The heat entrepreneurs of North Karelia and Savo regions met in Lieksa to discuss the recent development of the sector. The meeting of entrepreneurs and bioenergy developers focused on the work safety aspects, the potential of the solar energy systems integrated in district heating, and the socio-economic benefits of bioenergy.
The importance of the work safety issue was emphasized by presentations on risk assessments, safety issues along the supply-chain and at the heating plant, and on legislation requirements. Practical examples were given on the realised risks – such as deaths in silos – and how they could have been avoided.
Eno Energy Cooperative is a famous example of a heat enterprise positively affecting at the regional economy. Bioenergy and bioeconomy specialist Esa Kinnunen from the Finnish Forest Centre presented the latest socio-economic study of the Eno Energy Co-op. The estimated socio-economic impacts of cost savings (i.e. replacing heating oil with renewable biomass) during the past 15 years have been about 75 jobs and 2.8 MEUR.
The heat entrepreneurs are considering investments on the solar energy systems integrated in the DH plans; technical and economic aspects of the PV and solar thermal were presented by Karelia UAS Renewable energy specialist Kim Blomqvist. Kim also presented the currently open GREBE Entrepreneurship Enabler Scheme call for local enterprises in Finland – heat entrepreneurs are among the key target groups of the scheme.
The Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) has been leading the development of the Finnish Biomass Atlas, a web-based GIS platform for assessing biomass potentials within freely delineated geographical areas. The platform will be launched in May (in Finnish), the development of the tool will continue together with the project partners.
Biomass selector allows the user to select the assortments of interest. The data can be hierarchically organized. In this case the first level consists of three alternatives: Land cover, total biomass production and the potential of primary residues. At the second level forest chips have been selected in this example. Finally, the user has chosen the individual assortments: Small trees (harvested as delimbed stems), Logging residues (only spruce, according to Business as usual scenario) and Stumps (only spruce, according to Business as usual scenario).
In addition to basic map tools like zooming, panning and measurement of distances and areas, the user can delineate a polygon for which Biomass Atlas calculates the total of the selected assortments. The results can be exported into an Excel workbook. The results can also be calculated to predefined regions, e.g., to municipalities or provinces.
The user can identify a location on the map for which the potentials within a distance are added up. The distance can be calculated as Euclidean distance (straight line) or via road network.
Lahti University of Applied Sciences organised the Engineer Forum 2017 in March 22nd-23rd at Sibelius Hall, Congress and Concert Centre. The annual event of engineer education organisations, engineers, industry and other stakeholder partners is this year among official Finland 100 year events.
The GREBE partner, Karelia UAS was responsible for organising the bioeconomy themed parallel session at the event. The session had focus on the impacts of the bioeconomy and bioenergy at the regional and local economy, and training and expertise development opportunities. About 30 attendants in the session discussed on the ways to promote bioenergy at the local level – topic introduced by the Karelia UAS lecturer and GREBE partner Lasse Okkonen and Admin Manager Urpo Hassinen from the Eno Energy Cooperative.
The latest development of the bioeconomy specialization studies was presented by Tapani Pöykkö, Director of Regional Development in Bioeconomy and Natural Resources at Häme University of Applied Sciences, HAMK. The approach he presented for the Bioeconomy Engineer studies was multi-disciplinary and knowledge-based. The open UAS studies in bioeconomy were presented by lecturer Anne Poutiainen, Karelia UAS, followed by engineer student Katja Keronen describing her expectations for future career in this field.
“You probably know already that 12 percent of Finnish forest area is today protected by environmental and ecological reasons. But did you know that forestry has brought to Finland €229 billion export revenues since 1995? You know that we have such a strong populations of moose, bear, and wolf that we need carefully to hunt them in order to maintain the balance and harmony between their prey and people living in forests.
But did you know, that since year 2000, timber sales have brought €24 billion of revenues for ordinary private citizens, who owns over 60% of all Finnish forests. Every fifth Finn owns forest area or has forest owner in his/her family, which spreads the income nicely to remarkable number of ordinary people throughout the country. Forestry also offers numerous working opportunities for people living in rural areas; this has also been always an important part of social sustainability.
Despite of the remarkable economic impact of forest industry and intensive wood use, we have more trees in our forest than ever before.
If you have been in Finland, you know that we have a lot of forests and trees. But did you know that despite of the remarkable economic impact of forest industry and intensive wood use, we have more trees in our forest than ever before. Nowadays there are about 80 billion trees and both the number of trees and total volume of forests are growing even if we increase our annual use of forests from the current level. This increased growth of forest means more carbon from air bound into trees and into the forest products replacing fossil based materials. Good for climate and climate targets.
You may know that we did large clear-cuttings in 1950’s and 1960´s when we were building the basis of our society. At that time we introduced intensive forest management practices based on monocultures and large units. But did you know that those large clearcuttings are now nice mixed-species forests again, our forest management is certified and biodiversity has been promoted for decades by introducing more diverse harvesting.
If you know some other country, in which renewable forest resource has equal importance for the economy and which has done things better than we have, please, bring it in! We want to benchmark it and to be better in the future.
Forests are tremendous source of sustainable welfare and wellness and we want to keep it that way – forever. (…)” (Luke Blog Posts).
The name of the competition combines two words “Kasvu”, which means growth in Finnish, and “open”, summarizing the idea of the competition being open for every type of a company and for any expert willing to share own knowledge on a pro bono basis.
Kasvu Open is the largest project for sparring growth-oriented companies in Finland. In this competition, companies have an opportunity to present their growth plan to number of experts free of charge. As a result, companies will have a clarified growth plan, enlarged network of growth venture experts and potential investors in the country.
In 2017 over 900 experienced managers will meet 450 small and medium size companies for a total amount of time exceeding 4550 hours. Following the main goal of Kasvu Open, hundreds of experts offer their knowledge and skills on a voluntary basis. Kasvu Open gathers growth professionals, investors and other partners into one solid network, which supports the attending companies.
Although first defined as a competition, Kasvu Open does not aim at competition for the titles. It builds a platform where entrepreneurs introduce ideas, test them, receive feedback, polish their plans and try to solve problems together with the experts. Anyone can participate in Kasvu Open, regardless of the scale of growth or goals.
Karelia UAS key partner in North Karelia, Bio10 Ltd. attended at 2016 Growth Open achieving Fast Track Bio Citation Award. Bio10 was established in 2007 to treat organic waste and produce biogas based energy and both organic and conventional fertilisers. In addition, the company provides expertise and training services in biogas, waste treatment and recycling.
Teagasc together with IT Tralee, IFA and IBEC are holding a Bioeconomy Conference at the City west Hotel Dublin on Wednesday November 23rd. The event will focus on the bioeconomy including grass bio refining, Wood based polymers, New value chain opportunities. Here is the full agenda: bioeconomy-conference-nov-23rd-city-west-hotel
The event will be an ideal networking opportunity and will bring attendees up to date on developments within the biobased economy including the long awaited Renewable Heat Incentive which will be discussed during a panel discussion including Frank Groome from Department of Communications, Climate Awareness and Environment (DCCAE) who are soon launching a public consultation in this area.
According to Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) Finland will attain the targets set by the Paris climate conference if the forest-based bioeconomy evolves and attention is paid to the material cycles of wood-based materials. The key is to further develop forest management and utilisation methods that enable using forest-based raw materials, carbon sequestration and preserving forest biodiversity.
Increasing the production and use of woodbased biomass considerably in Finland is justified in order to enable the forest-based bioeconomy. In Finland, forests play a key role in the transition from a fossil-based economy to a bio-based economy. In the future, the end-products of the forest-based bioeconomy will replace products manufactured from fossil raw materials as well as act as long-term carbon sinks. Long-lifecycle products therefore strengthen the climate benefits associated with forests.
Climate change may negatively affect forest health. The changing climate favours pests and other natural disasters. Unmanaged, dense and old forests are susceptible to insect damage and, subsequently, forest fires. In such cases, the carbon stored in the trees is released directly into the atmosphere without providing any opportunities to utilise the biomass.
Luke’s policy recommendation examines the impacts of the growing use of forest and a changing climate on forest’s ability to sequester carbon. When increasing the sustainable use of forests, the diversity of nature and other uses of forests must be taken into account.” (Luke News)
The original news article can be found from Luke´s news section under: