Nordregio Working Paper on Bio-energy Development in North Karelia, Jämtland, and Västernorrland

KUAS 08-11-2017

Nordregio has released a working paper looking into rural bio-energy development in the region of North Karelia in Finland, and Jämtland and Västernorrland in Sweden. The paper identifies the enabling factors behind the relatively successful local bio-energy development and considers how the bio-energy development has influenced sustainable local and regional development.

The working paper is a part of the TRIBORN Project, which investigates how to increase the production of bioenergy in ways that promote sustainable development understood as positive economic, social and environmental outcomes – in rural areas.

TRIBORN is a Norwegian-led research project investigating how to increase production of bioenergy in ways that promote sustainable development in rural areas. It aims to understand and foster systems for bioenergy innovation and related support policies that can produce positive social, economic and environmental outcomes. The Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO) leads the project, and the Research Council of Norway funds the project. In addition, the Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute and Nordregio, a Nordic research institute for regional studies, are key partners in the project.

For the GREBE partner region of North Karelia, the report summarizes the bioenergy sectors success factors and development, but also challenges related to the utilisation of the sectors potential. The report refers to the OECD Green Growth Studies stating that “many favorable institutional factors for regional innovation are in place in North Karelia: strong local government with willingness to act, local ownership of power utilities, presence of strong research institutes and education facilities, tradition of co-operative organization, legitimacy of local bioenergy production and presence of local and regional actors in several stages in the supply chain”.

As development challenges, the report identifies several aspects, such as changes in forest and bio-energy policy; access to risk finance and other economic challenges facing especially local small and medium-sized enterprises; the challenge of ageing population; and the question of openness of the current innovation platform for innovation and development around other thematic areas than forestry and bio-energy. For instance, bio-economy opportunities in the agri-food sector could be investigated in more detail.

The collaboration with Nordregio and TRIBORN project has provided valuable development information for the bioeconomy sector in North Karelia, as well as comparisons to the sector development in northern Sweden.

Publication Facts

Bioenergy Development in Finland and Sweden: The cases of North Karelia, Jämtland, and Västernorrland

Nordregio Working paper 2017:6

ISBN: 978-91-87295-53-9; ISSN: 1403-2503

Editors: Anna Berlina and Nelli Mikkola with contributions by Karen Refsgaard and Alberto Huerta Morales

Full text available for download: http://norden.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1147107/FULLTEXT02.pdf

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Finnish heat enterprises investing in solar power

Solar PV at Eno
Satellite picture based 3D model of the solar PV plant in Eno (Kim Blomqvist, Karelia UAS)

The heat entrepreneurs have been actively involved in the latest developments of the solar power in North Karelia, Finland. Several investments will take place this autumn to provide renewable electricity for district heating plants.

Finnish heat entrepreneurship is mostly based on biomass. The number of heating plants has increased steadily between the early establishments in 1990’s, to 330 plants in 2006 and 618 in 2015. About 25 % of the plants were connected to the district heating network, and the median size of the heating plants is 500 kW. The heat enterprises are mostly private companies (43%), cooperatives (12.7%) and other types of firms, mostly single entrepreneurs (44.5%).

The heat entrepreneurs have become increasingly interested in solar power integrated to the heating plans. The plans have stable electricity consumption profiles, i.e. less hourly variations compared to many other end-users. The systems require very limited service and maintenance work, and profitability is better than in solar thermal. The economic analyses indicate that the new investments in DH plans located in North Karelia will have approximately 11-15 years paybacks and 5-9 internal interest rates.

The Power from the Sun project, run by Kim Blomqvist from GREBE project partner Karelia UAS, has supported the establishment of the systems in four energy enterprises in Eno, Tuupovaara, Kiihtelysvaara, Kontiolahti and Biowin Karelia Ltd. The investments have received 25% energy support from the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation. Seven solar power plans have total capacity of 70 kW, varying between 5 to 21 kW, and estimated annual production is 52 000 kWh. The systems will be provided by a local company Mirotex Ltd. and installed in September.

Renewable energy demonstration network to be established in North Karelia, Finland

Solar PV Joensuu
A Solar PV of 27 kW, Etra / Green Park, Joensuu.

Poveria Biomassasta Project (Power from the Biomasses), collaborating with the NPA Project GREBE, is establishing a network of renewable energy demonstration sites in North Karelia, Finland.

Several of the sites, such as Eno Energy Cooperative or small-scale combined heat and power of Kuittila Power Ltd., are already famous examples of sustainable energy at the local level. Together with updates of current sites, there are number of new examples for demonstrating new technologies and business models. Poveria Biomassasta will gather the energy sites as a demonstration network and provide access to them through the GREBE Renewable Energy Business Portal.http://www.renewablebusiness.eu/

The energy enterprises in North Karelia have joint development on the integration of solar energy solutions into district heating plants – and a new project, Poveria auringosta (Power from the Sun), has been launched for the purpose. The project will support attending enterprises in energy system planning and carrying out the investments and follow-up. In addition, there has been new interest in energy storage opportunities in the region, and several investments for energy storage are prepared. The practices in wood energy, technology manufacturing, and hybrid systems will also be demonstrated through the network.

The renewable energy demonstration network in North Karelia will be launched at the end of 2017. Karelia UAS will provide further information of the demonstration network and available case examples through the GREBE and Poveria Biomassasta projects.

Heat entrepreneurship meeting in Lieksa, Finland

Esa Kinnunen
Esa Kinnunen (Finnish Forest Centre) presenting the socio-economic benefits of the Eno Energy Co-op

The heat entrepreneurs of North Karelia and Savo regions met in Lieksa to discuss the recent development of the sector. The meeting of entrepreneurs and bioenergy developers focused on the work safety aspects, the potential of the solar energy systems integrated in district heating, and the socio-economic benefits of bioenergy.

The importance of the work safety issue was emphasized by presentations on risk assessments, safety issues along the supply-chain and at the heating plant, and on legislation requirements. Practical examples were given on the realised risks – such as deaths in silos – and how they could have been avoided.

Eno Energy Cooperative is a famous example of a heat enterprise positively affecting at the regional economy. Bioenergy and bioeconomy specialist Esa Kinnunen from the Finnish Forest Centre presented the latest socio-economic study of the Eno Energy Co-op. The estimated socio-economic impacts of cost savings (i.e. replacing heating oil with renewable biomass) during the past 15 years have been about 75 jobs and 2.8 MEUR.

The heat entrepreneurs are considering investments on the solar energy systems integrated in the DH plans; technical and economic aspects of the PV and solar thermal were presented by Karelia UAS Renewable energy specialist Kim Blomqvist. Kim also presented the currently open GREBE Entrepreneurship Enabler Scheme call for local enterprises in Finland – heat entrepreneurs are among the key target groups of the scheme.

“From resource to sustainable business” Seminar & GREBE Policy Workshop on 09.02.2017 in Joensuu, Finland

The GREBE project is organizing – in cooperation with the IEA Bioenergy Task 43 – the joint seminar “From resource to sustainable business”  and a GREBE Policy Workshop on the 9th of February 2017 in Joensuu, Finland.

 

Key aspects from GREBE Project and IEA Bioenergy Task 43 will be presented and the opportunities from the renewable energy resources and developing a sustainable business from sustainable energy will be elaborated within the joint seminar “From resource to sustainable business”.

The GREBE Policy Workshop will focus on energy policy and promotion of renewable energy. This will examine the current issues from the Finnish and North Karelian point of view and takes place after the seminar in the afternoon of 9th February. The results of the workshop will be utilized in drafting the roadmap towards an oil-free and low-carbon North Karelia 2040.

Alternatively, in parallel to the policy workshop, participants have the opportunity to join an excursion in the Joensuu region visiting the Sirkkala Energy Park and the company Kesla Oyj. The event is co-organized by the GREBE partners Luke and Karelia UAS.

Event page & Registration

More details are available on the here on the event page where you see programme and practical information. The goal of this seminar is to discuss the topics and aims of the “GREBE – Generating Renewable Energy Business Enterprise” and “IEA Bioenergy Task 43”.

You can register here at the latest by 31.01.2017. The seminar participation is free of charge. Registration is mandatory. Maximum number of participants to the event is 60.

We welcome you to join us in Joensuu, Finland.

First micro-scale community wind power project in North Karelia

Jakokoski community established a 20 kW wind power plant in October 2016 as a LEADER co-financed project to provide power for the observatory and a community building.

Jakokoski community initiated a community wind power in their community development plan in 2009. The planning included a detailed engineering thesis work of a person living in a community. Project was identified feasible, and implemented with LEADER co-financing. The total budget for the investment project was 74 500 €’s with 50% co-financing, and a loan from the municipality.

The location of the 19 meters high power plant is optimal, as it is at the top of the hill Terttulanvaara – a popular of its observatory and public star shows.

The generator power is 20kW, estimated production (with average 5 m/s wind) is 19 625 kWh. Estonian TUGE Energia headquartered in Tallinn manufactures the wind power turbine. It manufactures and supplies small wind turbines with capacity of 10 and 20 kW.  A regional power company provides additional electricity and purchases the excess power.

The technology is innovative, as the metering of the wind power and direction is based on ultrasound, and rotor turns automatically in optimal direction. Turbine can also be monitored and partly controlled online, and hydraulic lifting enables service and maintenance operations.

 

 

PV considered feasible at farm-scale in Finland

 

Karelia UAS 07-07-2016

A dairy farm located in Kitee, North Karelia, invested in 22+11 kWp photovoltaic system in June 2014. The system has been now operating two years and the experience has been positive. The annual production of 30 000 kWh is about 25% of the overall electricity consumption.

The PV investments have gained considerable interest among local farmers who often have the annual electricity consumption between 50 000 to 150 000 kWh, some even 350 000 kWh. Electricity consumption of cooling the milk down to 4 °C, as well as effective air-conditioning, require significant amount of electricity. On the other hand, farms usually have suitable sunny fields and roof surface areas for PV plants.

The local company, Mirotex ltd. has established system in Kitee together with technology supplier Green Energy Finland – the estimated payback times is below 8-9 years with 30% investment support. The PV plant was provided as a turnkey solution.

The farmer owning the system is very happy for his decision and emphasizes the benefits of having a local supplier and thus the service and maintenance easily available.

The established farm-scale plants have received considerable attention – new investments are planned and decided in other farms, housing associations and in industry/commerce. The Finnish GREBE partner, Karelia UAS, invests in demonstration PV plant.The investment is part of the Sirkkala Energy Park and will provide open-access information for all interested stakeholders.

More information available at: Green Energy Finland, Mirotex Oy.