The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on the 25th May 2018


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.

Workshop Content:

  • 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:  or call +44 2866480012


Karelia University of Applied Sciences implements pilot mentoring programme


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.


You are invited to attend Ireland’s first Student-led Energy Summit

GalwayEnergy SummitPic2

The event will take place this Thursday at 3pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, NUIG.

You can register for free at

We cannot wait to see you there!!!


Third GREBE Industry Advisory Group meeting in Finland


The GREBE Industry Advisory Group (IAG) contributes towards dissemination of GREBE outputs and learnings among their wider networks, including at local, regional and national policy level where possible. The third annual meeting was organized at LUKE, Metla-talo Joensuu on Thursday 22th of February 2018. Finnish GREBE project partners updated the IAG on the project developments, outcomes over the last year and presented GREBE deliverables (Robert Prinz, LUKE) and its business mentoring in Finland through the Entrepreneurship Enabler Scheme (Lasse Okkonen, Karelia UAS).

The third IAG meeting was the last meeting of the GREBE IAG with representatives from the renewable energy SMEs, research and education, business development companies, regional authority and agricultural producers and forest owners union. The IAG discussed on how to disseminate the final deliverables, cooperate with future activities and how GREBE activities can most effectively be implemented in practice, based on their own experience of working in or supporting the renewable energy.

Following the GREBE IAG meeting, the regional Poveria Biomassasta project hosted a local workshop with over 20 participants at the same premises on energy business including IAG representatives, entrepreneur enabler scheme participants and other stakeholders from the field. The workshop focused on bioenergy business models and experiences of entrepreneurs in the business area with a main topic on heat entrepreneurship and biogas delivery. The event was targeted for farmers and possible heat entrepreneurs as well as other interested stakeholders.


South West College announces plans for new £29m build


South West College has unveiled plans for its £29 million new build which gets underway in March. Tracey Brothers has been appointed as the main contractor for the construction and development of the new Erne Campus which will be situated on the site of the former Erne Hospital in Enniskillen.

The new campus, which has been designed by Hamilton Architects, will see the delivery of the first educational building worldwide to achieve the highest international standard in environmental construction, PassivHaus Premium. Construction of the 8,200m2 building is scheduled to begin in two months and will provide employment for over 200 people including a number of apprenticeship opportunities.

A spokeswoman for South West College said the building, which is due to be completed in January 2020, will “further enhance the College’s existing global reputation in the sustainable construction sector and will be used to attract international companies and students in this field.”



Impacts of the Eno Energy Cooperative on the regional economy in 2000-2015


Eno Energy cooperative is an internationally acknowledged example of heat entrepreneurship based on a cooperative model. Substituting fossil fuel oil with locally produced woodchips in community heating since the year 2000 has resulted in significant socio-economic benefits. Latest research by GREBE partners Karelia UAS and LUKE outlines these through a time-series analysis.

The Eno Energy Cooperative operates and owns three district heating plants producing 15,500 MWh of heat annually and uses approximately 27,000 loose cubic metres of locally produced woodchips.  The impacts of the Eno Energy Cooperative were modelled by using an input-output model of North-Karelia, including 33 sectors. The impacts presented are total impacts including construction of heating plants in 2000-2004, production of heat by using locally produced woodchips, and impacts of reduced heating costs (savings) in both public and private sectors. Induced impacts are captured by including household consumption as a sector in the I-O model, and re-investing public sector savings to the social services.

According to the I-O modelling, total employment impacts of the Eno Energy Cooperative in 2000-2015 were approximately 160 FTE’s and total income impact in same period were approximately 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.

The results indicate that socio-economic impacts may be generated by using different types of strategies, such as utilising business models of social enterprises with re-investment strategies, or cooperatives providing use for the local resources and reducing the energy costs both in private and public sectors.

Currently, Eno Energy Cooperative are participating in the GREBE Entrepreneurship Enabler Scheme (EES) roll-out in North Karelia. They are investigating future business and cooperation opportunities together with business a mentor from Spiralia Ltd., Lahti.


Figure1: Employment impacts (FTE jobs) of Eno Energy Cooperative in 2000-2015, including impacts of construction, heat production and heating cost savings (when re-invested).


Figure2: Income impacts of Eno Energy Cooperative in 2000-2015, including impacts of construction, heat production and heating cost savings (when re-invested).




Building a Hydrogen Economy for Orkney

ERI - Orkney

The Environmental Research Institute of the University of the Highlands and Islands, in conjunction with the European Marine Energy Centre and Action Renewables, organised a workshop on the 1st February 2018 in Kirkwall City Hall. Hydrogen is now an integral component of the Scottish Government’s Energy Strategy, and the work which Orkney (along with many others) has undertaken in recent years has helped to inform and shape this strategy. Hydrogen has real potential to make a transformation to the energy system in Orkney.

The workshop consisted of two parts. The first began with an introduction to the GREBE project by Michael Doran, the Managing Director of Action Renewable and the objectives of the workshop, presented by Jon Clipsham, the Hydrogen Development Manager at EMEC. They were then followed by the presentations below:

  • “Orkney’s Energy System”, by Neil Kermode, the Managing Director of EMEC.
  • “Orkney Council hydrogen strategy and current projects update”, by Adele Lidderdale, the Hydrogen Project Officer at Orkney Islands Council.
  • “Orkney Energy Audit and the place for hydrogen”, presented by Ian Johnstone, representing both Aquatera and the Orkney Renewable Energy Forum.
  • “Hydrogen production / vehicles / refuelling stations”, by Guy Verkoeyen from Belgium, representing Hydrogenics.
  • “Hydrogen for domestic use / CHP units”, presented by Bill Ireland, Managing Director at Logan Energy.

The second part of the workshop was more practical. The first part of it was led by Jon Clipsham where delegates were divided into groups, and asked to discuss and come up with the top five key priorities for the future development of Orkney’s hydrogen future. The second part of the workshop was led by Michael Doran and delegates discussed how the Orkney Hydrogen Model can be replicated in other NPA Regions.

This workshop had the following aims:

  • to inform delegates about Orkney’s progress with hydrogen technologies to date
  • to share information on the current projects and opportunities
  • to discuss the next steps which we can take to replicate the model in other NPA Regions.

It was astonishing to see all the relevant stakeholders, important for the further development of Orkney’s Hydrogen Economy, gathered in one room, participating in an open discussion and displaying a willingness to work together.