Galway giant spins in Ireland

Galway wind farm

SSE and Coillte have started commercial operations at the 169MW Galway wind farm in Connemara, Ireland. The €281m project, which is located in the Cloosh Valley, was built in two phases and consists of 58 Siemens Gamesa 3MW turbines. The 64MW first phase is owned and was fully financed by SSE at an investment cost of around €105m.

The 105MW second phase is a 50/50 joint venture between SSE and Coillte which was funded by project finance totalling €176m. Finance was agreed in 2016 with BBVA, Coöperatieve Rabobank UA, and NORD/LB. Electricity generated by the wind farm will be provided to SSE’s retail arm SSE Airtricity. The project will also soon launch a community fund, which will operate for the lifetime of the wind farm.

More information on this article can be found at:



GREBEs Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme is now open for applications in Ireland


The GREBE Project is launching the Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme in Ireland.  GREBE will work with small to medium renewable energy businesses throughout the Western Region to provide support to facilitate their growth through specialised mentoring.

The Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme will commission mentors with the appropriate expertise to be assigned to work with businesses to address identified area(s) where help is needed, in order to deliver a bespoke support package.

Applications are welcomed from all small to medium renewable energy businesses, based in the Western Region (Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo, Roscommon, Galway & Clare).   Participating businesses will be matched with an appropriate mentor to meet their business needs, based on areas of specialism and scoring.

An Expression of Interest application form may be downloaded from the GREBE website here or requested by email from

Completed applications must be returned to GREBE Project, Western Development Commission, Dillon House, Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon, or alternatively via email: not later than 12.00 Noon on Friday 17th November 2017.

This project is funded by the Northern Periphery & Arctic Programme.   For further information on the GREBE Project, please visit our website

Canada needs EU for the development of bioeconomy


According to the Conference Board of Canada, Northern peripheral areas in Canada have about 300 distant communities, where sustainable development for energy, waste management and clean water could be developed much further than where they currently are. Natural Resources Institute Finland sent Dr. Lauri Sikanen to Ontario to Lakehead University for four months to investigate renewable energy opportunities in distant communities.

Dr. Sikanen sees a great potential to support Canada in their development and to open also markets for European advanced technology of bioenergy and cleantech. Dr. Sikanen hosted the visit of Finnish Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Mr. Kai Mykkänen and a delegation of about 20 leading Finnish bioeconomy companies in Thunder Bay 10.-12. of October and now further steps of most promising leads are in his schedule.

Distance communities are producing their energy by transported diesel and that takes energy price in communities sky high. It is normal to pay five or even ten times higher price for energy in those communities than elsewhere.  Large numbers of communities are located in forested areas and have remarkable amount of solar and wind available as well. Using biomass, solar and wind would also bring more economic activity into communities.

EU and Canada just recently made a CETA agreement to harmonize regulations in trade between them. Now export of good and services should be easier for both, but bioeconomy development in Northern areas in Canada needs an extra attention. NPA programme already welcomes some areas of Canadian Maritimes into projects but the need for the development supported together is actually also (and even more) elsewhere. It would be good to have northern areas of provinces like Quebec and Ontario included and joint programme with Canadians could be created.

GREBE Networking Event Enniskillen -Wednesday 8th & Thursday 9th November 2017

GREBE Networking seminar Enniskillen

The GREBE Project is organising a networking workshop and site visits in Enniskillen on Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th November 2017.  We would like to invite stakeholders from Northern Ireland and Ireland in the renewable energy sector to participate in this event.

The aim is to highlight the benefits of renewable energy for SMEs and start-up businesses and give participants the opportunity to meet with biomass experts from the Natural Resources Institute in Finland (

Veikko Möttönens area of expertise is wood mechanical properties, drying of wood and sawn timber, further processing of sawn wood, further processing of side streams, wood modification (thermal modification – Thermowood, preservative impregnation) and Saija Rasis area of expertise is in bioenergy production, biogas technology, gas analysis, treatment of biodegradable wastes, biorefineries.  Places are limited for one to one meetings with Veikko and Saija.

GREBE Project partners from Finland, Norway, Iceland and Scotland will be available to share their knowledge.   Participants from the Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme (both SMEs and mentors), and other renewable energy businesses will attend and are happy to share their experiences.

On Thursday 9th November, site visits will be held at the CREST Centre in South West College, Balcas and Ecohog (an Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme participant).

Places are limited, and if you would like to attend, please contact (Northern Ireland participants), or (Ireland participants) before 6.00pm on Wednesday 25th October 2017.

Geothermal training education for developing countries in Iceland

ICI 18-10-2017

The Geothermal Training Programme of the United Nations University (UNU-GTP) is a postgraduate training program, aiming at assisting developing countries in capacity building within geothermal exploration and development. The program consists of six months annual training for practicing professionals from developing and transitional countries with significant geothermal potential. Priority is given to countries where geothermal development is under way, in order to maximize technology transfer.

The first official statement on establishing a UNU geothermal institute in Iceland was made in 1975 when the United Nations University (UNU) had just been established. After a first proposal in 1976 and an international workshop in 1978, the Government of Iceland decided in October 1978 to ask Orkustofnun (the National Energy Authority (NEA)), to sign an Agreement on Association with the UNU and establish the UNU Geothermal Training Programme (UNU-GTP). The UNU-GTP has been hosted by the NEA ever since.

The first annual training session of the UNU-GTP started in May 1979 with two UNU Fellows from the Philippines. Since then, a group of scientists and engineers from energy agencies and research organizations as well as universities in the developing countries and Central and Eastern European countries, have come to Iceland every spring to spend six months in highly specialized studies in geological exploration, borehole geology, geophysical exploration, borehole geophysics, reservoir engineering, chemistry of thermal fluids, environmental science, geothermal utilization, and drilling technology.

The development of geothermal resources requires a group of highly skilled specialists from a number of disciplines of science and engineering. Because of its diversity, geothermal energy has not been taught as a common subject at universities. The training of geothermal specialists has mainly taken place on-the-job within companies and institutions. International geothermal schools have contributed significantly in the transfer of geothermal technology, especially for the benefit of developing countries.

More recently, the UNU-GTP also offers a few successful candidates the possibility of extending their studies to MSc or PhD degrees in geothermal sciences or engineering in cooperation with the University of Iceland.

The UNU-GTP was established in the shadow of the oil crisis, when nations were looking for new and renewable energy sources in order to reduce dependence on hydrocarbons, in particular oil with its rapidly escalating prices. The current situation is somewhat similar in the sense that the international community is looking towards renewable energy sources as an alternative for the hydrocarbons in order to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases.

The UNU-GTP yearbook “Geothermal Training in Iceland 2016” has now been published on print and released online and is now available for download under publications on the webpage

Source: and


Irelands Renewable Heat Incentive scheme to receive €7m in Budget 2018

Minister Denis Naughton

Irelands Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe announced that a total budget of €17 million will go towards the RHI scheme and the encouragement of greater uptake of electric vehicles as part of Ireland’s commitment to its climate change obligations.

€7 million will be allocated for the government’s long-anticipated Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme in 2018. The allocation is lower than predicted by industry representatives, but with applications only expected to open in the second half of 2018, next year will not be a full operational year for the scheme.  The scheme is aimed at encouraging industrial and commercial heat users, in the Republic of Ireland, to switch to greener technologies.  An RHI scheme was first considered as part of the Bioenergy strategy consultation in 2013, and included in the Draft Bioenergy Plan in 2014.

The RHI will support the replacement of fossil fuel heating systems with renewable energy systems – such as biomass boilers. The scheme will present a significant opportunity for the domestic bioenergy sector benefiting farmers, foresters and rural communities.

Further details on the RHI scheme can be found on the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment website

Eastern Finland Bioenergy Days: excursion to Eno Energy Cooperative

Karelia UAS 09-10-2017
Procurement agent Matti Ikäheimonen presenting wood fuel supply of Eno Energy Cooperative

The Regional Council of North Karelia and Karelia University of Applied Sciences organised Eastern Finland Bioenergy Days in 26th-27th of September.  Seminar covered policy and business developments of the sector, and excursions headed to the renewable energy demonstration at Sirkkala Energy Park (Karelia UAS), Eno Energy Cooperative and John Deere Forest machine manufacturing.

The seminar programme included presentations and discussions on the sector development, especially on latest policy development in climate and energy, ie. legislative proposal to integrate greenhouse gas emissions and removals from land use, land use-change and forestry (LULUCF) into the 2030 climate and energy framework. The potential impacts of the prepared legislation to the Finnish forestry, bioenergy sector and their carbon emissions were discussed in several presentations. The Finnish discussion and controveries experienced are deatailed in a blogpost by the University of Eastern Finland.

The excursion to the Eno Energy Cooperative included company history, forest supply chain practices, socio-economic impacts, and the latest investment on 21 kWe Solar PV. The Solar PV system was installed by a local company, Mirotex ltd., and it was part of the joint procurement process together with 4 other energy enterprises in the region.

The Eno Energy Cooperative shares actively good practices through the networks of heat entrepreneurs both regionally and nationally, and is also know reference site for international visitors. The EEO is one of the three EES (Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme) roll-out companies in Finland and will receive targeted mentoring support during the third year of the project.