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!!!


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

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

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.

Hybrid solutions case information from Finland now available!


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:

The Finnish language version is available under:

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

More information on the renewable business topic in general can be found from GREBE’s Renewable Business Portal under:



Dudgeon Turbines

The Dudgeon Wind farm is now completed and fully commissioned – right on schedule. The project is the largest Norwegian renewable investment in the UK and the Dudgeon Wind farm will harness wind to power 410,000 UK homes. Statoil and Statkraft had a grand opening of Dudgeon Wind farm in Norwich/Great Yarmouth on the 22nd of November.

The opening of the offshore wind farm took place as an official ceremony in Great Yarmouth’s Town Hall – and this happens 3.5 years after the investment decision was made, and only a year and a half after marine installations started. After the successful installation of the first 6MW wind turbine in early January 2017, all 67 Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm wind turbines are now delivering electricity to the UK grid, providing clean, renewable energy to around 410,000 British homes.

Dudgeon also makes an important contribution to the UK’s renewable energy strategy and represents continued progress in the deployment of commercially viable clean technology. The support of the British government has been critical to the success of Dudgeon.

The Dundgeon Wind Farm project has required significant technical innovation from Statoil and Statkraft, and the technology transfer has been delivered through an excellent relationship with local companies and local suppliers.

East Anglia

The development of Dudgeon Wind farm has stimulated local jobs and economic growth for the East Anglia region – and the Dudgeon investment happens in the same area as an earlier Statoil renewable energy investment – The Sheringham Shoal. Together, these projects means a lot for the local economy in East Anglia.

In addition to Dudgeon, Statoil is operator for the Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm in the UK- East Anglia, which has supplied electricity to around 200,000 homes since 2012.

The Statoil strategy is to develop from an oil and gas company to a broad energy major, Statoil will grow significantly in renewable energy, with an ambition to invest millions of Euro over the next few years. Dudgeon and East Anglia is a key part of this strategy to complement the oil and gas portfolio with profitable renewable energy solutions, as well as building upon Statoil’s already strong UK presence.

Dudgeon location

Maritime expertise

Offshore wind has been a natural place to start, as Statoil can build on their maritime expertise, experience from complex oil and gas projects and make use of their existing supplier chain. With Dudgeon in full production Statoil is well on its way to providing more than one million households in Europe with renewable electricity.

Maritime expertise in combination with improved technology and economic factors as; increased deployment and lower costs – are the key drivers turning offshore wind into an attractive power source, outcompeting traditional sources of energy in important markets.

Dudgeon Wind farm – in numbers

The Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm is located approximately 20 miles off the North Norfolk coastline and has a maximum installed capacity of 402MW providing sufficient power to meet the annual demands of 410,000 UK homes.  The field comprises 67 turbines which are connected by 12 inter array cables to the main offshore facility which sits centrally in the field.

The offshore substation Jacket will be approx. 30m x 30m at the sea bed.  It spans a height of 48m from the cable deck to the bottom of the suction buckets.  Each bucket is 9m in diameter and 9m in height.  The Jacket will weigh approx. 1,300 tonnes once installed.

Dudgeon in numbers

Statoil Renewable Energy Portifolio in UK

Towards 2030 it is estimated that the installed capacity of offshore wind in Europe can grow from 12GW (2016) to 70 GW. Statoil wants to be a part of this development.

Statoil already has a sizeable renewables portfolio in UK – its current offshore wind portfolio has the capacity to provide more than 1 million homes with renewable energy. This includes the Sheringham Shoal wind farm and Dudgeon Wind Farm in the UK/East Anglia, and the Hywind Project in Scotland, the world’s first floating offshore wind farm, which came into production in October.

Statoil will grow significantly in renewable energy, with an ambition to invest around £9.5 billion over the next five years.


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.


The GREBE Project meets with renewable energy companies in Norway


As part of the GREBE Project meeting in June, the Norwegian partner, Narvik Science Park, organised visits to hydropower installations and wind parks, as well as meetings with companies operating in the renewable energy sector in Norway.

The first meeting was held with Dag Smedbold of Statkraft (  Statkraft is a leading company in hydropower internationally and Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy. The Group produces hydropower, wind power, gas-fired power and district heating and is a global player in energy market operations. Statkraft has 3800 employees in more than 20 countries.   Dag outlined their development and the leading role they play in renewable energy in Norway and in Europe, particulary in the hydro sector.

Following our meeting with Statkraft, we met with Matthew Homola of Nordkraft (  Nordkraft is an energy group focusing on the development, development, production and distribution of all natural renewable energy. The group also has interests in power sales and other energy-related businesses.  The renewable energy production comes from magazine power plants, small hydro and wind power. The distribution network covers Narvik Municipality, as well as wall in Evenes Municipality.

The group’s history dates back to 1913, when the first power plant was put into operation in Håkvik valley in Narvik municipality. It has mainly been public or publicly-owned owners all the time, except for some years in the 2000s when Danish E2 / Dong Energy were owners. As a result of this came the wind power initiative.

Matthew brought us Nygårdsfjellet wind farm, which was acquired by Fortum  along with two other wind power projects in late 2016.  Nordkraft continue to manage and operate this project. This wind farm consists of 14 turbines with a total capacity of 32,2MW.  Windmills have an installed capacity of 2,3MW each. The entry of Nygårdsfjellet wind farm was done in two stages. The first 3 turbines were put into operation in 2006 and the last 11 in 2011. Average annual production is 105GWh, corresponding to normal consumption of about 5200 Norwegian households.

Our last visit was to Nordkrafts first power plant in Håkvik valley.  Fred Johansen of Narvik Science Park outlined the history of the development of this hydropower plant and the development of renewable energy in northern Norway.


Repowering onshore wind in the Highlands and Islands

wind turbine 16-05-2017

Planning permissions and consents for onshore wind farms in the UK generally require decommissioning and restoration after a 25-year lifetime. With some of the earliest windfarms being built in the early 1990s we are starting to look at what happens next. With proper operations and maintenance, there is no reason that windfarms can’t operate past this lifetime, especially if they’re receiving ROC payments.

It is important if we want to continue to decarbonise the economy that these existing consented sites continue to produce low carbon electricity and this is represented in Scottish Planning Policy:

‘Proposals to repower existing wind farms which are already in suitable sites where environmental and other impacts have been shown to be capable of mitigation can help to maintain or enhance installed capacity, underpinning renewable energy generation targets. The current use of the site as a wind farm will be a material consideration in any such proposals.’

We are now coming to a stage where many of the first windfarm sites using small clusters of 600KW turbines at around 70m in tip height are coming to the end of their operational lifetime. In many cases, and in eventually in all cases it will be more economic to “repower” the site.

There are numerous benefits in utilising a site, which is already powered: they are grid connected, planned for and there’s years of real data that can inform new design. There can be some difficulties if bases needed replaced or grid connection needs upgraded, the key however is that the sites have the planning permissions in place, if not for larger turbines.

Some sites might even be economically viable to repower before the 25-year lifetime is achieved due to the financial performance of the site and the rapid evolution and increase in wind turbine size. The progress in the last 20 years has been phenomenal with prices tumbling as hub height increases and economies of scale are seen.

There are many options for repowering sites such as maintaining the grid connection capacity by increasing turbine size but lowering numbers. Some sites may wish to maintain turbine numbers but increase the size and capacity but how do these large turbines affect the visual requirements of the area? Sometimes few larger turbines are deemed more acceptable.

Although many sites will not be considered for repowering before the mid-2020s the procedures need to be put in place now and trialled on some of the earliest Highland wind farms. Given the time it has taken to consent these original windfarms there can’t be considerable downtime between decommissioning and repowering considering the ambitious decarbonisation targets the Scottish Government has set.

In an ideal world, we would move to planning for perpetuity.