The Influence of Environmental Conditions in NPA and Arctic Regions

4.3 pic

The key requirement of this work package is the development of a database (and supporting summary report), compiling information for potential renewable energy business and technology solutions to help overcome environmental and climatic challenges in the NPA programme region. Technology solutions cover installation, operation and maintenance of equipment, not the design and manufacture of components.

The objective of the database is to identify the main environmental and climatic challenges, and outline technological and business solutions to these challenges, creating a database of these for 8 different categories of renewable energy technology. It is designed for use by new and existing renewable energy businesses, to inform them of the challenges they may face in developing their business and how these will be overcome.

A range of examples (where available) have been highlighted on how the challenges identified have been overcome. Specific regional related innovations and smart solutions from local business on technology driven RE-solutions have been documented, with the intention of passing on this knowledge to other regions in the NPA not involved in the GREBE Project.

The 8 renewable energy technology categories identified by the GREBE Project partnership are:

  1. Biomass
  2. Wind (Onshore only)
  3. Solar PV
  4. Solar Thermal
  5. Hydro
  6. Ground source heat pump
  7. Air source heat pump
  8. Anaerobic Digestion (farm scale/agricultural)

The database is located on the Renewable Business Platform and can be downloaded here.

Resource Assessment Toolkit for Biomass Energy

Biomass

The Toolkit outlines best practice techniques for assessing biomass resource potentials as a foundation for a biomass resource assessment. Biomass resource assessment is indispensable in estimating the bioenergy potential in a given location, the social and environmental impacts accompanying the resources production and the economic viability of biomass utilization scenarios.

The scope of the Toolkit covers:

  • Resource potential – theoretical, technical, economic or implementation potential
  • Approaches for estimation of resource potential – (resource focused, demand driven or integrated approach)
  • General principles, techniques and methods when undertaking a biomass resource assessment
  • Forest biomass and methods for resource assessment
  • Energy crops and methods for resource assessment
  • Agricultural residues and methods for resource assessment
  • Organic waste and methods for resource assessment
  • Global and country specific tools to make preliminary resource assessment and how to use them

Lumber stacks

The classification in types of biomass potentials is the first and most important step when undertaking a biomass resource assessment as it provides insight into explicit conditions, assumptions and limitation made in the assessment. The potential of the resource will define the feasibility of the project, return on investments, environmental considerations, coupled with social and political frameworks.

Details of the Resource Assessment Toolkit for Biomass Energy may be downloaded here:

http://grebeproject.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/GREBE-Resource-Assessment-Toolkit-for-Biomass-Energy-July-2018-1.pdf

GREBE publishes its 9th Project E-zine

GREBE Ezine Sept 2018

The GREBE Project has published its 9th e-zine to showcase the activities and ongoing goals of the project.  

Welcome to the 9th e-zine for the GREBE Project. Since April we have continued to carry out the project activities and meet our objectives. Our 9th partner meeting in Thurso was hosted by the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) and included a site visit to the world famous Old Pultney distillery and Wick District Heating Scheme. It also included our final conference ‘Local opportunities through Nordic cooperation’ on Thursday 24th May 2018. Details may be found on page 2.

Page 3 Header

The Renewable Energy Resource Assessment (RERA) Toolkits for Biomass, Wind & Solar Energy are now complete and details may be found on pages 3 & 4. The WDC completed a Regional Heat Study for the Western Region of Ireland and held two workshops on how the WDC can support and develop biomass use in the Western region. Details can be found on page 5. We also have an update of the EES in partner regions on pages 6 & 7 and details of the Action Renewables ‘Proposal for a Renewable Future’ on page 8. We have details on the development of a database based on the Influence of Environmental Conditions in NPA and Arctic Regions on page 9. And finally, we have details of Technology/Knowledge Transfer Cases on page 10.

Our e-zine can be downloaded from the GREBE Project website here.

 

Energy Efficiency and Entrepreneurship

AR Blog

Becoming an entrepreneur can be challenging, therefore it’s important to stay ahead of the curve. Most business owners now recognise the importance of energy efficiency measures and sourcing renewable energy where possible. This is due to the cost savings these options can offer, allowing businesses to reinvest in other activities. Saving 20% on your energy bills can generate returns which are equivalent to a 5% increase in sales1.. Additionally, as consumers are becoming more environmentally aware, there are increasing expectations on suppliers, across all sectors, to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, particularly in relation to renewable energy.

A survey completed by Orsted, highlighted that 73% 2. of consumers would choose a retailer that used renewable energy over one that didn’t. Improving your reputation and becoming environmentally conscious needn’t be something that will interrupt or hinder your businesses operations – it can significantly increase your competitiveness.

Committing to renewable energy:

  • Businesses who want to commit to renewable energy can do so through Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) either from an electricity supplier or direct engagement with a renewable electricity generator, in more recent times this has been referred to as a Corporate Power Purchase Agreement.
  • Alternatively, a business can invest in renewable technology to generate renewable electricity, which satisfies either part or all the businesses electricity demand. On a global scale, RE100 is a collaborative initiative, which some of the world’s most influential companies have joined and committed to 100% renewable electricity. Companies who have committed to RE100 primarily adopt the methods mentioned above to ensure they achieve their targets.

With a steady uptake of ‘green procurement’, which focuses on sourcing and purchasing products and services that use fewer resources and minimises their impact on the environment, there is certainly reason to get your business ‘going green’. In Northern Ireland, the ‘Sustainable Development strategy’ recognises the importance of responsible procurement in the public sector to ensure the effective and efficient use of resources. This was developed to select suppliers who have a sound environmental standing. Therefore, with environmental awareness and targets only set to increase in the future, it stands to sense for businesses to begin exploring their options in relation to sourcing renewable energy, if they have not already done so. This will enable them to ensure business operation remains competitive.

1 https://www.carbontrust.com/resources/guides/energy-efficiency/better-business-guide-to- energy-saving/

2 https://www.energyvoice.com/otherenergy/176726/orsted-claim-73-of-customers-prefer-renewable-energy-retailer/

3 http://there100.org/re100

Karelia University of Applied Sciences implements pilot mentoring programme

Mentor

Janne Uutela from Rajaforest Ltd (left) and Juha Määttä from Spiralia Ltd in a mentoring session.

Karelia University of Applied Sciences is implementing a pilot mentoring programme for three renewable energy related companies in North Karelia. Mentoring will take place from January 2018 to April 2018 for three renewable energy related companies in North Karelia. The mentoring will provide the companies with suggestions for production process development, new business and product ideas and ways to develop their company as a whole.

Mentoring is not so common in Finland as it is in, for example, Ireland so the experiences of GREBE’s Irish partner form a basis for this mentoring process.  Karelia launched an open call for companies in spring 2017 and received an expression of interest from three companies: Eno Energy Cooperative, Havel Ltd and Rajaforest Ltd. The current situation, needs and wishes for the mentoring process were discussed in 2017 and the tendering process for the mentor was made in late 2017. Mentoring includes 12 individual meetings with the mentor.

The mentoring takes place in a rather short timeframe, from January to April 2018 and is performed by Juha Määttä from Spiralia Ltd. The topics discussed so far in the mentoring sessions have included current challenges of the companies. They are looking into the strategic choices for the future, implementation of a development project and developing the production process. All companies have openly brought forward challenges and problems in their activities and the dialogue between the mentor and mentee (company) has been active in searching for alternative solutions. The mentor has proposed several optional solutions, which will be developed further in the coming months.

More information on the outcomes will follow in May 2018.

 

Albert Albertsson was awarded the Order of the Falcon

ICI blog

Albert Albertsson was awarded the Order of the Falcon on New Year’s Day for his contribution to geothermal utilisation. The award ceremony took place at Bessastaðir which is the official residence of the President of Iceland. Albert has worked at HS Orka since 1977 and has been at the forefront of innovation and development at the company since the beginning. He has led the way in implementing this approach and the resulting work practices within HS Orka.

Albert is amongst other things the concept creator of the Resource Park, which is located near the HS Orka Power Plant in Reykjanes. The Resource Park is unique and encourages the further development and improved utilisation of the resources provided by power plants. The goal of the Resource Park is a ‘Society without waste’ where all the resource streams of the power plant are utilised in a responsible manner and for the benefit and development of society.

Albert has always placed a great emphasis on educating others and knowledge dissemination, not only in the diverse field of geothermal utilisation but also in the field of technology and environmental issues. Albert’s co- workers would like to congratulate him on this great achievement. The Icelandic Order of the Falcon is the highest honour that the Icelandic state can bestow on individuals, both from home and abroad. The order was founded by King Christian X on the 3rd of July, 1921 to award those who make a significant contribution to Iceland.

(source: https://www.hsorka.is/en/about-us/news/albert-albertsson-was-awarded-order-falcon/)

Irish Government to set up regional climate action offices

Aughris 17515-101-3

The Irish Government is to set up four regional climate action offices involving local authorities to provide a more coordinated approach for adapting to the challenges of climate change. A large part of their work will be focused on adapting to the risk of flooding. The National Climate Change Mitigation Plan will be published today by Minister for Communications, Climate Action, and Environment Denis Naughten. 

It is aimed at enabling the nation to adapt to and deal with the impacts of climate change and to the extreme weather events that accompany it, such as those experienced when Storm Ophelia hit Ireland last October. Three people lost their lives during the storm, on-land wind gusts of up to 156km/h were recorded, 385k homes lost electricity supply, 109k lost their water supply, and 148 waste water schemes were knocked out of action.

The plan will set out a national pathway for achieving a more climate resilient economy and society:

  • It will include a key role for county councils and better coordination of climate adaption measures across Government departments and State agencies.
  • It will highlight the importance of climate adaptation considerations in the built environment and in spatial planning.
  • It will encourage local authorities to consider acquiring flood prone lands for suitable, but less vulnerable land use.

The Government estimates that the total value of assets lost as a result of flooding events in Ireland has averaged almost €200m per year in recent years. This number is expected to increase six-fold to almost €1.2bn by 2050.

https://www.rte.ie/news/enviroment/2018/0119/934414-government-to-set-up-regional-climate-action-offices/

Iceland’s new government puts environmental issues and global warming at the forefront

1007993

A new government was formed in Iceland on the 30th of November after an election in October. The Left Green movement, the independence Party and the Progressive Party joined forces and formed a government. Katrín Jakobsdóttir, chairman of the Leftist-Green Movement is Iceland’s new Prime Minister, making her the second woman to hold that position in Iceland, as well as the first ever socialist leader in the country.

In the government agreement are the environmental issues and global warming at the forefront. Iceland is guided by the goal of the Paris Agreement of 2015 to limit the average increase in temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere to 1.5°C from the reference level. The main aim of the government’s climate policy is to avoid negative effects of climate change on marine life. In no other part of the world has the temperature risen as much as it has in the Arctic. Thus, it is incumbent upon Iceland to conduct more extensive studies of acidification of the ocean in collaboration with the academic community and the fishing industry. Iceland is moreover bound to achieve a 40% reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases, based on the 1990 level, by 2030.

It is the government’s wish to go further than is envisaged in the Paris Agreement and to aim to have a carbon-neutral Iceland by 2040 at the latest. The aim is to achieve this by making a permanent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions and also through changes in land use in accordance with internationally recognized standards and by incorporating approaches that take account of the local ecology and planning considerations. Support will be given to industrial sectors, individual enterprises, institutions and local authorities in their attempt to set themselves targets pertaining to climate-change.

The government aims to have all major public projects assessed in terms of their impact on the climate-policy targets. Concessions for new investment projects will be subject to the condition that the projects have been assessed in terms of their impact on climate and how they conform to Iceland’s international undertakings regarding reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions. Emphasis will be placed on involving all players in society, and the general public, in reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, and support will be given to innovation in this sphere. A climate council will be established and a plan of action on emission reductions will be drawn up, with a time-scale, and financed.

The plan of action will include targets regarding transport and the proportion of vehicles powered by environmentally friendly fuels in the total number of vehicles in Iceland, utilization 22 — levels of fuel and power in business and industry, the introduction of international conventions on the protection of the oceans, ‘green steps’ in state operations and a Climate Fund, and moves will be made to prohibit the use of heavy oil in vessels within Iceland’s economic zone. Collaboration will be established with sheep farmers on neutralizing the carbon emissions from sheep farming in accordance with a plan of action. Other production sectors will also be invited to collaborate on comparable projects.

GREBE Report on the Influence of Environmental Conditions in NPA & Arctic Regions

4-1-cover

Global climate change impacts Europe in many ways, including: changes in average and extreme temperature and precipitation, warmer oceans, rising sea level and shrinking snow and ice cover on land and at sea. These weather phenomenons have led to a range of impacts on ecosystems, socio-economic sectors and human health and safety. There is no doubt that the changes in climate will have a strong impact in our daily life, whether we accept extreme weather conditions as a new phenomenon or not. Adaptation to the past history data, present observed and future predicted impacts will in the coming decades be needed, as well as be complementary to global climate mitigation actions. Narvik Science Park has made a report on this in the GREBE-Project.

4-1-image

Background

The harsh climatic conditions experienced in many NPA regions, particularly high north and arctic regions, present significant challenges to SMEs and start-ups that can seriously impact on the viability of their businesses. Winter storms regularly occurring in the high north, known as polar lows or arctic weather fronts, can bring about sudden and extreme drops in temperatures, with debilitating ice and snow conditions developing quickly. Also, in the North West Europe the influence from the North Atlantic Oscillation give rise to storms, resulting in high winds and precipitations. These conditions frequently give rise to unsafe working conditions and suspension of business operations, particular in the case of technology installations. Operational environments in these areas are often vulnerable irrespective of climatic conditions, given their isolated, remote locations, far away from technical maintenance staff, and which are often difficult to access by road, air or sea. Businesses located in these areas must compensate for fragile and less robust parameters, in order to cope with unforeseen sudden disturbances (for instance, climate change effects).

There are significant climate challenges in the partner regions with different types of harsh weather. Low temperature, hard winds, and rain/ snow conditions can be extreme in the NPA regions. The question is – how to find the best process conditions for business in remote NPA communities, where knowledge transfer is an important aspect. A harsh local/regional climate, sparsely populated areas together with rural geographic related issues and poor infrastructure have a tendency to bias the company’s business models.

Effects on GREBE regions in Northern Europe

Findings from the work of NSP – In the northeastern part of Europe there is a high societal disturbance caused by wind, rain and in some sense also freezing rain. Since the occurrence of harsh weather conditions are not frequent, the effect will be more palpable. In comparison the norther part of Europe, i.e. Iceland has a frequent presence of high wind conditions that in this case will be more of a “normal” continuous state in daily weather.  In the northeast coastal regions of Europe, the weather is more unpredictable with suddenly arising storms, i.e. polar lows, delivering both rain/snow and windy conditions. In the mainland northeast regions there are precipitation and in conjunction with this often cold climate.

“Local extreme weather” – The weather impact on societal infrastructure in the different NPA regions is considered to be affecting the business activities. The phenomenon of “local extreme weather” is serious for the single business when affects and may have serious consequences to compete in an open market. The trends in towards more local extreme weather is indicating the following spread in northern Europe:

  • Ireland/Northern-Ireland – Wind & Storms
  • Scotland – Rain & Wind
  • Iceland – Wind & Cold
  • Norway – Snow & Cold
  • Finland – Ice & Snow

The economic outcome is then a vulnerable factor in these NPA regions that gives a negative bias for local business and a non-favorable competitive disadvantage compared to similar businesses in other EU regions.

The Regional readiness

The readiness from the society to handle harsh weather and local “extreme” conditions varies from country to country in northern Europe. The regional readiness in local “extreme weather conditions” should be an important measure when establishing new enterprises and a serious risk analysis should be made before each activity starts, by taken in account the possibility for weather disturbance. Based upon the description below from each GREBE partner region, an indicative regional or even local perception has to be defined. The overall measure that indicates some connection between local “extreme weather frequency” and a corresponding indication of society readiness can be of great value. This opens for a discussion and action plans or even a business strategy plan, concerning suddenly weather extremes that are changing in a fast manner, like for example in frequency and behavior. This will also reflect the current climate change in coherence with business activities that we are experiencing and specifically when it is expected to make the biggest noticeable effect on the environment in the Arctic and sub-arctic regions. The regional readiness in society is of great importance when considering time loss of energy, restriction in transportations or not operational production.

However, the impact of “local extreme weather” is considered manageable and moderate in most of the northern EU regions. The frequency of these weather phenomenons can be severe when an indirect impact occurs, e.g. avalanches, coldness, strong winds and flooding will also in the future cause disturbances in the society. These occurrences mainly affect the accessibility to production plants and the mobility of staff. Nevertheless, there is always a high risk that the safety aspect will in each situation not be fully understood. The “local extreme weather” is always important to relate to for both personnel and business operations.

Conclusions –  climate effects on society business

  1. Regional cooperation – The widely spread geographical areas of northern Europe, is experiencing a number of joint challenges in relation to its location, but also possible opportunities that can be overcome and realized by regional cooperation. The experience from each region may be introduced to other Northern European areas and innovations from different parts in society can be used to create specific growth initiatives and common efficient business opportunities of the European Northern and Arctic regions in a climate efficient way. One major impact of challenges and initiatives in business operations is the influence of weather conditions on society and in the extension also SME business operations and productivity located in these areas.
  2. Strategic handling – Today, many operators in society refer to weather as a restriction in budget and argue that it is a phenomenon that has an actuable impact on business. However, the weather can be a strong benefit for the business when an updated insight into the specific local conditions is available and by using a strategic handling document based upon regional knowledge and experience from other businesses. Even national weather organizations are today providing companies this service.
  3. Variety of weather – The final implication is that a change in weather pattern will result in a variety of weather phenomenon that can affect the NPA regions in a different matter. There are different effects on the society, depending upon the specific region, i.e. flooding, wind, and disturbance on roads by fallen trees and avalanche.

You can download the report from the GREBE Project website:

http://grebeproject.eu/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/GREBE-Report-on-the-Influence-of-Environmental-Conditions-in-NPA-Arctic-Regions.pdf

Norway to fund 8 new centres for Environment – friendly Energy Research

NSP image 06-06-2016

The Research Council of Norway has granted funding to 8 new centres for Environment- friendly Energy Research. Each new centre is guaranteed an annual funding for up to eight years. The total annual allocations from the Research Council to the centres will be roughly NOK 160 million.

The centres were selected on the basis of scientific merit, potential for innovation and value creation, and the extent to which they fulfill government targets relating to energy and greenhouse gas emission.

The 8 new Centres will start up in 2017 – and be fully operating from 2018. The Centres will work to reduce greenhouse gas emission in Norway and inrenationally, utilise energy more efficently, and increase the production of renewable energy. The Centres will also has as a task to disseminate the results of their research and contribute to a knowledge-based debate on environment-friendly energy.

Long-Term Initiative

The funding of the centres is a long-term initiative from the Research Council to generate solutions to climate – and energy- related challenges and promote industrial development. The centres comprise dynamic research groups and a large number of user partners from trade and industry and the public sector. The user partners will take active part in the centres management, financing and research activities.

The long-term perspective for each centre provide greater opportunity to achieve valuable results in the field of energy and climate research – results that can also be applied in trade and industry for added value. The long-term initiative is designed an build upon:

  1. Long-term Perspective
  2. Stable financial framework
  3. Outstanding research environments
  4. Industrial actors
  5. Public administration
  6. Cooperation between research, Industry and public administration

 The 8 new centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research:

Centre:   (1) Norwegian CCS Research Centre –
Focus Area: Co2 – capture, transport and storage
Research: SINTEF Energy Research
Industry: 25 Partners

 

Centre:   (2) Norwegian Research Centre for Hydropower Technology
Focus Area: –          Develop Hydropower technology for the future

–          New solutions for utilising flexible hydropower

Research: Norwegian University of science and Technology (NTNU)
Industry: 31 Partners

 

Centre:   (3) Norwegian Centre for Sustainable Bio-based Fuels and Energy
Focus Area: –          Develop technology for second-generation biofuels

–          Achieve 30 per cent reduction in production cost

Research: Norwegian University of Life Science (UMB)
Industry: 40 Partners

 

Centre:   (4) Centre for Intelligent Electricity Distribution
Focus Area: –          Modernisation of the electricity grid (Flexibility, Efficiency)

–          Enable the grid to handle interactions with renewable energy

Research: SINTEF Energy Research
Industry: 26 Partners

 

Centre:   (5) Centre for an Energy Efficient and Competitive Industry for the future
Focus Area: Raising energy efficiency in Norwegian Industry
Research: SINTEF Energy Research
Industry: 36 Partners

 

Centre:   (6) Research Centre for Sustainable Solar Cell Technology
Focus Area: –          Production of silicon-based solar cells

–          Developing the world’s most environment-friendly process

Research: Institute for Energy Technology (IFE)
Industry: 15 Partners

 

Centre:   (7) Mobility Zero Emission Energy Systems
Focus Area: –          Energy for the transport sector (Hydrogen + Batteries)

–          Business models for zero-emission transport

Research: Institute for Energy Technology (IFE)
Industry: 38 Partners

 

Centre:   (8) The Research Centre for Smart Cities
Focus Area: –          Solutions for zero-emission zones in smart cities

–          Renewable energy benefit for local environment

Research: Norwegian Univercity of Science and Technology (NTNU)
Industry: 32 Partners