GREBE Project to launch Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme in Enniskillen

GREBE Renewable Energy launch invite Balcas

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council will launch a new renewable energy business support programme which will focus on the challenges of peripheral regions as places for doing business and help develop renewable energy business opportunities.

The €1.77 million transnational project is co-funded by the EU’s Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme and the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council area is the only council area in Northern Ireland to benefit from the three-year programme which includes eight partners from six countries including the Republic of Ireland, Scotland Finland, Norway and Iceland.

Generating Renewable Energy Business Enterprise – GREBE – will be launched on the final day of the Council’s first ever Enterprise Week.  The launch will take place at the BALCAS plant, Ballycassidy, Enniskillen on Friday 4 March 2016

The Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Thomas O’Reilly said that the Council was delighted to have secured funding from the Periphery and Arctic Programme to participate in GREBE.

“The Council is honoured to be chosen to carry out this pilot scheme to demonstrate its effectiveness within this sector and to use that pilot to inform the other regions participating on the programme on how to roll it out within their areas.  Included in this will be the provision of a resource pack for use by all partners which demonstrates best practice in mentoring,” the Councillor said.

Speaking about the merits of this unique programme, Councillor Reilly said that renewable energy provides substantial benefits for the climate, health and the economy.

“Renewable energy projects have untold economic development benefits by keeping money within the local economy.  As well as cutting down on energy/operating costs for small businesses leading to considerable savings for them, renewables show that businesses are adapting a responsible approach to the environment.

“Businesses in the Programme area face innumerable challenges including a lack of critical mass, dispersed settlements, poor accessibility, vulnerability to climate change effects and limited networking opportunities.  GREBE will equip SMEs and start-up businesses with the skills and confidence to overcome these challenges and use natural assets for renewable energy to best sustainable effect.  The renewable energy sector contributes to sustainable regional and rural development and has potential for further growth,” Councillor O’Reilly continued.

Focusing on the location for the launch of the Progamme, Councillor O’Reilly said it was fitting that BALCAS had been chosen as the venue as the company was not only a leading timber products supplier but has pioneered biomass renewable energy in the UK and has led the development of the market for wood pellet fuel in Ireland and Britain

For further information on GREBE, please contact Una Porteous, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, telephone 0300 303 1777 Ext 21211 or e-mail

GREBE Partners travel to the West of Ireland


The GREBE project partners will hold their second partner meeting in Enniscrone in Co. Sligo, Republic of Ireland, this week.  We have a busy schedule planned with the Western Development Commission (, have been working to co-ordinate the programme to fit in as much as possible.


On Tuesday, we will hold our project meeting in the Diamond Coast Hotel  Then on Wednesday we have a packed day, with our official project launch and renewable energy seminar in the Twin Trees Hotel in Ballina, Co. Mayo Here is the programme for the launch and seminar.   GREBE Project Launch Invitation – 24th Feb. 2016  Then in the afternoon, we’ll continue our project meeting at the Diamond Coast Hotel, with the project dinner that evening.


Thursday will be another busy day as we leave Enniscrone at 08.00am and go west for Belmullet to meet with Udaras na Gaeltacha who have kindly organised site visits for us.  Margaret Tallott with give the GREBE partners an update of the work they carried out as part of the ‘GREAT Project’  We will then travel to Each Leim UnaG Enterprise Centre to see a demonstration of a microgrid working (11kW PV, 5-40kWh energy storage battery system, 3x SETS, BMS to allow remote access and monitoring), before traveling to the AMETS wave energy test location and proposed substation location.


We will then travel to a community golf course to see a 7kW PV array that charges 10 electric golf buggies, and then to the Irish Wheelchair Association and proceed to Teach Greannai for lunch and to see the Meals on Wheels electric van and 7kW roof mounted PV array.  In the afternoon, we travel to Bangor Hall to see an energy efficiency upgrade (new boiler, heating controls, internal dry lining, attic insulation, window replacement, energy efficient lighting), and Bangor School (extensive retrofit including replacement boiler and heating system, cavity and joist level insulation, external door replacement).

TRIBORN project visits North Karelia

Nelli Mikkola (Nordregio), Ilari Havukainen (Regional Council of Lapland), Lasse Okkonen (Karelia UAS & GREBE), Anders Chr. Hansen (Hansen Economics)

TRIBORN is a Norwegian-led research project investigating how to increase production of bioenergy in ways that promote sustainable development in rural areas. It aims to understand and foster systems for bioenergy innovation and related support policies that can produce positive social, economic and environmental outcomes.

The Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO) leads the project, and the Research Council of Norway funds the project. In addition, the Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute and Nordregio, a Nordic research institute for regional studies, are key partners in the project.


TRIBORN project considers Regional Innovation Systems approaches whilst applying and developing a method called the Grounded Innovation Platform (GRIP), emphasizing a bottom-up process based on the involvement of private and public stakeholders in order to generate legitimate rural development. The project will generate knowledge on key factors for success and failure in platform building by comparing cases in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Italy.  Sweden and Finland in particular have achieved good results. North Karelia was chosen as the Finnish case study region.


This week the project partners are visiting the bioenergy stakeholders in North Karelia, Finland.  They are interested in how foresters, other businesses, authorities and local communities have worked and are working together to build the bioenergy sector. North Karelia can provide examples of bioenergy collaboration and policies, and demonstrate the benefits of bioenergy businesses for local and regional development.  GREBE project partner Karelia UAS, met the group for exchanging experiences in forest energy development in the North Karelia and generally in northern peripheral context.


TRIBORN Website:

GREBE Project Launch – Wednesday 24th February – Twin Trees Hotel, Ballina, Co. Mayo


 GREBE International Project Launch & Renewable Energy Seminar

Twin Trees Hotel, Ballina, Co. Mayo

Wednesday 24th February, 2016

9.30 – 14.00


The Western Development Commission are holding the launch of the GREBE project and information and networking seminar for renewable energy businesses.    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

GREBE Project Launch Invitation – 24th Feb. 2016

Register your interest in attending via email to 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.


For further information on the GREBE project, please contact Pauline Leonard ( or


Follow our Blog:

Like us on Facebook:

Follow us on Twitter:


NSP 15-02-2016

The Norwegian Government’s Strategy for cooperation with EU in 2016 and 2017 is an ambitious policy, because Norway has as a main priority to support EU with renewable energy and to build the necessary infrastructure to make it happen.  

Energy policy is one of five main priorities in the cooperation between the Norwegian Government and the EU. The main focus in the energy policy is to support EU with renewable energy. Building high-voltage power lines between Norway and European countries could contribute to make the energy market more efficient and to improve the security of energy supplies.


Cross-border power lines have advantages for all the countries involved, they give better use of electricity supply systems, more effective use of resources and greater security of supply. It also give opportunities for greater integration of renewable energy into the supply systems. But, the building of new power lines will cost a lot of money.


The Norwegian Government looks at Norway as a major energy exporter and a participant in the internal energy market through the EEA Agreement, and the Government therefore see it as important for Norway to take part in the development of EU energy policy.


The Norwegian Government encourage investments in research, environmental technology, infrastructure and tecnological innovations, and projects as the GREBE project, that focus on international cooperation to solve problem in the high-carbon economy, by using renewable energy as an instrument to create new opportunities for the business sector in several countries.


By participating in international cooperation on regional policy (EU NPA programme), Norway is contributing to the exchage of experience with other European countries and regions. This exchange and cooperation is valuable for Norwegian regional policy and business development. The EEA Agreement does not include the EU’s regional policy, but Norway is a partner in several of the EU’s regional development programmes, in this case the GREBE-Project and the Northern Periphery Programme.

Getting hooked on wave power

Wave Power 4

Aquaculture is an iconic and increasingly important industry in Scotland, worth an estimated £1.4bn to the Scottish economy and employing 8,000 people. Currently for onsite electricity supply the industry relies heavily on diesel to generators, however, the marine environment presents an opportunity to replace this with renewable electricity.

One company seeking to exploit this potential is Albertan, a developer of a small wave energy device called a SQUID. Each SQUID unit comprises a hollow central riser tube connected to 3 buoyancy floats by linking arms. The connections between these are made by six articulated pumping modules. The buoyancy floats also have hollow structures, allowing them to house the PTO (Power take-off unit) along with other components for communications and hydraulic operation.


Wave power 2

When interconnected as an array the ocean’s energy pushes and pulls the array’s structure; each SQUID unit’s articulated joints flex, absorb some of the wave’s energy.


In collaboration with Marine Harvest (Scotland), Albatern deployed a three unit WaveNET array on marine Harvest’s new Am Maol salmon farming site off the Isle of Muck off the west coast of Scotland. The 22 kW deployment is also helping with the testing and validation of the device. As there are already vessels in the area servicing the fish farm, the cost of deployment, maintenance and monitoring is brought down. Additionally, small developments like that for the Muck fish farm can come within the existing seabed lease for the fish farm, counting as ancillary equipment, the project costs and lead in time are also reduced. These factors combine to reduce the costs attached with wave developments; which is good news for an industry which has recently experienced setbacks.


For further details visit:

GREBEs Associated Partner, the Irish Bioenergy Association holds its’ National Bioenergy Conference.

IrBEA Annual Conference 2016

Eamonn Confrey (Principal Officer Decarbonisation, DCENR), Cara Augustenborg (Friends of the Earth), Fred Tottenham (outgoing IrBEA President), Eamonn McGrath (Gaelectric, conference sponsor) and Michael Doran (incoming IrBEA President)


IrBEAs 15th National Bioenergy Conference on Wednesday 3rd February in Dublin saw a 200 strong attendance from across the bioenergy sector, both North and South of Ireland.

There was a focus on the early introduction of the RHI in the Republic of Ireland, which will act as a key factor towards achieving the switch to bioenergy and the creation of over 3,000 new jobs. The conference finished with a strong message for political parties and candidates involved in the general election, who were urged to declare their positions on the environment and make climate change a priority going forward.

New IrBEA President, Michael Doran of Action Renewables and GREBE, said: “The bioenergy sector sits at the intersection of energy, agriculture and climate change policies. It is also unique in that it is a truly regionalised, ground-up industry that stimulates economic activity locally for farmers, those involved in designing and installing bioenergy systems and the businesses and consumers that benefit from effective, secure and sustainable heating. We need to accelerate the switch to renewable sources of power right across our economy, in electricity, in transport and in heating. This is our obligation under international treaties to prevent potentially catastrophic climate change, and in our own self-interest as a society and an island economy that is dependent on imported, polluting fossil fuels for 85% of our energy needs.”

The VuoGas environment promotes expertise in bioeconomics


The new biogas plant built at the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) facility in Sotkamo is based on dry fermentation and is the first of its kind in Finland. Its feed consists of grass silage cut from fields and yields up to seven times more energy than manure.

An example for the utilization of renewable energy sources

The biogas generated by the plant will be used for heating premises in Sotkamo. In the future, biogas will also be used to fuel cars and tractors. The organic residue from the biogas process will be utilized as fertilizer in crop production, thus replacing the use of chemical fertilizers and cutting down the nutrient emissions to water bodies.

Both research and product development

Its goal is to cooperate closely with enterprises in order to make its expertise available for practical use.

The researchers at the Sotkamo facility are studying the entire biogas production chain, from the field into the tank of the vehicle. Finland offers an abundance of raw material for biogas plants, as the available grassland area totals at least 240,000 hectares. All this is outside of food production.

The yield of one hectare is enough to heat a single-family house or power a car for a full year.

More on the VuoGas biogas plant can be seen from the following video:

Within the GREBE project context, the VuoGas promotes expertise in bioeconomics and gives an example for the utilization of renewable energy sources.

XRG Power in Iceland

XRG Landinn013

XRG – Power is an entrepreneur company in Iceland focusing on innovation and development of generators that produce electricity from low heat geothermal energy (70°C – 85°C).

XRG Power has already developed a prototype  which has already been tested successfully on the floor. XRG generator, a modified and augmented scroll expander, is based on a new approach where the working fluid is optimized for very low temperatures, working in highly concentrated system where use of magnetic materials in generators is optimized.

There are various marketing opportunities for the XRG generators; the possibility to produce electricity in areas where the water is below boiling temperature in the ground, another implementation of the XRG technology will enable electricity production from waste heat. XRG power aims to develop generators that produce electricity from thermal sources for the world market, starting in Iceland.

For more information: