GREBE Policy Workshops in 2017

Finland Policy workshop
Michael Doran of Action Renewables

Action Renewables is the lead partner for Work Package 3 on Policy and Funding Mechanisms, within the GREBE project.   Part of this work package is to organise policy workshops in each partner region. To date Action Renewables has participated in five policy workshops.  Since the start of 2017, there have been three workshops in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Finland.  The purpose of these workshops is to involve and support stakeholders within the renewable energy sector.

During the workshops we discuss the advantages / disadvantages of local policies for that area and discuss how they can be improved to help the economy. The policy workshops will involve representatives of relevant bodies and Government departments that set the renewable energy policy agendas.  Each policy workshop has been different.  The reason for this, the conditions within each country are different and they are different policies.  All of the policy workshops were chaired by Michael Doran and Mark Corrigan of Action Renewables.   Our Norwegian partner Narvik Science Park which hold a policy workshop in April and it is our intention all will be completed before June 2017. We will then have a list of potential new policy mechanisms which will support different partner regions.

Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland policy workshop was hosted by South West College at their Dungannon campus on the 11th January.   For this workshop we had 10 representatives, who came from different sectors throughout Northern Ireland, including the Department of Environment, Invest NI, Fermanagh Omagh District Council, Fermanagh Enterprise and the Ulster Farmers Union.

This policy workshop focussed on the renewable energy industry in Northern Ireland and the lack of new policy development, and how this will have an impact on the economy.  Northern Ireland will have no policy supports for the sector after the 31st of March 2017.

Scotland

Action Renewables chaired the Scotland policy workshop on the 26th January.  This workshop was organised by the University of Highlands & Islands and was held in Inverness.   For this policy workshop, we had the privilege of four guest speakers

  • HWenergy provided an “Overview of current renewable energy policies and constraints”,
  • Scottish Enterprise on “The solutions that exist within Highland & Island Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise”,
  • Local Energy Scotland, on “Community participation in RE” and
  • Community Energy Scotland on “Communities constrained by the existing policies”

Scotland are very advanced on policies that support the renewable energy sector.  To date Scotland have 18 policy mechanisms, which support the sector and is a popular area for wind and hydro.  Many of their support mechanisms are for SMEs looking to enter the renewable energy industry.

Finland

Finlands policy workshop took place in Joensuu on the 9th February.   Finland is mainly focused on its forestry sector, so therefore biomass is their main focus.  At the policy workshop we had 12 participants from a variety of different sectors. We also had the honour of the following guest speakers:

  • Regional Council of North Karelia – Presenter Anniina Kontiokorpi outlined how they are preparing an implementation plan (roadmap) for North Karelia to achieve ambitious aims established in their Climate and Energy Program.
  • Mayor Asko Saatsi from the City of Nurmes – In Nurmes, bioenergy projects (bio refineries) are essential part of local development strategy.
  • Mika Juvonen, CEO/Bio10 Ltd. – Mika Juvonen has established organic waste treatment/biogas plant in Kitee.  He has been actively informing policies and been able to reduce barriers identified in sector.
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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.