Biomass research in Finland with the help of drones

Drones 03-03-2016

The Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) is currently testing various research options using drones. The drones tested are capable of carrying camera, sensors or similar devices which can record data from a total new angle.

Recognition and measurement of biomass storage piles

Luke has been testing drones for example when measuring biomass storage piles used for energy purposes. With the help of the drone, a sensor can fly over the piles and collect the data which then, after processing, can be used in the detection of the amount of biomass. In addition, different contrasts of the captured image can help identifying specific characteristics of the biomass.

Improving working methods in the field

Another possibility of drones is in combination with a high-resolution camera used in the forest. Tests have shown that drones can take high-quality images and videos from the bird-eye perspective and might give a total new way for the visualization of forest machine operations. The video material opens new educational possibilities as well.

The researchers at Luke in Joensuu are studying the forest procurement chain from the forest until the roadside storage. The perspective offered through the “drone´s eyes” can help in re-organizing the machine work when cutting, collecting or storing forest biomass and help to increase the productivity. Especially in difficult, remote and challenging terrain of Northern Peripheral regions, this method opens new possibilities. The tests are very promising and research with this innovative technology will continue.

GREBE partner Luke will inform on results gained from this new and innovative approach and transfer the knowledge across the NPA regions.


GREBE Project is officially launched !

GREBE Project Partners

New €1.77m project launched to support Western Region’s Renewable Energy Sector

Western Development Commission leading new EU-funded project

The Western Development Commission has successfully applied for funding of €1.77m for a new three-year project to support the renewable energy business sector in the Western Region.   ‘Generating Renewable Energy Business Enterprise’ (GREBE) is an international project which will be led by the Western Development Commission (WDC), and will be co-funded by the EU’s Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) Interreg programme.  The project was launched at the Twin Trees Hotel in Ballina on Wednesday 24th February by the Chairperson of the Western Development Commission, Mr. Paddy McGuinness.

According to Mr. McGuinness, “Over the next three years renewable energy enterprises from across the region will be able to access a range of new opportunities in business and mentoring support.  The wealth of renewable resources in the region means this sector holds great potential for sustainable job creation.  GREBE aims to help startup and renewable energy SMEs at different stages in their business to take the next step”

The project will be run by eight organisations in the West of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Finland, Norway and Iceland, who will support renewable energy enterprises.    It will focus on the challenges of peripheral and arctic regions as places for doing business, and help develop renewable energy business opportunities provided by extreme conditions.

The activities of the GREBE Project were outlined by the project co-ordinator Pauline Leonard, who added that “GREBE will equip SMEs and start-ups with the skills and confidence to overcome these challenges of their location and use place based natural assets for renewable energy to sustainable effect. The renewable energy sector contributes to sustainable regional and rural development and has potential for future growth”.

GREBEs’ project activities have already started.  For updates on future opportunities see  and the GREBE Renewable Energy Blog (www.greberenewableenergyblog.  and connect with us on Facebook (GREBEProject) and Twitter (@GREBE_NPA), or contact Pauline Leonard, Regional Development Executive & GREBE Project Co-ordinator at the Western Development Commission (