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28 11 2013

ENSEA at the Energy Convention in Groningen

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This years’ Energy Convention (former Energy Delta Convention) in Groningen, 19th and 20th November, was again very successful , hosting up to 1000 visitors.

European North Sea Energy Alliance (ENSEA) joined the programme as a side event at the main stage on the 19th. Charles Groenhuijsen introduced and interviewed three key note speakers on various aspects of system integration for a secure sustainable energy future.

Hans van Breugel, managing director Tocardo (The Netherlands), presented the project Energising deltas. This project is about combining sustainable energy generation, like blue energy and tidal energy, with water management in delta areas. Partners in the project are Tocardo, REDstack, Strukton, Deltares, ECN, Erasmus University, Energy Valley and Tidal Testing Centre. According to Van Breugel this is a perfect export product that can be used in the North Sea area and is a great example of an innovative new way of sustainable energy generation.

Asbjørn Høivik of Lyse Produksion (Norway) explained how Hydropower plants are an opportunity for large scale energy storage in the North Sea Energy System. He indicates that most hydro power plants in Norway have storage capacities provided by reservoirs. Rogaland, partner in ENSEA, has the largest reservoir in Europe with approximately 5 % of the total amount of storage capacity in Europe.

Offshore green decommissioning is another area ENSEA focuses on. After showing the video about ENSEA Koos Lok of the Energy Valley Foundation in The Netherlands takes us further into the decommissioning story. Up to 600 offshore installations will be decommissioned in the coming 20-40 years, which brings along high costs. Looking at other options like re-use of the platforms in an ecological way seem to be very promising, according to Lok. “We are working towards a Masterplan of re-use within the energy infrastructures.”

The Energy Convention is organised by the Energy Academy Europe and Energy Valley Foundation and is an international platform for leading energy experts from various disciplines, sectors and countries. Each year the latest topics in the field of energy transition are discussed by senior representatives from research & development, business and governments. This convention offers an inspiring surrounding for visitors to learn about projects like ENSEA.

Download the presentation: ENSEA Event Energy Convention – 7MB

 

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The North Sea Commission has been in close dialogue with the European Parliament about the need to analyze the North Sea region’s growth potential and the added value of having a future shared macro-regional strategy for the North Sea. At the plenary meeting on 23rd October, the European Parliament endorsed the proposed action and approved a budget line of €250.000 in 2014 for a preparatory action.

Background The North Sea Commission developed the North Sea Region 2020 strategy paper in consultation with members and stakeholders in the North Sea Region. The strategy paper regards the North Sea Region as a territorial cooperation area, and its strategic focus is on the major challenges and common characteristics where transnational action and collaborative working is considered to give added value.

The strategy paper identifies five strategic priorities that are closely linked to the EU2020 objectives and contributes to the implementation of several (if not all) of the EU2020 flagship initiatives:

  1. Managing maritime space
  2. Increasing accessibility and clean transport
  3. Tackling climate change
  4. Attractive and sustainable communities
  5. Promoting innovation and excellence

A preparatory action The strategy paper was a first step towards analyzing the challenges and opportunities for the North Sea area and exploring the potential for regional growth in support of the EU 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

However, to fully explore the regional growth potential and lay the grounds for a future strong North Sea region, there is a need to carry out more in-depth analysis of the strategic priorities in the North Sea Region 2020 strategy paper and their added value in a European community context.

Activities The proposed preparatory action will therefore finance a number of coordinated activities that will focus on:

  • In-depth analysis/studies of the five priorities identified in the North Sea Region 2020 strategy paper
  • Stakeholder conferences to address the issues of commitment, cooperation and content
  • Follow-up dialogue with stakeholders including the European Commission, Member states and regional authorities

The proposed preparatory action does not aim at establishing a macro-regional strategy. Rather, it seeks to examine the areas and sectors of common interest and to explore and build commitment among stakeholders, thereby providing a basis for decision on the future development and creation of growth in the North Sea region.

Output The final output of the action will be an in-depth analysis of the North Sea region’s growth potential, including possible intervention areas, and a white book from the North Sea Commission to the EU and Member States about the potential and added value of a shared regional strategy and cooperation for the North Sea Region.

Link to original news item: http://www.northseacommission.info/index.php/about/146-focus-articles/293-north-sea-commission-seeks-funding-from-the-european-parliament-to-analyze-north-sea-region-growth-potential.

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On 16 and 17 October 2013, the partners of the European North Sea Energy Alliance (ENSEA) came together for their first interregional workshop, hosted by the Energy Research Centre Niedersachsen (EFZN).

On the first day, the results from extensive quantitative and qualitative regional analyses where presented and discussed between the ENSEA project partners. This discussion delivered a first real insight into the synergies between partner regions and highlighted the opportunities for cooperation in relation to the integration of (renewable) energy sources in and around the North Sea. The insights presented will be used to further define the content of the ENSEA Joint Action Plan: a prioritized list of key subjects and regional resources that will be developed through interregional cooperation by industry, the public sector and academia in an attempt to realize an integrated, more durable North Sea energy system.

On the second day, ENSEA partners gave their own perspectives on the regional analyses as part of the 6th annual Lower Saxony – Energy Days. In addition, a fringe event to the regular Energy Days program, the different ENSEA regions presented interesting perspectives on how energy development within their own region might benefit from or influence wider North Sea energy system.

The Rogaland (NO) region presented an in depth analysis of their network of hydropower plants, which in time may provide a unique opportunity for large scale energy storage in a wider and more integrated North Sea energy system.

The Energy Valley region in the Northern Netherlands highlighted the potential to re-use existing offshore E&P infrastructure for renewable energy purposes through an innovative concept called “green decommissioning”.

The Scottish region focused on a more socially embedded aspect of the required integration of renewable energy technologies; the enormous possibilities for more alignment of energy production and energy consumption by means of demand side management.

Concluding, the region of Lower Saxony finished this session by clarifying how renewable energy developments in Northern Germany will influence the wider energy system and where alternative solutions to large infrastructural problems may be found.

Later that day, the different regional perspectives discussed in a panel session featuring all regional partners.

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