19 12 2013
The ENSEA project entails a step by step approach to identify opportunities to work together with regions around the North Sea and address the challenges of Energy System Integration. Different work packages have been set up, each specifying the activities in the different phases in this process.
At this point, we are happy to announce that the activities with respect to analysing the regional innovation capacities of the individual ENSEA regions is nearing its completion. Desk studies, interviews (with important private and public stakeholders as well as knowledge institutions) and regional workshops have been organized as part of Work Package two (WP2).
Insights gathered through these activities have lead to a in depth analysis of existing regional innovation systems and identifies opportunities for synergetic cooperation on energy system integration across the different ENSEA regions.
The coming months the partners will contribute to the definition of a Joint Action Plan, specifying how regions will be able to take advantage of each others regional talents in future projects while contributing to the development of a competitive and innovative energy economy throughout the North Sea region.
The results of these efforts entail the outcomes of work package number three of the project and will be presented at the ENSEA Midterm Conference, taking place in Stavanger Norway in May 2014.
18 12 2013
On the 29th of November 2013 a conference was held in Brussels for participants in the ‘Regions of Knowledge’ (RoK) initiative. The purpose of the meeting was to inform officials of the European Commission about the progress and the process of the RoK projects that are currently in operation. As part of the Seventh Framework Programme the RoK initiative aims to strengthen the research potential of European regions by supporting the development of regional ‘research-driven clusters’, associating universities, research centres, enterprises and regional authorities.
The European North Sea Energy Alliance (ENSEA) project, which started in October 2012, was represented by the coordinator of the project Dr. Koos Lok. During his presentation, Dr. Lok presented a holistic view of energy systems integration in relation to the North Sea as one of the hotspots in Europe for a sustainable energy transition programme. The partners in the ENSEA project consisting of Scottish, German, Norwegian and Dutch research driven energy clusters have all made regional analyses of their innovation capacities regarding the different aspects of an integrated energy system. Dr. Lok explained how some of the main findings and conclusions of these analyses will contribute to identifying smart interregional cooperation opportunities for the regions and possibly, the wider North Sea area as a whole.
Dr Lok stated, “Partly based on these conclusions, some possibilities for pilot projects and thematic focuses like green decommissioning and hydro storage were presented as a first outline for future action.”
Furthermore challenges and lessons learned in the process of project development like data collection methodology, analysing innovation processes in the ENSEA region where shared between the RoK project consortia and representatives of the European Commission.
The partners of the ENSEA project are currently working to validate the results of the regional analyses with stakeholders within their region to thereby finalise this stage within the project. The final report is expected to be published early 2014. The next stage of the project will focus on the development of a ‘Joint Action Plan’ in which future action and better coordination of research and innovation will be outlined to enhance smart interregional cooperation and contribute to Europe’s ambitious energy targets. This ‘Joint Action Plan’ is scheduled to be presented mid 2014 during the midterm-conference in Stavanger, Norway.
18 12 2013
Prof. Hans-Peter Beck is Chairman of the Board of Energy Research Centre of Lower Saxony(Energie-Forschungszentrum Niedersachsen, EFZN). The EFZN is the scientific partner of Wachstumsregion Ems-Achse within the ENSEA project. Prof. Beck explains why EFZN joined the project and what contributions can be made.
Prof. Beck started by saying: ‘Germany has drawn a lot of international attention for presenting a long-term perspective until 2050, the so-called “Energiewende”, for the transition towards a renewable energy-based energy system. It refers to a fundamental transition to a decarbonized energy system based mainly on variable renewable energy along with the emphasis on increased energy efficiency and without the use of nuclear energy. However, even though Germany is a forerunner in the Energiewende in Europe, it is vital for a successful system integration to get involved and aligned with all European partners. Within ENSEA, the competences of the participating European regions can be pooled and complemented mutually.’
Lower Saxony is a key region of the Energiewende and the N°1 producer of wind energy in Germany. Furthermore, the Ems-Achse cluster is the most North Western part of this Bundesland and is well known as an “energy hub” – producing oenergy from renewable sources as well as energy from fossil fuels, transmission of crude oil and gas and manufacturing of large wind power plants, among many other things. The economic region Ems-Achse consists of about 350 business companies, 59 local authorities, 25 educational and research institutions, 8 trade associations and chambers of commerce. With EFZN and Ems-Achse a strong Triple Helix structure was formed to open new doors to cooperations and research and development in the energy sector, both nationally and internationally.
The EFZN located in the German Lower-Saxon city of Goslar is a scientific institution of the Clausthal University of Technology in cooperation with the Universities of Braunschweig, Göttingen, Hannover and Oldenburg. All of these Universities are located in Lower Saxony. The activities of EFZN cover the range from the entire energy-generation and energy-utilisation chain, i.e. from the raw-material source to disposal. An average of 80 researchers from the fields of natural science, engineering science, law as well as the social and economic sciences work together under the same roof, thus facilitating an interdisciplinary approach to energy research and energy system integration.
Upon the question what results Prof. Beck would like to present when ENSEA is finished he says: ‘Based on the findings in WP2 (regional inventory, strengths and weaknesses), WP 3 and WP4 (drawing up and implementation of the joint action plan) I expect a consolidation of the European ENSEA network, a number of research, development and demonstration projects and initiatives deriving from the Joint Action Plan which should serve as a basis to create a European region of energy excellence in the North Sea region.’