Renewable energy, including bioenergy, is thriving in the town Akureyri, in northern Iceland, with the community actively moving in the direction of carbon neutrality. The energy transition team at Orkustofnun visited Akureyri in order to look into the current status of renewable energy in transport and in utilization of biomass in the Eyjafjörður Area, northern Iceland. Orkustofnun’s branch in Akureyri was visited, and Guðmundur H. Sigurðarson, Managing Director of Vistorka, presented the company’s activities and the status of these issues including achieving carbon neutral society in Akureyri.
Several charging stations for electric cars are available for use in Akureyri and some of them where visited. The stations are owned and operated by ON, Norðurorka and Rarik. Vistorka received funding from the Energy Fund for development of infrastructure for electric cars which will result in 11 electric charging stations in the North of Iceland. Most of the projects described below have been funded by the Energy Fund as well as supported by Orkusetur.
The compost company Molta was visited, where organic waste is collected from homes and companies in the Eyjafjörður Area and beyond for compost production. Production of biodiesel from animal waste is planned at the facility. The company Orkey was also visited, where biodiesel is produced from waste cooking oil. The biodiesel is used in buses in Akureyri, on fishing vessels and in asphalt production. The aim is to increase production by adding animal waste as mentioned previously. Methane is currently produced from the old landfill in Akureyri and “harnessing” of the manure in the Eyjafjörður area is on the drawing board to further increase methane production to fuel 2-3000 cars per year.
The use of electric bikes by the employees of Norðurorka is also of interest, as electric bikes are relatively inexpensive, convenient in a hilly and windy environment and use a renewable power source. In winter the bikes’ studded tyres are well suited for icy conditions as well as the on-board lighting system is important for safety in the darkness of the Arctic winter. The energy transition team at Orkustofnun has many irons in the fire these days and are gathering ideas that help accomplish Althingi’s action plan regarding energy transition. In order to meet such goals, it is clear that applying well-known and successful methods and technologies are important. Orkustofnun, Orkusjóður and Orkusetur will continue to support projects in the field of energy transition throughout the country.
A Case video has been published by GREBE partner LUKE on Itikka farm Iisalmi, Finland. The Itikka farm is located in a rural forest and agriculture dominated region very near to the city of Iisalmi in the region of Northern Savo, Finland. Currently energy production plays an important role in the farm´s business. The energy production on the farm includes an own biodiesel production unit, a wind turbine, solar panels and a ground source heat pump.
The Itikka farm is in a private family ownership since the year 1905. The farm has a high annual energy consumption of approximately 150 000 kWh especially high needs for seed processing and drying. The Itikka farm currently employs three external employees with one being employed in the field of energy.
The system is driven by the objective of being self-sufficient by meeting the energy demand of the farm with local resource and moving away from fossil energy. Currently a self-sufficiency of about 50-70% is achieved. Own energy consumption (electricity, heat and fuels) of about 150 MWh, drives own production. The farm has available by-products that can be utilised in bio-oil and briquette production.
The Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) has now published a GREBE video on the Itikka farm hybrid solutions case. The video is available in two language versions, English and Finnish.
Please have a look at the hybrid solution of this farm and check the English version of the case video here:
The Finnish language version is available under:
The GREBE case study report on the Itikka farm can be found under:
More information on the renewable business topic in general can be found from GREBE’s Renewable Business Portal under: http://www.renewablebusiness.eu
The Finnish GREBE project partners Luke and Karelia UAS visited two E-farm® destinations provided by the Finnish E-farm® service using renewable energy solutions for energy production on a farm scale.
A perfect example for an E-farm® destination is the Itikan tila farm in the region of Northern Savo in Finland. The farm produces agricultural products, provides cultural and tourist services and has an own energy production on the farm including an own biodiesel production unit, a wind turbine, solar panels and a ground source heat pump.
The E-farm® service includes site visits to so-called “E-farm® destinations”, support services in form of calculations, education and training. E-farm® offers for instance dedicated courses on biogas and wind energy. Also, E-farm® provides detailed investment calculations and support for farmers planning to invest in renewable energy solutions on their farm. By contacting the coordinator of E-farm®, customers can order visits or tours to any of the destinations in Finland, ask for support or other offered services at one contact point. Also tours to Central Europe can be organized. Companies behind the trademark are Envitecpolis Oy and Savon Siemen Oy.
The concept of combining conventional (farm) business with energy production and tourism has been presented in the Northern Periphery Programme (NPP) area before, the NPP project REMOTE worked with this idea for example. Besides of the availability of sustainable resources, the Northern Periphery area is unique in regards to the high number of remote dwellings in rural areas, the availability of unique cultural experiences and events for tourists. A large share of buildings has either no access to electricity or is dependent on producing energy from fossil fuels. A focus was to provide feasible solutions for renewable energies in remote areas adapted to the scale of sparsely populated areas and communities by providing information, products and services similar to the E-farm® concept especially dedicated for farms and their customers.
E-farm® has a network of farms across Finland coving a wide range of renewable energy solutions including for example wind mills, small scale CHP units from forest chips, biogas, biodiesel, solar panels, hydro power and ground source heat pump.
In addition to energy sales of renewable energy to the market, visits to the farms provide new business opportunities such as additional income to both the farm and the service and increase the awareness and experiences of energy production investments at farms.
More information on the E-farm® destinations and services offered can be found from the webpage (in Finnish): www.efarm.fi
The Finnish GREBE project partners Luke and Karelia UAS visited Itikan tila farm in the region of Northern Savo in Finland. The farm visited will be a case study for the GREBE project on hybrid energy solutions used in energy production.
The farm is a seed producer since the 1970´s, but the ownership dates back until 1905, however, nowadays energy production plays an important role of the farm´s business. The energy production on the farm includes an own biodiesel production unit, a wind turbine, solar panels and a ground source heat pump.
The bio-oil production is used mainly to produce heat for heating and drying of grain, but also as fuel for two tractors and a harvesting machine. The production is based on rape seed oil and vegetable and frying oils from the industry in the region. The rape residues can be processed to briquettes as cattle feed on the farm. Briquettes are also produced from straw, cutter shavings and saw dust from the local wood processing industry and mainly used for combustion in a municipal district heating scheme in the region.
The hybrid energy solution for the farm includes a 5 kW wind power plant since 2015. The energy produced is used to heat water in an accumulator. In addition to the energy production, the wind mill is an important component for the demonstration.
The farm has invested two years ago into a solar PV plant with a capacity of 10 kW. The produced electricity is transferred directly to the electricity grid. The farm used heat exchangers and heat recovery systems in many places on the farm, LED lights are the favored light option.
Another energy source is based on a ground sources heat pump system (30kW). All in all, the farm has an energy consumption of approximately 150 000 kWh, especially for seed processing and drying.
The farm is also part of the e-farm network which for example organizes visits to energy producing farms. The Itikan farm has several visitor groups each month.
The GREBE project will prepare a case study report about the Itikan farm which will then be available as good example case for hybrid energy solution for the Northern Periphery regions and GREBE partner countries.