The GREBE Project participates in Irish Bioenergy Association Study Tour to Denmark

Pauline Leonard, GREBE Project Coordinator, had a very successful and enjoyable trip to Denmark with GREBEs Associate Partner, the Irish Bioenergy Association.  Representatives participated from a broad range of sectors including Irish biomass boiler manufacturers, Coillte, private forestry and farming interests, pellet producers, representatives from Údarás na Gaeltachta, and other government agencies focusing on building sustainable rural energy projects. 

Brewery Vestfyen was our first site visit, here they have shifted from oil to local biomass sourced from residual wood in the Danish forestry and sawmill sector. 2 boilers running on 700,000 litres of heating oil each year have been replaced with a 40 bar 4MW boiler from Focus BioEnergy running on P45 wood chips since January 2015 with a yearly consumption of 10,000 m3. The brewery has a yearly production of cans and bottles containing beer and soft drinks exceeding 120 million units. Biomass is tipped into two 100 m3 containers and transferred to the boiler by auger. Biomass is sold to the customer by the gigajoule of energy delivered and payback is less than 2 years as a result of a government incentive to encourage the switch to renewables.

In the afternoon we visited the town of Stoholm which has a district heating system common to many small towns (780 houses) we met a company which designs, sells and installs bio-fuel boilers. This particular plant was a 1MW pellet boiler and provided the heating and water for all the houses in the town during the summer months, in the winter months a larger capacity gas boiler kicks in to meet the peak load demand. On Friday we travelled to Sonder Omme District heating plant which provides heating for housing and industry (pop. 1700). It is a fully automated system using woodchip, Anders Hjørnholm from Danstoker brought us around the plant the boilers here was manufactured by his company, he said it was a typical build in Denmark.

We visited a second 5.5MW district heating plant in Grindsted where we were accompanied by Peter Larsen from Justsen who specialise in biomass boiler system installations. Finally last stop was Danstoker fabrication workshop, a large aircraft hangar full of boilers at different stages of construction, ranging from sub 1MW up to 20 MW.

It was a very informative trip and good contacts were made.  It was impressive how Denmark take renewable heat seriously and provides targeted incentives to underpin investor confidence in the sector. It is a model we would like to see here in Ireland. There are so many energy intensive businesses in the Irish food, pharmaceutical and manufacturing sectors who have a global ambition to become carbon neutral through reducing emissions and using resources more efficiently. It is widely recognised that our State and the emerging private forestry biomass resource can play a key role in delivering on this ambitions.

Celtic trio form ocean powerhouse – Countries combine to advance wave and tidal energy technology

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Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland have joined forces to advance the development of ocean energy technology by forming a new collaborative network.

Scottish Enterprise said separate agencies from each of the three countries, including itself, formed the Ocean Power Innovation Network, or OPIN, which is hosting its inaugural meeting in Dublin today.

“The network’s mission is to advance innovation by learning from experts in other industries, to push the boundaries of what’s possible in ocean energy and progress innovative ocean projects in a coordinated way,” Scottish Enterprise said.

Companies with ocean energy projects include OpenHyrdo, which plans to develop a commercial scale 100MW tidal energy array in waters off Northern Ireland’s coast.

The network also hopes to share knowledge with representatives from the oil and gas industry, who are among participants at today’s event.

“The coasts of Ireland and Scotland have an abundant supply of ocean energy,” Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland head of emerging sectors Declan Meally said.

“Pooling resources, knowledge and experience between us and collaborating outside the ocean energy sector means we can bring best practices together and drive development in ocean energy.”

OPIN’s next meetings will be hosted by Northern Ireland and Scotland later in the year, Scottish Enterprise said.

The GREBE Project visits Iceland

geothermal

The GREBE project partners will hold their fourth partner meeting in Reykjavik and Isafjordur in Iceland this week.  We have a busy schedule planned with the Western Development Commission (www.wdc.ie) and Innovation Center Iceland (http://www.nmi.is/english) working to co-ordinate the programme to fit in as much as possible.

On Tuesday morning, we’ll hold a Policy Workshop at Innovation Center Icelands offices in Reykjavik, this will be followed by a meeting with XRG Energy http://www.xrgpower.com/, the first part of our partner meeting and a Steering Committee meeting.   Then on Wednesday we have a packed day, with site visits to Auðlindagarður Svartsengi (http://www.resourcepark.is/) and the IDDP project (http://www.landsvirkjun.com/researchdevelopment/research/iddpproject/) as we travel to Isafjordur.

On Thursday and Friday, we will continue our project meeting at the Innovation Center Icelands offices in Isafjordur.

Renewable energy investment support, education and tours on farm scale – the Finnish E-farm® concept

luke-14-09-2016

The Finnish GREBE project partners Luke and Karelia UAS visited two E-farm® destinations provided by the Finnish E-farm® service using renewable energy solutions for energy production on a farm scale.

A perfect example for an E-farm® destination is the Itikan tila farm in the region of Northern Savo in Finland. The farm produces agricultural products, provides cultural and tourist services and has an own energy production on the farm including an own biodiesel production unit, a wind turbine, solar panels and a ground source heat pump.

The E-farm® service includes site visits to so-called “E-farm® destinations”, support services in form of calculations, education and training.  E-farm® offers for instance dedicated courses on biogas and wind energy. Also, E-farm® provides detailed investment calculations and support for farmers planning to invest in renewable energy solutions on their farm. By contacting the coordinator of E-farm®, customers can order visits or tours to any of the destinations in Finland, ask for support or other offered services at one contact point. Also tours to Central Europe can be organized. Companies behind the trademark are Envitecpolis Oy and Savon Siemen Oy.

The concept of combining conventional (farm) business with energy production and tourism has been presented in the Northern Periphery Programme (NPP) area before, the NPP project REMOTE worked with this idea for example. Besides of the availability of sustainable resources, the Northern Periphery area is unique in regards to the high number of remote dwellings in rural areas, the availability of unique cultural experiences and events for tourists. A large share of buildings has either no access to electricity or is dependent on producing energy from fossil fuels. A focus was to provide feasible solutions for renewable energies in remote areas adapted to the scale of sparsely populated areas and communities by providing information, products and services similar to the E-farm® concept especially dedicated for farms and their customers.

E-farm® has a network of farms across Finland coving a wide range of renewable energy solutions including for example wind mills, small scale CHP units from forest chips, biogas, biodiesel, solar panels, hydro power and ground source heat pump.

In addition to energy sales of renewable energy to the market, visits to the farms provide new business opportunities such as additional income to both the farm and the service and increase the awareness and experiences of energy production investments at farms.

More information on the E-farm® destinations and services offered can be found from the webpage (in Finnish): www.efarm.fi

e-farm-logo

Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP)

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The Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP) is a long term study of high-temperature hydrothermal systems in Iceland. The IDDP is a collaborative effort by a consortium of three Icelandic power companies  (Hitaveita Sudurnesja (HS) (since 2008: HS Orka hf), Landsvirkjun (LV) and Orkuveita Reykjavíkur (OR)), and Orkustofnun (OS), the National Energy Authority of Iceland. and the Icelandic government, formed to determine if utilizing supercritical geothermal fluids would improve the economics of power productions from geothermal fields.

The IDDP expects to drill and test a series of boreholes that will penetrate supercritical zones believed to be present beneath three currently exploited geothermal fields in Iceland. One has been excecuted and the second will be activated in mid september 2016. A drilling to a depth of about 5 km will be required in order to reach hydrothermal fluids at temperatures ranging from 450°C to ~600°C.

A feasibility study completed in 2003 points at that in comparison to the output from conventional geothermal wells, which are 2.5 km deep, a ten-fold increase in power output per well could result if fluid is produced from reservoirs hotter than 450°C .

A typical 2.5 km-deep geothermal well in Iceland yields power to approximately 5 MWe. Assuming a similar volumetric inflow rate of steam, an IDDP well tapping a supercritical reservoir at temperatures above 450°C and at a pressure of 23-26 MPa may be expected to yield ~50 MWe.

The first IDDP drilling was performed in year 2009 in Krafla. The second drilling is scheduled mid september 2016 at the Reykjanes geothermal field. The aim is to drill 3 km deep. The drill Thor is powered by green energy produced by Reykjanes power plant.

The main benefits from deep geothermal drilling are as here below:

  • Increased power output per well, assumed by an order of magnitude, and production of higher-value, high-pressure, high-temperature steam.
  • Development of an environmentally benign, high-enthalpy energy source below currently producing geothermal fields.
  • Extended lifetime of the exploited geothermal reservoirs and power generation facilities.
  • Re-evaluation of the geothermal resource base.
  • Industrial, educational, and economic spin-off.
  • Knowledge of permeabilities within drillfields below 2 km depth.
  • Knowledge of heat transfer from magma to water.
  • Heat sweeping by injection of water into hot, deep wells.
  • Advances in research on ocean floor hydrothermal systems.

Summarized from the website iddp.is and nea.is

Water-Energy Nexus Workshop – Wednesday 7th September 2016

Water-Energy Nexus

The Centre of Sustainable Technologies based at the University of Ulster is an inter-disciplinary research centre, challenging many aspects of sustainability associated with the built environment. Their remit is to undertake ground-breaking activities in a range of areas including architecture, building energy efficiency, clean combustion, construction, highways engineering, sustainability, renewable energy and river hydraulics. Recognising that these areas are of the utmost importance to a rapidly changing built environment reacting to climate change, they cite that their dominant research activity in terms of income and activity is energy.

The centre is hosting an event addressing the Water-Energy Nexus, looking at the challenges faced by the inextricable connection between water requirements and energy resources.  Taking place at the University of Ulster, Jordanstown Campus, the half day event has input from a range of leading experts in the field.

WATER- ENERGY NEXUS WORKSHOP – AGENDA

7th September 2016

Centre for Sustainable Technologies, Jordanstown Campus

Ulster University, Shore Road, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, BT37 0QB

9.45      Arrival and coffee

10.00 – 10:30 Welcome and Introduction

Dr Trevor Hyde, Reader, Centre for Sustainable Technologies

Ms Jane Wall, Project Development Manager, Dublin City University

10: 30-11.30 Reducing the energy demand of water utilities 

Dr Caterina Brandoni, Lecturer in Energy, Centre for Sustainable Technologies

Dr Lorna Fitzsimons, Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, Dublin City University

Mr Ian Bingham, Energy Manager, Northern Ireland Water

11.30-11.40 Coffee Break

11.40-12.20 Water and energy in the city of the future

Dr Vanessa Speight, Research Fellow in Integrated Water Systems, Sheffield University

Mr Leonardo Piccinetti, Director REDINN

12.20-13.00 Technology innovation in the water and energy field

Prof Tony Byrne, Prof of Photocatalysis, Ulster University

Dr Patrick Dunlop, Lecturer in Engineering Materials, Ulster University

 13.00-14.00 Lunch

 The workshop will be chaired by Mr Dominic McLarnon, Horizon 2020 Northern Ireland Contact Point for Energy.

Please register your interest by email to Dr Caterina Brandoni (c.brandoni@ulster.ac.uk)

This workshop is funded by Dublin City University and Ulster University through the joint programme “Dublin City University-Ulster University Joint Research Workshops”.

Expected socio-economic benefits of bio-oil production in a resource periphery

The Finnish GREBE partners, Karelia UAS and LUKE, have assessed the direct and indirect socioeconomic impacts on a local, regional and national economy from forest biomass-based bio-oil production using input–output (I–O) analysis.

The planned fast pyrolysis bio-oil industry project will include two production units (each with the capacity of 90 000 tons of bio-oil) and related sites, a raw material terminal and infrastructures. The annual requirement for the biomass raw materials is approximately 700 000 solid m3, including by-products from the wood processing industries as well as round wood and smaller diameter energy wood. For fast pyrolysis bio-oil production, town of Lieksa has locational advantages, as there are available stocks of wood processing industry by-products (sawn dust, cutter shavings) with a currently limited market.

The analyses shows the potential of a bio-oil factory on the development of the local economy and determined the type of impacts bio-oil production has on population and employment development and on the public municipal economy. The study area is located in a resource periphery far from growing regions and suffers from development problems and stagnating development trends. In terms of employment and income, bio-oil production could have a significant positive net impact on the local economy despite leakages to regional and national economies. The impacts of bio-oil production could enhance the future development prospects for the resource periphery according to positive changes in the net migration and by slowing population losses.

Karelia UAS 01-09-2016

Pie chart from average estimates of the employment (number of jobs) and income (million euros) impacts of bio-oil factory construction and operation present at the local, regional and national levels. Size of the pie shows the scale of the total employment and income impacts of the construction and production periods.

For further information, please contact Lasse Okkonen (lasse.okkonen@karelia.fi), Olli Lehtonen (olli.lehtonen@luke.fi)