Choosing a logo for a project can be a difficult process, and the GREBE partners agreed on our branding in the most democratic method, that is, the most popular won! James Sweeney, our designer in Future Analytics Consulting provided the project partners with a choice of seven different logos. Partners ranked the logos in order of preference and the most popular was chosen.
The logo takes inspiration from the NPA programme and the priority (entrepreneurship) under which GREBE is funded. The three hexagons reflect the entrepreneurs networking and sharing ideas which will be through our virtual ideas hub in work package 7, the renewable energy technologies, and the importance of renewable energy in everyday life. The letters ‘RE’ are emphasised in ‘GREBE’ to highlight this important sector who are our target audience (renewable energy start ups and SMEs).
This concept will follow through in all our design and publication for the duration of the project. We hope you like it !
The Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies (CREST) is an exciting adventure that has been set up to help small businesses in Northern Ireland, the Irish border counties and Western Scotland to develop and adopt renewable energy and sustainable technologies.
CREST provides industry R&D, demonstration and testing facilities for new renewable energy products and sustainable technologies. The facilities are available for use by small companies within the region who have ideas for new products but who currently do not have the physical and/or technical capacity to develop, test and commercialise them.
Within CREST facilities staff are accessible to develop, demonstrate and test new technologies and show how these can be integrated practically and sensibly to achieve energy savings. Services offered by CREST include:
R&D in renewable energy systems and sustainable technologies
Development and testing of sustainable construction methods and materials
Innovative product and component design
Development of demonstration prototypes and models
Testing of renewable energy systems and products
Demonstration and testing of retrofit technologies
Data analysis and performance monitoring
Advice and consultancy on renewable energy and sustainable technologies
CREST operates across a network of educational institutions including Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre, Institute of Technology Sligo, and Dumfries and Galloway College in Scotland. The flagship facilities for CREST are located at South West College’s Technology and Skills Centre in Enniskillen and comprises of three areas; the CREST Passive Pavillion, the R&D Laboratory and CREST Hub.
The Western Development Commission are holding the launch of the GREBE project and information and networking seminar for renewable energy businesses.
This will take place at the Twin Trees Hotel, Ballina, Co. Mayo, Ireland – Wednesday 24th February, 2016 from 9.30 – 14.00
Participants will have the opportunity to engage with the speakers in the discussion forum and informally during the seminar lunch. There shall be presentations outlining the work of GREBE in the partner regions, these will include
Renewable Energy Policy and Funding Mechanisms
The Influence of Environmental Conditions and Challenges for Renewable Energy Business
Linking Renewable Energy Technology and Resources in the Northern Periphery & Arctic Partner Regions
Business Models and Business Development Support for Renewable Energy Business
Knowledge and Technology Transfer and Business Delivery of Renewable Energy
Register your interest in attending via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone to the WDC offices at +353 94 986 1881. Closing date for registration is Wednesday 17th February 2016. While this event is free of charge, registration is required. Further information and a full schedule for the event will be forwarded in the coming weeks.
A new regional renewable energy project, ‘Biomass Power’, is launched in North Karelia Finland. The project supports the adoption of decentralised bioenergy solutions and enables knowledge and technology transfer activities, as well as networking in national and international contexts.
The GREBE associate partner Pielinen Karelia Development Center, PIKES Ltd. coordinates the consortium involving also the Finnish Forest Centre, Central Karelia Development Company, KETI Ltd, and GREBE partner Karelia UAS.
The share of renewable energy from the total energy use of the region is about 63%, of which the share of wood energy is 82%. However, the decentralised solutions have still significant development needs. For instance, the first small-scale chp-plants based on wood fuels have barely entered the market and require user experience and high quality assurance in wood fuel production. There are also plans for the farm-scale biogas investments but they have not yet realised due to vague support mechanisms and underdeveloped markets.
In the ‘Biomass Power’ project, Karelia UAS develops new industry projects, finds opportunities for the technology and knowledge transfer, and establishes international contacts for the developers and SMEs in the region. The GREBE business mentoring service, the Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme, will be rolled out to the region in cooperation with the regional development companies. The synergies with GREBE are evident and cooperation will take place through the GREBE Industry Advisory Group and everyday practices of project partners.
With an energy system almost entirely based on renewable hydropower, Norway is well suited for hosting power consuming data storage centres. This is one of several business opportunities the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy – Mr. Tord Lien, recommend that the GREBE-Project look closer into.
According to a story in the Telegraph, teenagers spend on average 27 hours on the internet every week. The parent generation is quickly catching up, spending about 20 hours per week. We read the newspaper online, interact with friends and family on social media, stream music and films, and even buy our Christmas presents on the internet.
As we see a growing trend from physical products to digital services, the need for storing data has exploded. Enormous amounts of data needs to be processed and stored, and the computer facilities depend on energy intensive cooling systems. This also affects the climate, as much of the power comes from fossil fuel power plants.
This is where geography matters and why Norway is an attractive location for such power-consuming datacentres. With an energy system almost entirely based on hydropower, Norway is one of the very few countries in the world with a surplus production of renewable energy. This has also resulted in one of the lowest electricity prices in Europe. Nearly all projections indicate that Norway will enjoy such an abundance of renewable energy for a long time. Furthermore, the Norwegian climate is quite cold and chilly. This provides excellent conditions for natural cooling.
Norway has both the green energy and the climate to be a suitable host for energy consuming datacentres. Together with favourable investments conditions, this makes us a great location for the digital revolution. Geography still matters, even though computing is moving into the clouds.
Scottish Renewables (the body representing the renewable industry in Scotland) has in its latest manifesto, Renewed Ambitions: Defining the Future of Renewable Energy in Scotland, put forward that Scotland should aim for 50% of all its energy too come from renewable sources by 2030. The aim is seen as a progression from the Scottish Government’s own targets; a summary of which, and current progress on, is provided below:
Overall renewable energy target: 30% of total Scottish energy consumption from renewables by 2020. As of 2013 13.1% had been achieved.
Renewable electricity target: 100% of gross electricity consumption to come from renewables by 2020. As of 2014 49.7% had been achieved.
Renewable heat target: 11% of non-electric heat demand from renewables by 2020. As of 2013 2.7% had been achieved.
Renewable transport target: 10% of transport petrol and diesel consumption to come from biofuels by 2020. As of 2014 3.9% had been achieved.
Energy consumption target: 12% reduction in final energy consumption by 2020. As of 2013 14.1% had been achieved.
All of the targets listed above are framed within a 2020 timescale. Niall Stuart, the chief executive for Scottish Renewables, considers it, “…time to look beyond 2020 and for Scotland to set a stretching target for renewables to produce the equivalent of at least 50% of all energy use across electricity, heat and transport by 2030.” The manifesto sets out a strategy for government, as to how Scottish Renewables believes this can be achieved. The course of action suggested shows the pertinence of the GREBE project; with much of the strategy being aimed at creating an environment to encourage renewable enterprise. This ranges from making energy storage viable for business investment to adjusting feed-in tariff policies, changes to which (as shown in a previous Apple Juice blog post) will have a large impact on small scale renewable generation enterprises.
The release of the manifesto is timed to come ahead of Scottish elections in May, with the hope of ensuring the topic is high on the political agenda. The timing is important as there is currently a high level uncertainty in the Scottish renewable industry, with UK wide cuts and changes to funding. The extent and impact of these changes were highlighted recently by Ed Davey, the ex UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, who described the approach of the current UK Government as: “…butchering the UK’s successful renewables industry.”
Michael Doran and Orlaith McVeigh, of Action Renewables, attended a joint meeting between officials from the department of Energy in Northern Ireland, DETI, and representatives of the Bioenergy Industry in Northern Ireland on Friday 8th January 2016. The meeting was held at a farm in Greyabbey, Co.Down, owned by the BENI Chairman John Martin. The meeting discussed a number of pressing issues within the biomass industry in Northern Ireland, in particular the Renewable Heat Incentive and the effect of impending legislation on the Bioenergy industry. Representatives from DETI were questioned over the long term future of support for the renewable heat sector, with a modified renewables scheme probable in the near future. The value of bioenergy to the NI economy maintains a positive trend, supporting job creation within the industry at every level from energy crop production to marketing. The meeting was attended by Executives from IrBEA, the Irish Bioenergy Association and members of BENI, Bioenergy Northern Ireland.
Group photo: Members of BENI, Irbea and two representatives from DETI (Seamus Hughes and Peter Briggs) discuss the RHI issues at the willow field of Farm owner and BENI chair, John Martin