GREBE meets with energy engineering students from Galway – Mayo Institute of Technology

 

GMIT visitEnergy engineering students from Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, led by Dr. John Lohan, participated in a study tour to the Aurivo Dairy Ingredients Plant (ADIP) in Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon.  A meeting was held at the Northern & Western Regional Assembly where information about ADIP and renewable energy work in the region was discussed.

GMIT at NWRA
Colin Donohue (Optien), Gerry Lavelle (NWRA), John Lohan (GMIT), Katie Wright (NWRA), Pauline Leonard (WDC & GREBE) and Marty Dervin (Aurivo)

Marty Dervin, Energy Manager at ADIP, explained the background of the dairy ingredients plant and their energy management policy. Aurivo is the largest indigenous agricultural co-operative in the West of Ireland with business activities in consumer foods dairy products, dairy ingredients, retail stores, animal feeds and livestock trading.  Aurivo Dairy Ingredients have a strong focus on energy management and are continuously performing energy reduction projects onsite.

One of the most significant projects undertaken to date is the installation of a large scale biomass boiler for the supply of thermal energy for the site. It was revealed that the site was consuming 8 million litres of heavy fuel oil (HFO) every year, and this was replaced with a 12MW biomass plant in May 2014. This provided an opportunity for a long-term, sustainable energy solution for Aurivos dairy ingredients business. The installation of the biomass boiler has delivered a 60% reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions for the site and is a major part of Aurivos commitment to their Origin Green programme.

Colin Donohue of Optien imparted some of his experiences as an energy engineer.  Optien is focused on providing world class mentoring services to their clients to facilitate performance improvement within their organisations, and specialise in complex and energy intensive industries and leverage a data driven approach to facilitate performance improvement.

Pauline Leonard presented information on GREBE and other EU funded projects to the students, and outlined some of the opportunities available to them, whether through accessing EU funded research as part of their studies, or through innovation and entrepreneurship schemes funded by the EU.

GREBE Project holds green business & renewable energy workshop in Norway

Narvik Science Park (NSP) hosted a green business/renewable energy workshop from 21th to 22th March 2017 – with focus on new policy mechanisms and the policy agenda in different sectors of renewable energy. A registration of 110 participants means that renewable energy is hot also in the Arctic areas. 

Policy workshops

The arrangement of policy workshops in the GREBE-Project is to provide information on the existing policies and business support funding mechanisms in each partner region, which relate to developing business opportunities in the renewables sector – and (for the Narvik policy workshop) also to provide access to professional contacts/networks in Northern – Norway (NPA Region), in order to disseminate information on new policy models and business funding options.

The workshops are a fundamental part of identifying the existing policies and business support funding mechanisms that already exist in each partner region, and in assessing how effective those policies and mechanisms have been. The work will then concentrate on identifying new initiatives which will further promote renewable energy business development in each partner region – and ensure that interventions are made.

Key objectives

  • To identify and promote opportunities for policy to provide an effective supporting framework for sustainable renewable energy business.
  • To promote awareness and understanding of funding support, mechanisms available to assist renewable energy businesses, start ups and SME enterprises in NPA regions

The seven sectors below were represented at the workshop:

  1. Co2- capture and storage (CCS)
  2. Hydro Power
  3. Electricity Distribution
  4. Energy Efficiency
  5. Solar Cell Technology
  6. Wind Technology
  7. Small Hydro Power Plants

Further information about GREBEs policy and funding mechanisms analysis can be found on the publications page of the project website http://grebeproject.eu/publication/

 

 

Service users of ARC Healthy Living Centre in Irvinestown benefit from energy efficiency measures

new-arc-logo

ARC Healthy Living Centre is a not-for-profit community organisation, governed by a voluntary board of directors and working across one of the most rural parts of the UK. Each week they support families, young people and adults to learn new skills, improve their health and well-being, find employment and develop confidence to achieve their goals and transform their lives. ARC has a long established ethos of inclusion and positive expectation. 

The ARC Healthy Living Centre are delivering needs based services to vulnerable people and are constantly struggling to meet their running costs. They need to maintain constant temperatures in their buildings to suit their service users, primarily babies and young children in the new build and adults with long term conditions in the original build.

Recognising that they had to manage their heat demand into the future, in late 2014 they chose to move to a biomass system, as a long term outcome to reduce their costs and reduce their carbon footprint. The move to renewable energy was based on more than financial assumptions. Their commitment to protecting the environment and to move away from harmful fossil fuels was of key importance. Wood fuel is a ‘low carbon’ fuel that produces a fraction of the emissions of fossil fuels. The critical difference between biomass fuels and fossil fuels is the type of carbon emitted: biomass fuel releases contemporary carbon, whereas fossil fuel releases fossilized carbon. In addition to the environmental reasons, they were a hostage to fluctuating oil prices.  As with most households and businesses locally when oil prices were high they were subject to oil theft.

In February 2015 they went out to tender for suitable installers and in June 2015 had the new system fitted and commissioned. The installation of the biomass boiler was prompted by the introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).  The RHI aimed to encourage organisations to generate heat from renewable technologies. The RHI pays participants of the scheme for generating renewable heat and using it in their buildings and processes. Proving that the ARC met the requirements of the RHI was based on the establishment of facts and evidence, eligible heat output has to be determined and verified. On 31st August 2015 they obtained RHI accreditation.

The RHI on their new system will not cover installation costs for many years. Used ethically and correctly this system does not generate huge financial gains. The buildings have heat management systems and climate controls so therefore cannot be over heated. With the new system they have in fact reduced the heat demand, continued, maintained underfloor heating run from the biomass system has avoided the continual rationing and subsequent boosting that rendered the previous oil system so inefficient, and supplementary heaters are now seldom required. They have welcomed the media and public interest in this story, and ARC is happy to comply with any additional inspection or monitoring that is introduced as a result of the current publicity in around the RHI scheme.

The ARC Healthy Living Centre remains committed to supporting rural people experiencing fuel poverty and is working in partnership with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive in the design of a road map for innovation within the energy sector.  The development of such community energy schemes could lead to: a reduction in fuel poverty, the development of a secure and affordable energy supply for those who may be deemed as vulnerable, improved energy efficiency and ultimately improved physical and social well-being of rural communities.

White paper on New Norwegian energy policy

NSP image 29-08-2016

The Norwegian government has this spring presented a White Paper on energy policy – ‘Power For Change – An Energy Policy Towards 2030’. The main message is that security of supply, consequences for climate and economic growth must be considered together to secure an efficient and climate friendly energy supply.  17 years have passed since the Parliament last received a broad overview of the development, status and perspectives of our national energy supply. Since the last White Paper in 1999, the energy markets and the policies of the countries around us have changed considerably. There now exists an international commitment to enhance efforts on emission reductions and climate adaption.

The renewable energy resources and a well-functioning energy sector are competitive advantages for Norway. An efficient energy market and access to reliable and clean renewable energy is crucial for a climate-friendly energy supply. The new Norwegian energy policy will enable increased use of renewable power in new areas.

The government wants the Norwegian energy supply to be the basis for continued growth and welfare. The new Norwegian energy policy would focus on four areas.

1. Enhanced security of supply

The societies focus on security of supply is growing. The government aims to uphold a satisfactory security of supply also in the years to come – and wants to make sure that market solutions enhance the flexibility of the energy system. The goal is to pursue a strengthened Nordic energy cooperation. The government wants a robust power transmission system on all levels, and will work for better coordination between transmission, consumption and production. New technology and the use of smart management systems will contribute to improved security of supply in the future.

2. Efficient production of renewables

Norway is blessed with huge renewable resources and the opportunity to make use of them. The governments energy policy should enable profitable production of renewable power in Norway.  The efforts in developing and using new technologies for renewable energy will continue. Stronger integration with other energy markets is important to maintain the value of Norwegian renewable resources. Therefore, the government aims to increase connections with European energy markets. The regulatory framework will be changed so that others than the state-owned TSO Statnett may own and operate interconnectors. To avoid reduced values of our existing renewable production, the government will not introduce new targets under the Green certificate system – and will also make the licensing process more efficient.

The government wants a long-term development of profitable wind power in Norway. The introduction of a national framework for wind power will contribute to dampen conflicts and contribute with appropriate choices of locating wind power.

3. More efficient and climate-friendly use of energy

The government wants to alter the focus from supporting mature production technologies towards innovation and the development of new energy and climate solutions. Our national agency for the support of green energy and energy efficiency, Enova, is our main instrument in this work. Enova’s overarching aims are reduction of climate emissions, strengthening security of energy supply and the development of technologies that in the long term contribute to lower climate emissions. The government has recently entrusted Enova with the responsibility of contributing to reduce climate emissions from transport. The development of new energy and climate technologies in the industrial sector will continue to be a main area of Enovas work. The government is proposing an ambitious national objective for energy efficiency.

4. Economic growth and value creation through efficient use of profitable renewable resources

The energy sector creates substantial values based on Norways renewable energy resources.

The use of renewable energy also enables value creation in other industries and sectors. The government will facilitate the development of our competitive advantages from deploying our renewable energy resources. The government proposes a new law that will enable industrial owners of hydropower to access predictable supplies in the future.

Future value creation based on our renewable resources is contingent on our ability for innovation and knowledge development. The government aims to achieve a smooth employment of tools from different institutions and innovation programs – building on the strategy “Energy 21” which is jointly developed by the industry, research institutions and public authorities.

Renewable energy focus

For the GREBE Project it is interesting to notice that 3 of 4 policy headlines in the new energy policy – directly focus on Norway’s renewable energy resources and how to make use of them and technological innovations to create renewable business.

Low carbon economy sustains 238,500 jobs across UK

Wind farm image

Some 96,500 businesses were operating in the low carbon sector – from renewables such as wind and solar power to electric vehicles – in 2014, the most recent year for which figures were available.

A third of those (34%) were primarily focused on low carbon business, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) data show.

Energy efficiency products was the biggest sector, generating £21.9 billion in turnover and employing the equivalent of 155,500 people, while renewable energy generated £15.9 billion turnover and sustained the equivalent of 43,500 full-time jobs.

Energy efficiency products was the biggest sector, generating £21.9 billion in turnover and employing the equivalent of 155,500 people, while renewable energy generated £15.9 billion turnover and sustained the equivalent of 43,500 full-time jobs.

Overall more than 4% of non-financial sector businesses were active in the low carbon and renewable energy sector, and it generated 1.3% of non-financial turnover.

The sector generated exports worth nearly £4.8 billion and imports of £5.9 billion, with l ow emission vehicles taking the lion’s share of exports, accounting for 60% or £2.9 billion, the figures show.

Scotland had the biggest percentage of companies active in the low carbon sector, with 5.2% of non-financial Scottish businesses involved in clean tech, energy efficiency and renewables and providing the equivalent of 21,500 full time jobs.

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/low-carbon-economy-sustains-238500-jobs-across-uk-34726007.html

Icelandic government invests in infrastructure for electric cars

hradhledsla

The Icelandic government will soon advertise special subsidies for business that want to install fast charging stations for electric cars. The state intends to put 67 million Icelandic krona per year, over the next three years, to increase the number of charging stations in Iceland.

It is not yet clear whether the first grants will go to setting up charging stations on Route 1 or Ring Road, the national road in Iceland, or to enhance electric car infrastructure for certain communities.

This is done to accelerate the energy exchange which is the government policy and reduce the use of fossil fuels. The electric cars adoption has long begun in Iceland and many think it´s rational that households’ second car is driven by electricity, but the shortage of fast charging stations prevents further development. The government will release their plan on increasing the number the charging station soon, says Ms. Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir Minister of Industry and Commerce, in an interview with the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service on 16th May. (http://www.ruv.is/frett/rikid-styrkir-fjolgun-rafhledslustodva)

“In connection with the climate summit in Paris the Icelandic government aims to achieve specific targets to reduce net emissions and one of the projects which is covered by my ministry is precisely to encourage further investment in the infrastructure for electric cars and in order to do so we set aside 67 million ikr. per year for three years ” says Ragnheiður Elín.

The grants are not just intended to set up charging stations but also for marketing and awareness campaigns. The Icelandic Energy Fund will allocate the projects but the priorities are still unclear.  “We are still looking at how it´s best do this. Whether we will begin with the Ring road or certain towns remains to be seen. But we need to start this project to encourage and perhaps assist entrepreneurs and businesses to get started “.

International NPA seminar: Towards Energy Efficient Northern Societies

i

The aim of the new NPA co-funded SECURE project is to transfer and implement innovative energy solutions for housing and public infrastructure across NPA regions with different maturity-levels. Knowledge transfer will be demand-led, supported by a quadruple helix approach, and impact will be maximised by focusing implementation in small smart energy communities and building up local authority capacity.

The kickoff seminar will invite discussion, examine best practice and promote transnational networking on a number of issues specifically related to awareness raising and societal support, such as:

  • How can we encourage citizens to be part of the transition to future energy paths and the policymaking process that goes with it?
  • Given the scale of changes required, what are the right mechanisms to engage communities and build awareness?
  • What formal and informal approaches could be used to increase energy awareness?
  • How can public authorities develop and share effective messages?
  • What activities and programs have been successful transnationally?

With a heightened awareness of the need for increased energy efficiency and renewable technology solutions comes an opportunity to engage communities and actively involve them in the transition towards a low-carbon society.

Effective engagement with local communities is an integral part of the SECURE project. Therefore, this event will equip partners with practical strategies, verified techniques and transnational know-how to ensure a positive project outcome.

The seminar is co-financed by the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme and is arranged in cooperation with the GREBE (Generating Renewable Energy Business Enterprise) and Poveria biomassasta projects.

Date: 18 May 2016 09:00 – 17:00
Location: Metla House, Yliopistokatu 6, FI-80101, Joensuu, Finland

Seminar Programme.