Generous Grants for Climate Projects

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Reykjavík Energy along with the University of Iceland and other international scientific institutions have received two EU grants for climate projects to the combined amount of EUR 12.2 million. The grants will fund further development of methods fixing CO2 as a mineral in basaltic rock, now with special emphasis on the sea-bed.

Dr. Edda Sif Pind Aradóttir, the projects’ manager at Reykjavík Energy, says the grants, that will benefit a score of collaborators, are a valuable recognition of the projects’ merit and their contribution in the fight against climate change. Already, nine doctoral students have done their theses on fixing CO2 in rock.

Gas into rock:

Since year 2007, scientists have collaborated with Reykjavík Energy’s experts, technicians, and tradespeople on developing the idea and implementation of fixating CO2 into basaltic rock around The Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant. The power station co-generates electricity and hot water from geothermal steam which contains sporadic amounts geothermal gases. The same method as has been developed with CO2 is now also employed to sequester H2S, another geothermal gas. Already, 60% of the gases are now fixed as minerals in the bedrock and ON Power, Reykjavík Energy’s subsidiary that operates the power plant, aims at making the operation traceless in terms of these gases.

Looking to the oceans:

Because the methods employed to fix the geothermal gases in the bedrock crave both water and basaltic rock, scientists now have focused on the ocean floor. There, extensive field of basalt can be found and, naturally, lots of water.

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Closing date for applications for GREBEs Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme is extended to 1st December

The closing date for applications to GREBEs Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme in Ireland has been extended to Friday 1st December 2017.   

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 paulineleonard@wdc.ie

Completed applications must be returned to GREBE Project, Western Development Commission, Dillon House, Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon, or alternatively via email: paulineleonard@wdc.ie not later than 12.00 Noon on Friday 1st December 2017.

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

Knowledge transfer in the NPA – GREBE expert sessions with SME’s

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The GREBE project arranged a possibility for the transfer of knowledge within the Northern Periphery area by hosting expert sessions with SME´s. The sessions were part of the GREBE project meeting events hosted by the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council from 6th – 10th November 2017. Two experts, Saija Rasi and Veikko Möttönen from the GREBE partner organization Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) were available to the participants for one-to-one meetings.

Saija Rasi, whose expertise is in bioenergy production, biogas technology, gas analysis, treatment of biodegradable wastes and bio refineries, provided information to stakeholders interested in biogas technology / energy production and nutrient circulation.

Veikko Möttönen has his area of expertise in wood mechanical properties, drying of wood and sawn timber, further processing of sawn wood, further processing of side streams and wood modification, and was able to provide information on practices to handle side streams and plans of company for the production development.

The experts were also available during a networking event for businesses from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland giving the opportunity to engage with one another or opening up the possibility of joint working opportunities in the future.

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This activity was part of the GREBE project´s “Knowledge & Technology Transfer and Business Delivery” working package led by the Natural Research Institute Finland (LUKE). The aim of the expert sessions were to facilitate transnational effective knowledge transfer and collaboration in the renewable energy business sector and to promote knowledge sharing and information exchange between actors in renewable energy supply and demand.

More information on the topic in general can be found from GREBE´s Renewable Business Portal under: http://www.renewablebusiness.eu

WDC to recruit project administrators for EU funded renewable energy projects

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GREBEs lead partner the Western Development Commission, wishes to recruit project administrators to work on two renewable energy projects.

The ‘Regional Development and Integration of unused biomass wastes as Resources for Circular products and economic Transformation’ (RE-DIRECT) Project is an EU co-funded (North West Europe Programme) project to promote the efficient use of natural resources and materials by converting residual biomass into carbon products and activated carbon at smart regional decentralised units.

Details of this role can be found on the Irishjobs.ie website https://www.irishjobs.ie/Jobs/Project-Administrator-RE-Direct-8095950.aspx, and further information on the project itself can be found on the website http://re-direct-nwe.eu/ or download the REDIRECT_Factsheet

The ‘Community based energy solutions for remote areas’ (LECo) Project is an EU co-funded (Northern Periphery & Arctic Programme) project that will support the development of local energy communities. Details of this role can be found on the Irishjobs.ie website https://www.irishjobs.ie/Jobs/Project-Administrator-LECo-Project-8095487.aspx  and further information on the project is available on the LECo_Factsheet

Details of both roles can be found on the Western Development Commission website http://www.wdc.ie/about-us/vacancies/

Deadline for receipt of applications is 17.00, Tuesday 5 December 2017.

The WDC is an equal opportunities employer

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GREBE holds Speed Networking Event in Enniskillen

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Fermanagh and Omagh District Council hosted a meeting of the GREBE project in the week 6th – 10th November 2017.  This meeting, the 7th Partner meeting took place on Tuesday and Wednesday and culminated in a networking event for those businesses who engaged with the Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme in Northern Ireland, and brought them together with a number of businesses from the Republic of Ireland.

The following partners were in attendance:

  • Western Development Commission – Ireland
  • Action Renewables – Northern Ireland
  • Fermanagh and Omagh District Council – Northern Ireland
  • University of the Highlands and Islands – Scotland
  • Natural Research Institute LUKE – Finland
  • Karelia University of Applied Science – Finland
  • Narvik Science Park – Norway
  • Icelandic Centre for Innovation – Iceland

An important aspect of this event was also the involvement of two experts from Finland who were available to the participants for one-to-one meetings, Veikko Mottenen and Saija Rasi. These meetings were positively received and the speed networking event afforded all of those who attended the opportunity to engage with one another, opening up the possibility of joint working opportunities in the future.  The high-energy event was facilitated by Ruth Daly of Sort-IT and was enjoyed by all.

 

After the networking event, the group attended a Chairman’s reception in Enniskillen Townhall, followed by a social event when the networking continued.

Thursday saw the group visit a number of sites to see the range of activities within the area in the Renewable Energy sector.  Site visits were facilitated by the CREST centre at South West College in Enniskillen, an associated partner in the GREBE project, Balcas, who are a major supplier of fuel to the Renewable Energy sector and finally to Ecohog, based in Carrickmore, Co Tyrone, whose machinery is built locally and is sold across the globe and has been making significant inroads into the Renewable Energy sector.

Norwegian Energy Partners

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The establishment of the new organisation – Norwegian Energy Partners – is the result of a merger between INTSOK and INTPOW in 2017 given the name NORWEP. NORWEP will continue to provide support to the oil and gas supply industries in Norway, but will also now work with the renewable energy sector. The Norwegian Energy Partners will be combining the competence in previous INTSOK and INTPOW to mutual benefit for the whole Norwegian energy industry – as the international oil companies now reshaping and extending their investment strategies and the Norwegian supply industry looking to be well positioned to compete also in the renewable markets. In 2018 the Norwegian Government would give 3.7million Euro to NORWEP – to promote the Norwegian energy sector to the international market.  

INTSOK/INTPOW

INTSOK was an effective vehicle for promoting the Norwegian offshore industry’s capabilities to key clients in overseas markets and providing market information to its partners. The focus was on global opportunities, not only amongst large Norwegian companies but also amongst small and medium-sized enterprises. INTSOK was a network-based organisation where the partners exchange experience and knowledge of market developments internationally. INTPOW was the only national and the principal networking organisation for the Norwegian renewable energy industry. INTPOW’s members were Norwegian authorities, companies and other industry participants with an international expansion strategy. The joint forces between INTSOK and INTPOW will be an even stronger unit to open doors for Norwegian companies and technology.

The new organisation – NORWEP  

Norwegian Energy Partners will be combining the competencies of both organisations to mutual benefit for the whole Norwegian energy industry – building on:

  • The Norwegian energy sector has developed industry with experience, ideas, products and technologies – that are competitive in the most demanding global markets.
  • International oil companies are now reshaping and extending their investment strategies in to the renewable energy sector.
  • The Norwegian industry, known for its safe, reliable and energy efficient solutions, could also have a competitive edge with the increasing awareness around climate change.

The Norwegian Energy Partners role will be to continue the effective work done by INTSOK/INTPOW – for promoting the Norwegian energy industry’s capabilities, technologies and competence to key clients in the overseas markets and providing market information to the partners. NORWEP would still be a network-based organisation, facilitating dialogue between energy companies, technology suppliers, service companies and the Government.

New possibilities – Investment in renewable energy

Investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and low carbon solutions are rapidly increasing. The Norwegian supply industry has a lot to offer in this changing energy landscape. The petroleum industry has solved technological challenges in a demanding environment on the Norwegian continental shelf since the very beginning of the oil production in Norway. The Norwegian supply industry has over 100 years of experience in developing hydropower, and is increasingly delivering technology to solar and wind development projects. The supply industry’s valuable competence is utilised across sectors. In fact, half of the members of former INTSOK – traditionally delivering to the petroleum sector, also delivers equipment, services and technology to the renewable energy sector.

  • Solar energy
  • Hydropower
  • Wind energy

 

Arctic and cold climate solutions

The Norwegian Energy Partners would also have a special focus on arctic and cold climate solutions – to strengthen Norwegian arctic related technology and competence. NORWEP wants to pave the way for Norwegian industry delivering world class technology and solutions for arctic and cold climate areas, as well as infrastructure – looking at international markets as USA (Alaska), Canada and Russia.

This is of course a very interesting focus for the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme, NORWEP and the Norwegian Government discussing arctic and cold climate development projects.

Fast track internationalisation

NORWEP will assist the participating companies from the energy sector – in identifying their most optimal international markets based on the products and services the individual companies offer, as well as connect the companies to their respective markets. The result is an internationalisation strategy with defined activities and action plan on how to achieve the objectives. All done to reach a higher level of internalisation of the Norwegian energy business – building on fast track solutions.  

Nordregio Working Paper on Bio-energy Development in North Karelia, Jämtland, and Västernorrland

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Nordregio has released a working paper looking into rural bio-energy development in the region of North Karelia in Finland, and Jämtland and Västernorrland in Sweden. The paper identifies the enabling factors behind the relatively successful local bio-energy development and considers how the bio-energy development has influenced sustainable local and regional development.

The working paper is a part of the TRIBORN Project, which investigates how to increase the production of bioenergy in ways that promote sustainable development understood as positive economic, social and environmental outcomes – in rural areas.

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.

For the GREBE partner region of North Karelia, the report summarizes the bioenergy sectors success factors and development, but also challenges related to the utilisation of the sectors potential. The report refers to the OECD Green Growth Studies stating that “many favorable institutional factors for regional innovation are in place in North Karelia: strong local government with willingness to act, local ownership of power utilities, presence of strong research institutes and education facilities, tradition of co-operative organization, legitimacy of local bioenergy production and presence of local and regional actors in several stages in the supply chain”.

As development challenges, the report identifies several aspects, such as changes in forest and bio-energy policy; access to risk finance and other economic challenges facing especially local small and medium-sized enterprises; the challenge of ageing population; and the question of openness of the current innovation platform for innovation and development around other thematic areas than forestry and bio-energy. For instance, bio-economy opportunities in the agri-food sector could be investigated in more detail.

The collaboration with Nordregio and TRIBORN project has provided valuable development information for the bioeconomy sector in North Karelia, as well as comparisons to the sector development in northern Sweden.

Publication Facts

Bioenergy Development in Finland and Sweden: The cases of North Karelia, Jämtland, and Västernorrland

Nordregio Working paper 2017:6

ISBN: 978-91-87295-53-9; ISSN: 1403-2503

Editors: Anna Berlina and Nelli Mikkola with contributions by Karen Refsgaard and Alberto Huerta Morales

Full text available for download: http://norden.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1147107/FULLTEXT02.pdf