Record wind generation in Scotland

ERI image 25-08-2016

On Sunday the 7th of August Scotland provided 106% of its electricity needs from wind power for the day. Wind turbines provided 39 545MWh of electricity to the national grid whilst electricity usage from Scotland’s homes, businesses and industry only used 37 202MWh.

Sunday’s weather was not typical, with high winds across the country causing disruption to road, rail and ferry travel. These high winds were however very good for generation of electricity from wind turbines.

Whilst being the first time on record wind power has exceeded daily needs it may have happened before as a monitoring process for the data was only implemented in 2015.

Wind energy success in Scotland has been increasing year on year with turbines providing 123% of electricity needed for Scottish homes in January 2016. In January 2015 wind provided enough electricity for Scottish homes for 22 of the 31 days in the month.

These announcements have been hailed by WWF Scotland’s director Lang Banks, who said in January:

“2015 proved to be a big year for renewables, and the latest data makes clear that 2016 is already off to a flying start, with wind power alone meeting nearly half of Scotland’s total electricity needs during January.  I have little doubt that 2016 will be another record year for renewables.” 

His predictions for a record year are proving to be true.

Wind turbines assembled at Belfast Harbour

AR 22-08-2016

State of the art wind turbines with a diameter bigger than the London Eye are being assembled at Belfast Harbour.

 The 32 turbines are destined for the sea off Liverpool. Once running, they will generate enough electricity for a city twice the size of Belfast – about 230,000 homes. The component parts have been shipped to a purpose-built facility in the docks, built several years ago at a cost of £50m. They are being put together and fitted out, before being shipped out horizontally on a specialist vessel to the 40sq km site in Liverpool bay. At peak operation each turbine can produce the same amount of energy in one day as contained in 22,600 barrels of oil.

Government subsidies for onshore wind have been stopped, leading to the shelving of many projects. But financial support remains for off-shore projects, with developers promising to cut costs through technology and lower the amount of subsidy needed.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-36915662

Finland will attain the targets set by the Paris climate conference if the forest-based bioeconomy evolves

Luke_policy brief_

According to Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) Finland will attain the targets set by the Paris climate conference if the forest-based bioeconomy evolves and attention is paid to the material cycles of wood-based materials. The key is to further develop forest management and utilisation methods that enable using forest-based raw materials, carbon sequestration and preserving forest biodiversity.

Increasing the production and use of woodbased biomass considerably in Finland is justified in order to enable the forest-based bioeconomy. In Finland, forests play a key role in the transition from a fossil-based economy to a bio-based economy. In the future, the end-products of the forest-based bioeconomy will replace products manufactured from fossil raw materials as well as act as long-term carbon sinks. Long-lifecycle products therefore strengthen the climate benefits associated with forests.

Climate change may negatively affect forest health. The changing climate favours pests and other natural disasters. Unmanaged, dense and old forests are susceptible to insect damage and, subsequently, forest fires. In such cases, the carbon stored in the trees is released directly into the atmosphere without providing any opportunities to utilise the biomass.

Luke’s policy recommendation examines the impacts of the growing use of forest and a changing climate on forest’s ability to sequester carbon. When increasing the sustainable use of forests, the diversity of nature and other uses of forests must be taken into account.” (Luke News)

The original news article can be found from Luke´s news section under:

https://www.luke.fi/en/news/increasing-sustainable-use-of-forests-and-the-carbon-neutrality-targets-of-the-paris-agreement-can-be-combined/

The link to the policy brief publication can be found here: http://jukuri.luke.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/535292/luke_policy_brief_1_2016_eng.pdf?sequence=6

Eimur – a new innovation partnership in North East Iceland

A new innovation partnership has recently been launched in North East Iceland. The company’s name is Eimur and is founded by Landsvirkjun (e. National Power Company of Iceland), Norðurorka (e. Nordurorka Ltd. – Utility Company), Orkuveita Húsavíkur (e. Húsavík Energy) and Eyþing (Association of municipalities in North East Iceland), contributing 100 million Icelandic króna’s in the next three years.

Eimurs strategy is still being formed but the main goal will be to promote sustainability with increased and more diverse utilization of energy resources in North East Iceland and to encourage research and utilization of energy related innovation, i.e. by linking energy production and tourism. Furthermore Eimur will strive for finding new ways to use energy streams that are not being used at the moment, i.e. waste heat and other raw material that goes unused from various productions, industries, fishery and agriculture.

Eimur has high hopes for future various innovations and job creation in the area in cooperation with tourist industries, various industries, diverse production, researchers and universities. Moreover they aim for attracting investors both national and international.

In the inaugural meeting in June 2016, a number of companies introduced ideas who can in the future become role models for other companies with help from Eimur. Among those companies was Norðursigling which has whale watching boats driven on electricity only and few companies who introduced various ideas on how to accelerate electrifying cars in that area. The support from Eimur will be for companies of all sizes.

Eimurs newly hired general director is Albertina Fr. Eliasdottir but she will start work for the company early September.

Higher Level Apprenticeships at the CREST centre in Northern Ireland

CREST 2

GREBEs Northern Ireland partner, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council are privileged to have within the region, South West Colleges flagship Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies (CREST).  An associate partner of the GREBE project, the CREST centre has been established to help small businesses in NI, the border counties of ROI and Western Scotland to develop and adopt renewable energy and sustainable technologies. South West College lead a network of educational institutions including Cavan Innovation and Technology Centre, Sligo IT and Dumfries and Galloway College in Scotland.

South West College have introduced Higher Level Apprenticeships (HLA) which are fast becoming an attractive alternative to attendance at university for a traditional 3 or 4 year programme, as the employee can gain a third level qualification – a Foundation Degree and develop industry related skills that benefit both their employer and their career.

One of the most exciting HLAs which the college is offering through CREST is the Foundation Degree in Renewable and Sustainable Technologies.  Offered in conjunction with Queens University and Ulster University, there is a range of areas of specialisms including Building Services and Renewable Energy, Energy Environment and Sustainability and Engineering (Wind Turbine Technology).

Noreen McGirr HLA Coordinator with the College says that “These courses are highly sought after and the College are offering 10-15 apprentices (per specialism) the opportunity to embark on their careers through this new route, embracing the opportunity to earn and learn in a real business setting.  Due to the increase in fees that is likely to be faced by full time third level students and the increased level of debt this will create, it is encouraging that there are alternatives available which offer real possibilities to our brightest young people to remain at home whilst still progressing their careers and learning.

HLAs are also a wonderful opportunity for employers to ‘recruit smart’ by addressing the urgent gap in high-level skills shortages increasingly evident across the region”.

For further information on the HLA opportunities available please follow the link below

http://www.swc.ac.uk/engage/business-engagement/Higher-Level-Apprenticeships.aspx

GREEN ELECTRICITY CERTIFICATES IN NORWAY

NSP 09-08-2016

Hydropower is still the mainstay of the Norwegian power supply system, with other renewable energy sources such as wind and solar providing an important supplement. In the public debate, we often hear that Norway must become greener and make a transition to greater use of renewable energy. In fact, Norway is already leading the way in this field, since almost all our electricity production is based on renewable sources. Our power resources have been crucial for value creation, welfare and growth in Norway for over a hundred years, and will continue to play a vital role in future.

But this will require continued development of renewable energy sources. The green electricity certificates is an instrument intended to boost the renewable electricity production in Norway.  So what is an Norwegian green electricity certificate scheme?

Electricity certificates

The joint Norwegian-Swedish electricity certificate scheme is intended to boost renewable electricity production in both countries. Norway and Sweden have a common goal of increasing electricity production based on renewable energy sources by 26.4 TWh by 2020, using the joint electricity certificate market.

The electricity certificate market is a market-based support scheme. In this system, producers of renewable electricity receive one certificate per MWh of electricity they produce for a period of 15 years. All renewable production facilities that started construction after 7 September 2009, and hydropower plants with an installed capacity of up to 1 MW that started construction after 1 January 2004, will receive electricity certificates. Facilities that are put into operation after 31 December 2020 will not receive electricity certificates. The electricity certificate scheme is technology-neutral, i.e. all forms of renewable electricity are entitled to electricity certificates, including hydropower, wind power and bioenergy.

Norway and Sweden are responsible for financing half of the support scheme each, regardless of where the investments take place. The authorities have therefore obliged all electricity suppliers and certain categories of end-users to purchase electricity certificates for a specific percentage of their electricity consumption (their quota). This was 3 per cent in 2012 and will gradually be increased to approximately 18 per cent in 2020, and then reduced again towards 2035. The scheme will be terminated in 2036. A demand for electricity certificates is created by the quota obligations imposed by the government, so that electricity certificates have a value. In other words, the market determines the price of electricity certificates and which projects are developed. Producers of renewable electricity gain an income from the sale of electricity certificates, in addition to revenues from the sale of electricity. The income from the electricity certificates is intended to make it more profitable to develop new electricity production based on renewable energy sources. The end-users contribute to this through their electricity bills. In Norway, the framework for the scheme is governed by the Act relating to electricity certificates.

The Electricity Certificate Act  

An electricity certificate is a confirmation issued by the Norwegian State that one megawatt hour of renewable energy has been produced pursuant to the Electricity Certificate Act. The electricity certificate system is intended to promote investments in renewable energy. Electricity customers finance the scheme through their electricity bills. The electricity certificate market is a statutory market in that the market would not have established itself naturally, but that the need and demand has been created through the Electricity Certificate Act.

The Electricity Certificate Act has been supplemented by the regulations relating to electricity certificates of December 2011 – and will be supplemented by new regulations in 2016.

The Electricity certificate market

The electricity certificate market is based on an international agreement with Sweden, and the joint market makes use of a cooperation mechanism under the Renewables Directive. The goal is for the joint electricity certificate market to increase electricity production based on renewable energy sources in Norway and Sweden by 26.4 TWh by 2020.

To establish the joint market, it was necessary to ensure that electricity certificate obligations in Sweden can be fulfilled using Norwegian electricity certificates and vice versa.

Producers

The owner of a production facility is entitled to electricity certificates if specific conditions in Chapter 1 of the Electricity Certificate Act have been fulfilled. The production facility must produce electricity based on renewable energy sources (this is a technology-neutral requirement), be approved by the NVE and satisfy requirements for metering and reporting. Both expansion of existing facilities and new facilities may satisfy the conditions for receiving electricity certificates. Production facilities which become operational after 31 December 2020 will not be entitled to electricity certificates. Those subject to the electricity certificate obligation are primarily suppliers of electric energy to end-users. But, in certain cases, end-users themselves may themselves be subject to an electricity certificate obligation.

Producers entitled to electrical certificates must apply for approval of the facility to the NVE, which administers the electrical certificate scheme in Norway. In addition, the producer, or a registrar authorised by the producer, must apply for an account in the electronic electricity certificate registry.

Electricity certificate registry

Statnett SF is responsible for the electricity certificate registry, and has established and operates the registry. Statnett SF is responsible for registration and cancellation of electricity certificates in the registry. The electricity certificates are issued after production has taken place on the basis of actual metering data. Electricity certificates are issued by Statnett SF registering the electricity certificate in the certificate account of the entity entitled to electricity certificates. The scheme will be terminated on 1 April 2036 through the cancellation of electricity certificates for the year 2035.

Trading of the certificates

The electricity certificate scheme is based on trading of the certificates, so that the entities entitled to electricity certificates can capitalise the value represented by the certificates. Those subject to an electricity certificate obligation will have access to the electricity certificates that are necessary in order to fulfill their electricity certificate obligation.

Farm Power Supplies Local Renewable Energy from Small-scale Producers

Karelia UAS 04-08-2016
Farm Power production by PV at Itikka Farm, Northern Savo, Finland

Farm Power by Oulun Energia Ltd. is a local energy from Finnish small-scale producers. Farm Power electricity is generated using micro and small scale generating plants used principally for generating electricity for the producers’ own needs. When generation capacity exceeds the producer’s own demand, electricity is sold to the grid. Farm Power is the winner of annual Climate Award, Ilmastoteko, in 2014.

Producers of Farm Power electricity are committed to the use of renewable sources of energy, such as wood, hydro, wind and solar power. External experts certify the metering, calculation and tracking procedures used in the production of Farm Power.

Annual net metering of the Farm Power allows producers to utilise their full production capacities and provides a possibility purchase the produced surplus back later on. Farm Power differs from other energy products as every producer can set the price of electricity they generate to the grid.

Farm Power is a concept supporting the market access of micro- and small-scale renewable energy. Market access paths of RE and energy storage technologies are investigated in detail in the GREBE project.

More Information at: Farm Power