Scotland’s First Energy Strategy

ERI Blog

The Scottish government revealed far-reaching novel strategies to increase the use of renewable fuel in electricity, transport and heat across the country, under its first ever Energy Strategy. Business, Energy and Innovation minister Paul Wheelhouse said in a statement:

“This strategy recognises and builds on our achievements to date and on Scotland’s capacity for innovation. It places consumers, and their interests, more firmly than ever at the heart of everything that we do. We are leading the way in promoting community and locally owned renewable energy – well ahead of the rest of the UK – as figures announced today demonstrate. This strategy will guide decisions of the Scottish government over the coming decades. We want to make sure, within the scope of our devolved powers, good stewardship of Scotland’s energy sector – something we have called the UK government to step up to for years.”

The Strategy sets a new objective for at least 50% of all Scotland’s heat, transport and electricity consumption to be supplied from renewable sources by 2030. Another target set by the Scottish government is a 30% increase in energy productivity across the economy. To drive advancement towards the new targets, the Scottish government promised £80m fresh investment in the energy sector – £60m for low-carbon innovation and £20m for energy investment, coupled with, a confirmation for a publicly owned energy company.

Scotland’s first Energy Strategy was published on the 20th December 2017 and details can be found here – http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0052/00529523.pdf

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Ireland to test floating offshore wind concepts in Galway Bay

Galway Bay

The Irish government has confirmed that permission has been granted to use a site in Galway Bay to test marine renewable energy, including floating offshore wind. Ireland’s Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Damien English said Ireland’s Marine Institute has been awarded a foreshore lease for the Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site.

The test site, located 1.5 km off the coast of An Spidéal, will allow for the deployment and testing of a range of prototype marine renewable energy devices, innovative marine technologies and novel sensors. The facility will also provide access to the SmartBay observatory allowing researchers and scientists to conduct research in the marine environment. The Marine Institute had operated a test site at the same location for 11 years until March 2017, generating a significant research knowledge base. The test site will provide researchers and those involved in developing ocean energy devices with an area in which to test and demonstrate quarter-scale prototype ocean energy converters and related technologies.

A maximum of three marine renewable energy test devices will be deployed at the test site at any time and will only be deployed for a maximum duration of 18 months, with the exception of any floating wind device which may only be deployed for a maximum of 12 months. The lease has been granted on the basis that there is no provision to export power from the test site to the National Grid. The Galway Bay test site will operate for up to 35 years, with devices on site intermittently throughout the year. Under the terms of the lease, the Marine Institute will produce an environmental monitoring plan for the test site, and make all the findings of the monitoring programme available to the public.

Published on Thursday 21st Dec 2017 by David Foxwell

 

 

GREBE publishes its seventh project e-zine

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

Since October we have continued to carry out the project activities and meet our objectives. Our 7th partner meeting in Enniskillen was hosted by Fermanagh & Omagh District Council and included a networking event and site visits. The aim was to highlight the benefits of renewable energy for SMEs and start-up businesses, and give participants the opportunity to meet with biomass experts from the Natural Resources Institute in Finland. Details can be found on page 3. A policy workshop was held by the Western Development Commission as part of their Regional Heat Study for the Western Region. Details can be found on page 4.

GREBE’s Funding Options tool has been launched and provides information on the funding mechanisms currently available in the partner regions. More details on this can be found on page 6 and is available at http://support.renewablebusiness.eu/

Another highlight for the GREBE project was the launch of the Renewable Business Portal. The Portal is an online training and networking portal which allows for flexible and easy access to training material and technology transfer information. Details can be found on page 7 and 8 and can be visited at http://renewablebusiness.eu/

Our Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme in Northern Ireland is complete and has now been launched in Finland, Scotland and Ireland. Details can be found on page 9. Our e-zine can be downloaded from the GREBE Project website here. This has been a great year as far as achieving our targets are concerned, and we have many more activities lined up for 2018.  We wish you a joyful and peaceful Christmas, and a prosperous New Year.

Warning – Ireland will not achieve renewable energy targets without wind

TurbinesThe Irish Wind Farmers Association said Ireland was well positioned to capitalise on its location at the western edge of Europe to rely on wind energy. Photograph: Getty Images

Developing wind energy in rural Ireland could benefit local economy, says IWFA   

Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 09:43 Updated: Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 09:50 Barry Roche

Ireland’s lack of a detailed policy plan for wind energy means the country will end up “back-sliding” on its targets to such a degree it will not achieve a 100 per cent renewable energy system by 2050, a leading figure in the wind energy sector has warned. Grattan Healy, chairman of Meitheal na Gaoithe or the Irish Wind Farmers Association, said that Ireland was well positioned to capitalise on its location at the western edge of Europe to rely on wind energy instead of fossil fuels but it was failing to do so.

“Ireland’s ‘Energy policy’, or lack thereof, as reflected in the “very vague” White Paper and various moves at EU Council level by Ireland to “water down” the Clean Energy Package, run totally contrary to what the general public, consultants, developers and others want,” said Mr Healy. “Ireland is almost uniquely placed to produce any amount of energy from wind to power the whole country and up to half of Europe. Yet we seem intent on throwing every possible obstacle in our own way and spending €6 billion a year on imported fossil fuels.”

Speaking in advance of the Irish Wind Farmers Association Annual Conference in Kilkenny on Wednesday and Thursday, Mr Healy said the Government’s failure to properly promote wind energy was having a detrimental effect on rural communities which could benefit from such a policy.

“A single wind turbine has the potential to generate tens of thousands of euros for a rural household per annum – the equivalent of another family income,” said Mr Healy whose organisation promotes the development of small to medium scale energy projects by individuals and communities. “By failing to fully develop onshore wind, this is foregone money which could be pumped directly back into the local and regional economy, saving our rural post offices, shops, creating employment and more in some of Ireland’s most disadvantaged rural communities.”

According to Mr Healy, Government policy makers seem “to be intent on pandering” to a small percentage of the population opposed to wind energy and are intent on scaremongering rather than engaging in a meaningful way with communities about the benefits of wind energy. He said Ireland must invest in information campaigns and meaningful discussions about wind energy and “stop the misinformation and scaremongering”.

Mr Healy said the association believes that Ireland urgently needs a proper electricity market design, which is ‘for’ and not ‘against’ renewable energy. He also said that many in the industry see the European Union as being hostile towards the wind energy sector. “Very specific, positive and excellent demands were made by the Citizens Assembly for action in this sector but the prevailing policy seems to be more focused on paying fines rather than taking action,” said Mr Healy who will welcome delegates to the conference at the Lyrath Estate on Wednesday evening.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/warning-ireland-will-not-achieve-renewable-energy-targets-without-wind-1.3292602

Knowledge transfer in the NPA – GREBE expert sessions with SME’s

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The GREBE project arranged a possibility for the transfer of knowledge within the Northern Periphery area by hosting expert sessions with SME´s. The sessions were part of the GREBE project meeting events hosted by the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council from 6th – 10th November 2017. Two experts, Saija Rasi and Veikko Möttönen from the GREBE partner organization Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) were available to the participants for one-to-one meetings.

Saija Rasi, whose expertise is in bioenergy production, biogas technology, gas analysis, treatment of biodegradable wastes and bio refineries, provided information to stakeholders interested in biogas technology / energy production and nutrient circulation.

Veikko Möttönen has his area of expertise in wood mechanical properties, drying of wood and sawn timber, further processing of sawn wood, further processing of side streams and wood modification, and was able to provide information on practices to handle side streams and plans of company for the production development.

The experts were also available during a networking event for businesses from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland giving the opportunity to engage with one another or opening up the possibility of joint working opportunities in the future.

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This activity was part of the GREBE project´s “Knowledge & Technology Transfer and Business Delivery” working package led by the Natural Research Institute Finland (LUKE). The aim of the expert sessions were to facilitate transnational effective knowledge transfer and collaboration in the renewable energy business sector and to promote knowledge sharing and information exchange between actors in renewable energy supply and demand.

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

GREBE holds Speed Networking Event in Enniskillen

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Fermanagh and Omagh District Council hosted a meeting of the GREBE project in the week 6th – 10th November 2017.  This meeting, the 7th Partner meeting took place on Tuesday and Wednesday and culminated in a networking event for those businesses who engaged with the Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme in Northern Ireland, and brought them together with a number of businesses from the Republic of Ireland.

The following partners were in attendance:

  • Western Development Commission – Ireland
  • Action Renewables – Northern Ireland
  • Fermanagh and Omagh District Council – Northern Ireland
  • University of the Highlands and Islands – Scotland
  • Natural Research Institute LUKE – Finland
  • Karelia University of Applied Science – Finland
  • Narvik Science Park – Norway
  • Icelandic Centre for Innovation – Iceland

An important aspect of this event was also the involvement of two experts from Finland who were available to the participants for one-to-one meetings, Veikko Mottenen and Saija Rasi. These meetings were positively received and the speed networking event afforded all of those who attended the opportunity to engage with one another, opening up the possibility of joint working opportunities in the future.  The high-energy event was facilitated by Ruth Daly of Sort-IT and was enjoyed by all.

 

After the networking event, the group attended a Chairman’s reception in Enniskillen Townhall, followed by a social event when the networking continued.

Thursday saw the group visit a number of sites to see the range of activities within the area in the Renewable Energy sector.  Site visits were facilitated by the CREST centre at South West College in Enniskillen, an associated partner in the GREBE project, Balcas, who are a major supplier of fuel to the Renewable Energy sector and finally to Ecohog, based in Carrickmore, Co Tyrone, whose machinery is built locally and is sold across the globe and has been making significant inroads into the Renewable Energy sector.

Norwegian Energy Partners

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The establishment of the new organisation – Norwegian Energy Partners – is the result of a merger between INTSOK and INTPOW in 2017 given the name NORWEP. NORWEP will continue to provide support to the oil and gas supply industries in Norway, but will also now work with the renewable energy sector. The Norwegian Energy Partners will be combining the competence in previous INTSOK and INTPOW to mutual benefit for the whole Norwegian energy industry – as the international oil companies now reshaping and extending their investment strategies and the Norwegian supply industry looking to be well positioned to compete also in the renewable markets. In 2018 the Norwegian Government would give 3.7million Euro to NORWEP – to promote the Norwegian energy sector to the international market.  

INTSOK/INTPOW

INTSOK was an effective vehicle for promoting the Norwegian offshore industry’s capabilities to key clients in overseas markets and providing market information to its partners. The focus was on global opportunities, not only amongst large Norwegian companies but also amongst small and medium-sized enterprises. INTSOK was a network-based organisation where the partners exchange experience and knowledge of market developments internationally. INTPOW was the only national and the principal networking organisation for the Norwegian renewable energy industry. INTPOW’s members were Norwegian authorities, companies and other industry participants with an international expansion strategy. The joint forces between INTSOK and INTPOW will be an even stronger unit to open doors for Norwegian companies and technology.

The new organisation – NORWEP  

Norwegian Energy Partners will be combining the competencies of both organisations to mutual benefit for the whole Norwegian energy industry – building on:

  • The Norwegian energy sector has developed industry with experience, ideas, products and technologies – that are competitive in the most demanding global markets.
  • International oil companies are now reshaping and extending their investment strategies in to the renewable energy sector.
  • The Norwegian industry, known for its safe, reliable and energy efficient solutions, could also have a competitive edge with the increasing awareness around climate change.

The Norwegian Energy Partners role will be to continue the effective work done by INTSOK/INTPOW – for promoting the Norwegian energy industry’s capabilities, technologies and competence to key clients in the overseas markets and providing market information to the partners. NORWEP would still be a network-based organisation, facilitating dialogue between energy companies, technology suppliers, service companies and the Government.

New possibilities – Investment in renewable energy

Investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and low carbon solutions are rapidly increasing. The Norwegian supply industry has a lot to offer in this changing energy landscape. The petroleum industry has solved technological challenges in a demanding environment on the Norwegian continental shelf since the very beginning of the oil production in Norway. The Norwegian supply industry has over 100 years of experience in developing hydropower, and is increasingly delivering technology to solar and wind development projects. The supply industry’s valuable competence is utilised across sectors. In fact, half of the members of former INTSOK – traditionally delivering to the petroleum sector, also delivers equipment, services and technology to the renewable energy sector.

  • Solar energy
  • Hydropower
  • Wind energy

 

Arctic and cold climate solutions

The Norwegian Energy Partners would also have a special focus on arctic and cold climate solutions – to strengthen Norwegian arctic related technology and competence. NORWEP wants to pave the way for Norwegian industry delivering world class technology and solutions for arctic and cold climate areas, as well as infrastructure – looking at international markets as USA (Alaska), Canada and Russia.

This is of course a very interesting focus for the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme, NORWEP and the Norwegian Government discussing arctic and cold climate development projects.

Fast track internationalisation

NORWEP will assist the participating companies from the energy sector – in identifying their most optimal international markets based on the products and services the individual companies offer, as well as connect the companies to their respective markets. The result is an internationalisation strategy with defined activities and action plan on how to achieve the objectives. All done to reach a higher level of internalisation of the Norwegian energy business – building on fast track solutions.