The Influence of Environmental Conditions in NPA and Arctic Regions

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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.

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Support Scheme For Renewable Heat – Phase 1 open for Heat Pumps

 

Heat Pump

SEAI have announced that a new heat pump grant is now available to commercial, industrial, agricultural, public and other non-domestic heat users not covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). The Government grant covers 30% of eligible costs.

This is the first of two phases in the support scheme for renewable heat. The second phase will provide support for biomass and anaerobic digestion through tariff payments. State Aid approval has not yet been granted by the EU Commission for the second phase and it is expected that it will be open before the end of the year. Funding will then be available for the following technologies:

  • Biomass heating systems
  • Anaerobic digestion heating systems
  • Biomass boiler or biomass HE CHP heating systems
  • Biogas (anaerobic digestion) boiler or biogas HE CHP heating systems

To find out more and begin your application click here

 

Advice Notes on Ground & Air Source Heat Pumps Technology Economics for the NPA Region

GSHP

The Advice Notes aim to provide introductory material for entrepreneurs, startups and SME’s, considering to enter into the renewable energy sphere and based in the NPA regions partners to GREBE. The scope of the Advice Note covers regional, trade and industry, renewable energy (RE), technology information from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Iceland and Finland. Different partner regions have different level of deployment of the various RE technologies covered by the Advice Notes. Thus, the level of information will vary depending on the level of deployment for each technology. For example, wind is not deployed on a large scale in North Karelia (Finland); however, it is widely deployed in Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Full details are available on the GREBE website:

http://grebeproject.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/GREBE-Advice-Notes-GSHP-ASHP.pdf

The focus of the Advice Notes is on regional information of some of the main economic characteristics sited as imperative, when making an informed choice, regarding which RE technology may be the optimal choice for a new business venture:

  • Costs and economics associated with the relevant technology
  • Support schemes available, relevant to the technology
  • Government allowance/exemptions, relevant to the technology
  • Funding available for capital costs of the relevant technology
  • List of the relevant to the technology suppliers/developers, with focus on local/regional, suppliers/developers and the products and services they offer.

Geothermal Map

Heat pumps offer a means to access and utilize the thermal energy that is contained naturally in air, water or the ground. Heat pumps extract low-grade energy from the surrounding environment (air, water, and ground) and transform it into usable energy at a higher temperature suitable for space and water heating. Any kind of heat pump will need to be powered by electricity. Thus, the coefficient of performance (COP), which is the amount of electricity input, is a very important factor when considering GSHP or ASHP. For example if it takes 1 unit of electricity input to produce 4 units of heat output, the CoP will be 4. One of the crucial factors for the CoP is the temperature required by the heating system as CoP is higher when the required temperature is lower (35- 45°C).

Therefore, heat pumps are appropriate for buildings that have these lower temperature heating systems. As these can be costly to retrofit, new buildings which are already fitted with low temperature heating are apt for heat pump technology. For a GSHP or ASHP system a minimum of CoP 3 is needed in order to be a viable option offering savings both in costs and C02 emissions.

The Advice Notes will cover Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) and Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP).

GSHP systems make use of the temperature difference between above-ground (air) temperatures and below-ground temperatures for heating or cooling. GSHPs take low-level heat from solar energy stored in the earth and convert it to high-grade heat by using an electrically driven or gas-powered heat pump containing a heat exchanger. A fluid, mixture of water and antifreeze, is circulated in a closed loop system, which picks up heat from the ground and then passes through the heat exchanger in the heat pump, which extracts the heat from the fluid. Heat pumps deliver heat most efficiently at about 30°C which is usually used to deliver space heating to buildings. GSHPs cover a wide range of capacities, from a few kW to hundreds of kW.

Air-source heat pumps (ASHPs) work on the same principle as GSHP, by taking low-grade thermal energy from the air (using an air-source collector outside of the building) and converting it to useful heat by means of the vapour compression cycle. ASHPs are in common use in commercial-scale heating, ventilation and AC systems as they can meet both heating and cooling demand. Installation of an ASHP includes fixing an external unit and drilling holes through the building wall with and an extra pipework may be required. The main steps for deciding if an ASHP is an apt choice are the same as those for a GSHP system, without the need for a ground survey.

Hybrid solutions case information from Finland now available!

Farm

A Case video has been published by GREBE partner LUKE on Itikka farm Iisalmi, Finland. The Itikka farm is located in a rural forest and agriculture dominated region very near to the city of Iisalmi in the region of Northern Savo, Finland. Currently energy production plays an important role in the farm´s business. The energy production on the farm includes an own biodiesel production unit, a wind turbine, solar panels and a ground source heat pump.

The Itikka farm is in a private family ownership since the year 1905. The farm has a high annual energy consumption of approximately 150 000 kWh especially high needs for seed processing and drying. The Itikka farm currently employs three external employees with one being employed in the field of energy.

The system is driven by the objective of being self-sufficient by meeting the energy demand of the farm with local resource and moving away from fossil energy. Currently a self-sufficiency of about 50-70% is achieved. Own energy consumption (electricity, heat and fuels) of about 150 MWh, drives own production. The farm has available by-products that can be utilised in bio-oil and briquette production.

The Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) has now published a GREBE video on the Itikka farm hybrid solutions case. The video is available in two language versions, English and Finnish.

Please have a look at the hybrid solution of this farm and check the English version of the case video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWQ3NpsFsc0

The Finnish language version is available under:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BfWx9T-ujA

The GREBE case study report on the Itikka farm can be found under:

http://grebeproject.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Hybrid-Energy-Solutions-Itikan-Tila-Iisalmi-Finland.pdf

More information on the renewable business topic in general can be found from GREBE’s Renewable Business Portal under: http://www.renewablebusiness.eu

Renewable energy investment support, education and tours on farm scale – the Finnish E-farm® concept

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The Finnish GREBE project partners Luke and Karelia UAS visited two E-farm® destinations provided by the Finnish E-farm® service using renewable energy solutions for energy production on a farm scale.

A perfect example for an E-farm® destination is the Itikan tila farm in the region of Northern Savo in Finland. The farm produces agricultural products, provides cultural and tourist services and has an own energy production on the farm including an own biodiesel production unit, a wind turbine, solar panels and a ground source heat pump.

The E-farm® service includes site visits to so-called “E-farm® destinations”, support services in form of calculations, education and training.  E-farm® offers for instance dedicated courses on biogas and wind energy. Also, E-farm® provides detailed investment calculations and support for farmers planning to invest in renewable energy solutions on their farm. By contacting the coordinator of E-farm®, customers can order visits or tours to any of the destinations in Finland, ask for support or other offered services at one contact point. Also tours to Central Europe can be organized. Companies behind the trademark are Envitecpolis Oy and Savon Siemen Oy.

The concept of combining conventional (farm) business with energy production and tourism has been presented in the Northern Periphery Programme (NPP) area before, the NPP project REMOTE worked with this idea for example. Besides of the availability of sustainable resources, the Northern Periphery area is unique in regards to the high number of remote dwellings in rural areas, the availability of unique cultural experiences and events for tourists. A large share of buildings has either no access to electricity or is dependent on producing energy from fossil fuels. A focus was to provide feasible solutions for renewable energies in remote areas adapted to the scale of sparsely populated areas and communities by providing information, products and services similar to the E-farm® concept especially dedicated for farms and their customers.

E-farm® has a network of farms across Finland coving a wide range of renewable energy solutions including for example wind mills, small scale CHP units from forest chips, biogas, biodiesel, solar panels, hydro power and ground source heat pump.

In addition to energy sales of renewable energy to the market, visits to the farms provide new business opportunities such as additional income to both the farm and the service and increase the awareness and experiences of energy production investments at farms.

More information on the E-farm® destinations and services offered can be found from the webpage (in Finnish): www.efarm.fi

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Hybrid energy solution on farm scale – Finnish GREBE partners visited a case in Northern-Savo

The Finnish GREBE project partners Luke and Karelia UAS visited Itikan tila farm in the region of Northern Savo in Finland. The farm visited will be a case study for the GREBE project on hybrid energy solutions used in energy production.

The farm is a seed producer since the 1970´s, but the ownership dates back until 1905, however, nowadays energy production plays an important role of the farm´s business. The energy production on the farm includes an own biodiesel production unit, a wind turbine, solar panels and a ground source heat pump.

The bio-oil production is used mainly to produce heat for heating and drying of grain, but also as fuel for two tractors and a harvesting machine. The production is based on rape seed oil and vegetable and frying oils from the industry in the region.  The rape residues can be processed to briquettes as cattle feed on the farm. Briquettes are also produced from straw, cutter shavings and saw dust from the local wood processing industry and mainly used for combustion in a municipal district heating scheme in the region.

The hybrid energy solution for the farm includes a 5 kW wind power plant since 2015. The energy produced is used to heat water in an accumulator. In addition to the energy production, the wind mill is an important component for the demonstration.

The farm has invested two years ago into a solar PV plant with a capacity of 10 kW. The produced electricity is transferred directly to the electricity grid. The farm used heat exchangers and heat recovery systems in many places on the farm, LED lights are the favored light option.

Another energy source is based on a ground sources heat pump system (30kW). All in all, the farm has an energy consumption of approximately 150 000 kWh, especially for seed processing and drying.

The farm is also part of the e-farm network which for example organizes visits to energy producing farms. The Itikan farm has several visitor groups each month.

The GREBE project will prepare a case study report about the Itikan farm which will then be available as good example case for hybrid energy solution for the Northern Periphery regions and GREBE partner countries.