The roll-out of the GREBE EES in North Karelia took place in February-April. Three companies Eno Energy Cooperative, Rajaforest Ltd. and Havel Ltd. attended in mentoring sessions together with the Spiralia Ltd. – an experienced SME mentoring and consultancy. The results of the EES were positive: there was initiation of new business cooperation, business plan development for a new innovative technology, introduction of LEAN quality management principles, among others.
Eno Energy Cooperative is in a phase of business renewing and thus the focus was in creating and diversifying collaboration with other energy enterprises. These discussions identified opportunities to cooperate in acquisitions and raw material procurements, and potential of additional business activities in wood fuel sector. Rajaforest Ltd. had a technology development case on biomass drying and received support in business planning. Havel Ltd. Benefited from information on renewable alternatives for plastic raw materials, as well as introduction of LEAN quality management in production.
The EES process was rolled-out successfully as it resulted in new collaborations and business activities. The process, developed in GREBE project, will be further adopted for regional use in North Karelia. It was identified that there is still further work to do to establish stronger mentor networks, develop orientation guidance for attending businesses, disseminate the scheme for larger audience, and establish funding base for the service. One potential continuation is to integrate the EES into a new regional renewable energy research and development project prepared by the Karelia UAS and Finnish Forest Centre.
The GREBE project meets in Thurso, Scotland in May 22nd-24th, which provides a unique opportunity to share the EES roll-out experiences between the NPA Programme regions.
The Contract Research Unit (CRU) and Precision Engineering and Manufacturing (PEM) are running Innovation Voucher Clinic’s in Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal and Cavan. These clinics are designed to provide support to SME’s (small and medium-sized enterprises) throughout the region.
Please find a list of the Innovation Voucher Clinic locations below and links to Eventbrite for registration.
Innovation Centre, IT Sligo, Co. Sligo – 10th May 2018
The Hive, Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim – 15th May 2018
Údarás na Gaeltachta, Áislann Ghaoth Dobhair Gweedore, Co. Donegal – 16th May 2018
Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre (CITC) Co. Cavan – 17th May 2018
For more information, please feel free to contact:
Contract Research Unit (CRU)
Tel: 071 93 05825
The GREBE Project has published its eight e-zine to showcase the activities and ongoing goals of the project.
Since December we have continued to carry out the project activities and meet our objectives. Our 8th partner meeting in Kokkola was hosted by LUKE & Karelia UAS, and included a visit to the Vaasa Energy Week for attending SME’s. The aim was to highlight the benefits of renewable energy for SME’s and start-up businesses, and also give participants the opportunity to meet with biomass experts from the Natural Resources Institute in Finland. Details can be found on Page 3.
The two case reports on the transfer of technology and knowledge in the NPA have now been completed and further details are on Page 4. We also have details of the 5.2 Report (Advice Notes) on Page 7. Details of both can be found on the publications page of our website http://grebeproject.eu/publication/.
The GREBE Industry Advisory Group (IAG) held its third annual meeting in Finland and was organized by LUKE. Further details are on Page 3. The Environmental Research Institute held an important workshop for the further development of Orkney’s Hydrogen Economy. Details can be found on Page 5. We also have an update of EES in partner regions on Page 8.
We have a number of upcoming events and will hold our final partner meeting in Thurso in Scotland in late May. We will hold our final conference ‘Local opportunities through Nordic cooperation’ in Thurso on Thursday 24th May 2018. Details can be found on Page 9. Action Renewables are holding a GREBE conference in Belfast on Thursday 21st June and details can also be found on Page 9.
The Western Development Commission (WDC) commissioned a regional renewable energy analysis on the use of biomass as a local contribution to the national renewable heat target and develop a range of actions to support the development of renewable energy in the region under the Action Plan for Jobs.
The aim of this study is to inform how the WDC can support and develop biomass use in the Western region. This study is now complete and RE:HEAT will present their findings in two workshops.
Tuesday 15th May, 2.00pm at the Shearwater Hotel, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway
Wednesday 16th May, 10.00am at Jacksons Hotel, Ballybofey, Co. Donegal
Participants will have the opportunity to engage with RE:HEAT consultants during the workshop and informally during the workshop lunch.
Agenda for Ballinasloe (Tuesday 15th – afternoon session)
Agenda for Ballybofey (Wednesday 16th – morning session)
Register your interest in attending via email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone to the WDC offices at +353 94 986 1881. Closing date for registration is Thursday 10th May 2018. While these events are free of charge, registration is required.
A summary of this report can be found here
The Rural Business Investment Scheme is designed to support the development of a strong and diverse rural economy, investing in new business development and the expansion of existing enterprises to create a balanced and forward looking rural economy. The primary objective of the Scheme is job creation.
The Fermanagh and Omagh Local Action Group (LAG) Ltd will be hosting 5 MANDATORY Funding Workshops across the District Council area for the Rural Business Investment Scheme as follows:
- Belcoo Community Centre, Belcoo at 7.00pm on Tuesday 24 April 2018
- Ecclesville Centre, Fintona at 7.00pm on Wednesday 25 April 2018
- Bawnacre Centre, Irvinestown at 7.00pm Thursday 26 April 2018
- Castle Park Leisure Centre, Lisnaskea at 7.00pm on Tuesday 1 May 2018
- Milestone Centre, Carrickmore at 7.00pm on Thursday 3 May 2018
- Tea/Coffee will be available from 7.00pm with events commencing at 7:30pm sharp
If you are interested in applying for funding under the Rural Business Investment Scheme then attendance at one of the workshops is the only entry point. Please note that attendance also includes the requirement to complete an Expression of Interest form on the night (outlining brief details on the proposed project that you are seeking funding for including anticipated costs). Failure of the business owner if a sole trader, one of the partners if operating a business partnership, or one of the Directors if operating a legal entity registered with Companies House to attend a workshop will result in you being ineligible to apply under this call for applications.
For further details about the Funding Workshops or the Programme please contact Fermanagh and Omagh Local Action Group (LAG) Ltd, 16 High Street, Omagh, Co Tyrone, BT78 1BQ Tel: 028 8225 0202.
PLEASE NOTE: This is a competitive programme. Attendance at a Mandatory Funding Workshop or receipt of an invitation to submit an application for financial assistance having attended a Funding Workshop DOES NOT indicate that your application/the project will be awarded financial assistance.
Annual meeting of the Finnish Heat Entrepreneurs in North Karelia was organised by the Finnish Forest Centre in April 4th Kontiolahti. The event focused on the energy wood markets and current development challenges, new harvesting method trials, drying of wood by using excess heat of energy plants, and socio-economic impacts of local heat entrepreneurships. After the meeting, participants had a visit to the Kontiolahti 1.5 MW heating plant equipped with a 7.6 kW solar power system.
Adjunct professor Yrjö Nuutinen from LUKE introduced latest research on the new corridor thinning method. The method – with 1-2 thinning corridors harvested in different formations – has been earlier applied in Sweden, US and Canada. Now the corridor thinning is studied and tested for pine dominated first thinning stands in Finland, aiming that it will be a generally accepted thinning method and it fulfills the forest management requirements of Forestry Centre.
The latest results on the socio-economic impacts of Eno Energy Cooperative were presented by GREBE partner Dr Lasse Okkonen from Karelia UAS. The total employment impacts of the Eno Energy Cooperative in 2000-2015, were approximately 160 FTE’s and total income impact in the same period about 6.6 MEUR. During the period of highest oil prices, over 50% of the benefits resulted from heating cost savings of both private households and public sector.
Bioeconomy expert Urpo Hassinen, from the Finnish Forest Centre, presented the latest results on the firewood drying by utilising excess heat of the heating plants. There was potential, especially when existing infrastructure could be utilised. Drying of woodfuel could also compensate the decreasing heat demand resulting from closure of public estates in rural areas.
CEO Janne Tahvanainen presented the market outlook from an industry perspective. The market fluctuations, caused by the weather challenges in last summer and autumn, as well as varying imports from Russia, were discussed. Weather challenges were considered a most important factor affecting current markets. For instance snow damages have increased harvesting volumes in northern part of North Karelia, and moist summers and autumns have affected biomass drying. Impacts of weather conditions on RE markets are being further investigated through the GREBE project during this spring.
In Finland, the regulation concerning the support schemes for renewable energy are going through significant changes. A new legislative proposal presents a technology-neutral subsidy scheme based on a competitive bidding process with premiums. The topic was discussed by market players and industry at Energy Regulation Workshop (March 21st, Vaasa City hall).
In 2010 Finland introduced feed-in tariff as economic support mechanism for wind, biogas and wood fuel based combined heat and power. The mechanism has been effective in creating wind power capacity from below 1% market share to about 5.7%. However, the scheme has been also expensive as the electricity market price has been lower than expected. The feed-in tariff for wind, biogas and wood fuel power plants comprises the target price less than the three-month mean market price of electricity. The target price is €83.50/MWh. At the beginning of the scheme the market price varied €45 to €55/MWh but at the end of the support period it has been €30 to €35MWh.
In Vaasa Energy Week preparation of the support scheme based on a competitive bidding process with premiums was discussed. Total of 2 TWh of renewable energy would be generated through the scheme. However, details of the scheme, definitions concerning technological neutrality and schedule of the scheme remained open. Several presentations, representing the industry and market players, forecasted significant increase of the wind power capacity in Finland – despite the details of the new support scheme. For instance one major market player, OX2 informed about their own objectives for Finland being 500-600 MW of wind power, which is about the same as the 2TWh objective. This major market growth would be based on:
- large number of projects prepared during the feed-in tariff system
- interest among investors
- fast technological development (bigger turbines, rotors, towers)
- competitive procurement processes, and
- large base of experienced and internationally active project developer
In addition, PPA’s i.e. Power Purchase Agreements, were seen as growing business model with customer being larger-scale companies with RE commitments. Also the length of those agreements can be over 10 year periods. The forecasted future was that 5-10 market players would dominate the market, and scale of the wind power systems could be divided into large-scale market based systems and smaller systems more dependent on the economic supports. As Finland is much dependent on the imported energy (share 23.9%) the growth potential is evident. At the same time the grid imbalances and volatility are increasing.
The support scheme preparation was considered still as uncertain and delays investment decisions. In addition, market players considered that the system might not be equal but favoring more large-scale projects. As the technological neutrality is still undefined, it remains open how the support treats different technologies and introduction of new innovations. The policy advocacy activities are part of the GREBE project, and in Finland the focus will be on informing the project stakeholders about the current transition of the national and regional energy system and related policies.
The introduction of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on 25th May 2018 will mean a host of changes for all businesses that handle the data of EU residents, regardless of size or sector.
To whom does GDPR apply?
- If you hold any personal information on an individual in a business capacity – for example if you have an employee or a customer then the new law will apply to you.
- Sole traders, Charities, Community Groups – all impacted.
- If you run a club or a sporting organisation and have a list of members or volunteers then the law will also apply to you.
- What is the GDPR and how is it different?
- Your obligations
- 6 Guiding Principles
- Individuals’ rights under the law
- Sanctions and fines for non-compliance and data breaches
- Getting GDPR ready
- The documents, policies and procedures that must be in place.
- The key information security measures you should implement
FREE GDPR workshop for businesses – 23rd March 6pm – 8pm – The Lemon Tree Coffee Shop, BELLEEK, BT93 3FY, Northern Ireland.
To book your free place, email: email@example.com or call +44 2866480012
The event will take place this Thursday at 3pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, NUIG.
You can register for free at www.galwayenergysummit.ie
We cannot wait to see you there!!!
GREBE’s Funding Options tool provides information on the funding mechanisms currently available in the partner regions (Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway and Scotland). The information will be useful to both funding agencies (e.g. business support agencies and municipalities) and to SMEs giving details of funding options available in their regions. The tool will help to ensure that funders in the different regions can learn about mechanisms and implementation strategies in use in other parts of the NPA area.
The main focus is on public support for renewable businesses but both private sector and social investment options have been included where appropriate. The supports included are for SMEs and Micro businesses but also include options for those SMEs expected to grow rapidly (e.g. High Potential Start Ups). The business support funding mechanisms considered vary from standard ‘hard’ business support options (e.g. loans and venture capital) to softer supports (e.g. innovation schemes, business partner search supports etc.). Options are available to search for mechanisms which are specific to the renewable energy sector, and also based on the geographical area (local, region, national, EU etc.) the support covers. There is considerable variation in the ways different funding options are implemented and these differences will impact on the success of schemes.
Renewable businesses in each region will be able to check what supports are available in their own region and contact points for applications. GREBE’s Business Supports Catalogue is also available to download on the tool. We hope that by using this tool those who seek funding and support for renewable businesses will have a clear portfolio of options which are available to them. This tool is available on our renewablebusiness.eu platform at http://support.renewablebusiness.eu/