest owners on how to access the wood energy market, and to help make connections with potential buyers, which are profitable for both.

Although County Clare is outside the West of Ireland case study region the Teagasc Forestry Development Officer working on this project works within the Galway region.  Additionally, the project is a national pilot project that may be rolled out in counties in the West Region in the near future.


Contact details


Ms. Áine O Callaghan (Forestry Development Officer)
Rural Development Centre,
County Galway, Ireland
Tel.: +353 (0) 91 845200