In June the UK Government released figures showing that renewable energy generation has seen a dramatic 11% increase in the first half of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. Improved weather conditions for generation have seen wind generation in Scotland increase by 37%.
Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish energy minister, said: “These figures show that Scotland’s renewable energy sector is stronger than ever with almost exactly 1GW of new capacity installed since Q1 2017 and a strong pipeline of further projects still to be constructed.” Last year proved to be another record breaking year with provisional annual statistics showing that renewable electricity generation was up 27% on 2016 and 19% on 2015. The increase in generation now brings 69% of Scotland’s electricity consumption being delivered by renewable energy.
Scotland has long delivered on world leading electricity targets and is helped by an abundant onshore wind resource and historic hydro system. As the Scottish Government builds out new offshore wind and tidal projects the increase in generation only looks to continue. Recent plans for a new pumped storage hydro scheme on Scotland’s famous Loch Ness show a long term vision for the country’s electricity grid as it looks to increase penetration of renewables into its grid system. Climate change targets have been helped by the closure of Scotland’s last remaining coal powered fire station in recent years but ageing nuclear power stations and a “no new nuclear” policy look to add new challenges in the future.
The closing date for applications to GREBEs Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme in Ireland has been extended to Friday 1st December 2017.
GREBE will work with small to medium renewable energy businesses throughout the Western Region to provide support to facilitate their growth through specialised mentoring.
The Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme will commission mentors with the appropriate expertise to be assigned to work with businesses to address identified area(s) where help is needed, in order to deliver a bespoke support package.
Applications are welcomed from all small to medium renewable energy businesses, based in the Western Region (Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo, Roscommon, Galway & Clare). Participating businesses will be matched with an appropriate mentor to meet their business needs, based on areas of specialism and scoring.
An Expression of Interest application form may be downloaded from the GREBE website here or requested by email from email@example.com
Completed applications must be returned to GREBE Project, Western Development Commission, Dillon House, Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon, or alternatively via email: firstname.lastname@example.org not later than 12.00 Noon on Friday 1st December 2017.
This project is funded by the Northern Periphery & Arctic Programme. For further information on the GREBE Project, please visit our website www.grebeproject.eu
An open call for businesses to participate in GREBEs Entrepreneurship Enabler Scheme (EES) in Finland was launched in April 5th and ended in May 12th. The three companies to participate in the EES mentoring process during next autumn are Eno Energy Cooperative, Rajaforest Ltd. and Havel Ltd.
GREBE partner Karelia UAS shared information on the Finnish EES roll-out in public industry events and website. The scheme received the attention of SMEs considering renewing their business strategy and improving production development and efficiency. The selected companies are famous for long-term operation and innovation activities in forest energy.
Eno Energy Cooperative has been an example of heat entrepreneurship based on local forest raw materials. The cooperative with 54 members (mostly forest owners), was rewarded in 2014 as a Heat Entrepreneur/enterprise of the year. The cooperative is also famous as active developer in the sector, and generates significant socio-economic benefits to its surrounding region.
Rajaforest Ltd. is a forest contracting company and a heat enterprise. The company supplies timber and forest fuels, operates three municipal biomass district heating plant in Tohmajärvi, and owns and operates one in Kesälahti.
Havel Ltd. is a metal and plastic products manufacturer located in Ilomantsi. The company is a famous innovative product developer for forest technology and forest energy sector, among others. The company has also significant growth potential, in which GREBE EES can provide tailored support.
The EES in Finland has started with preliminary interviews and mentoring sessions will begin in autumn 2017.
This GREBE Business Supports Catalogue has been developed following a review of Renewable Energy business support funding mechanisms and funding options available to support the development of renewable businesses in the NPA region.
It 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 main focus is on public body 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.)
A short introduction on the methods and types of supports in each partner region is provided. Information for each partner region is it then organised under the following categories:
Financial Support (grants, loans, equity investment)
Taxation or welfare supports or concessions for businesses
Soft supports e.g. mentoring, training, specialist advice, networks
Research and Development Supports
Social and Community supports (focused on not for profit)
Other- e.g. Incubation space or office space etc.
Within each of these categories there is considerable variation in the ways different funding options are implemented and these differences will impact on the success of schemes. We hope that by using this catalogue those who seeking funding and support for renewable businesses will have a clear portfolio of options which are available to them.
In the future the information in this catalogue will be used to create a web based tool allowing users to search for available funding options and to consider different types of funding available in each region. The catalogues is available on the GREBE project website here
The GREBE Project has launched its second e-zine to showcase the activities and ongoing goals of the project.
Since our e-zine in May, we have been working on implementing some of our project activities and this e-zine will highlight details of our new website, our Industry Advisory Group meetings, Policy Workshops, partner meetings in Inverness and Iceland, and the launch of the Northern Ireland pilot of our Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme.