Archive for: January

The North Sea Commission (NSC) is a cooperation platform for regions around the North Sea and has 5 themes they focus on, one of those themes is Energy and Climate Change.

In October the members gathered for a meeting on the North Sea Grid. Tomorrow, 29th January, the stakeholdermeeting in cooperation with DG Mare in Edinburgh takes place. Both ENSEA and NSC are envolved in this meeting. A short interview with Paulien Kooistra.

As an advisor of the Energy and Climate Change working group, Paulien Kooistra is the linking pin between several platforms (ENTSOE, CPMR, projects and the regional representatives of the group) and projects like ENSEA in the North Sea Region.

Paulien: “ENSEA became involved in the North Sea Commission through the coastal provinces of the Netherlands already being a member of the NSC. Another connection was made in Norway where Camilla Loevaas Stavnes was involved in both ENSEA and NSC.”

The NSC has various themes they focus on. You participate in the Energy and Climate change group. What is the main focus of the group? Paulien explains: “The energy and climate change group of the NSC focusses on developing energy related project ideas. Offshore wind and the North Sea Energy Grid, and Smart cities and regions are some of the fields the group addresses.”

During the meeting in October the North Sea Grid was one of the subjects addressed. Paulien emphasizes: “A development strategy for the North Sea region is an ideal platform. Both for the debate reliable essay writing service on and delivery of an E.U. wide integrated energy and climate change strategy.” The heart being the North Sea Energy grid.
In future the NSC is aiming for a wide range of project development in the fields of tidal, blue and wave energy, clean shipping, LNG for ships, trucks and trains. Paulien rounds up by inviting those interested to join the annual conference: “To get an idea of our aims the NSC will organize study visits to some of those or similar projects in Transport and to Energising Deltas (Afsluitdijk in the Netherlands).”

Want to learn more or become a member of the North Sea Commission? Send an email to Paulien Kooistra: Kooistra@energyvalley.nl or visit the website of the North Sea Commission.

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The North of the Netherlands and Northern Germany have a strong competitive edge when it comes to energy and cleantech. Many SME’s and knowledge institutions however are having a hard time finding each other. They would create strong partnerships, but lack the mechanisms to properly connect. Very usable innovations are not being realized or are having a hard time to reach the market. The Energy Voucher (or E-voucher) helps entrepreneurs with innovative products and ideas to move forward.

SME’s are the key to innovation. However they sometimes need somePrintscreen 2 support to launch new products and services. That is why the Energy Valley foundation, in cooperation with the Province of Groningen and the Landkreis Aurich are developing a cross border voucher system. With this voucher entrepreneurs in the Eems Dollard region can invest in knowledge or help to make their final move towards the market, quickly and without too many regulations. The pilot with the vouchers will start early 2015.

Alternative financing
“A real entrepreneur will undoubtedly ask: how much money can I get?”, Robbin van der Linde, project manager European projects at the Energy Foundation, states. “This will range from 2.500 to 5.000 euro for further development of innovative ideas. Alternatively, a company can request a larger voucher up to 9.000 euro for advanced technical assistance, testing or market application.” Fighting money as Van der Linde describes it.

Approaching new markets
Van der Linde describes what entrepreneurs can do with this money: “In Drenthe there are many companies in the field of sensor technology. Their solutions could be used in developing intelligent energy system solutions, but in the Netherlands we are not as far advanced in this field as in Germany. For those potential products there is no market yet. The aim is towork across borders, but it can be difficult for entrepreneurs to make that move.” With a voucher they can for instance obtain knowledge at a knowledge institute that knows how it works and they can be supported by someone that understands their potential and helps them to move towards the new potential market.

Regional development
The European Union supports the project from the European Fund for Regional Development through the Interreg IVa Nederland-Deutschland program. Brussels is aiming at cross border cooperation and strongly supports innovative SME’s. That is why this union between the border regions is very important. On both sides of the Dutch-German border there is a lot of knowledge in the field of energy which is not yet being shared and which does not always reach the markets. The pilot for a larger voucher scheme will start early 2015 and should lead to cooperation between SME’s in energy and  knowledge institutions.

Help from knowledge institutes
Within the E-voucher project SME-companies can use a voucher to get help from regional knowledge institutes and use demonstration and test facilities with a 65% to 80% subsidy. “As a guiding line the entrepreneur is requested to search for cooperation or support with across the border”.

An E-voucher can be spent on research and projects that:

  • Are aimed at energy and clean tech: power-to-gas, biogas, hydrogen, LNG, accumulators, decentralised energy use or production, energy storage, wind energy, water power, the development of services in the field energy savings, monitoring etcetera;
  • Are innovative;
  • Have market potential and contribute to the turnover of the company;
  • Are preferably crossing borders.

Two vouchers
Two kinds of vouchers are available:

  • Small vouchers up to 5.000 euro. These are intended to solve theoretical problems and answer any question an entrepreneur might have. This could be research into the current technical status, literature research, a feasibility study or consulting an expert.
  • Larger vouchers for 9.000 euro. These are meant for prototype development, experiments, demonstrations and measurements.

For more information:

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A broad energy consortium has been studying the possibilities Power2Gas can offer to our energy system. To finalise the research project Energy Valley together with Topconsortia Knowledge and Innovation Gas (TKI Gas) have organised a workshop during the latest Energy Convention in Groningen. On the 18th of November 100 guests from predominantly the business community came to Martini Plaza in Groningen to hear about the role of Power2Gas in the future Dutch energy system.

This high level study focuses on the future role of Power2Gas. The workshop also addressed future opportunities and challenges for Power2Gas as a system technology. Power2Gas (often abbreviated P2G) is a technology that converts electrical power to a gaseous fuel. It uses electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen by means of electrolysis.

Transport and industry
Two projects will likely be realised in 2016: Delfzijl and Attero Wijster. In Delfzijl Torrgas, Siemens, Stedin, Gasunie, A.Hak, Hanzehogeschool/EnTranCe, Groningen Seaports and Energy Valley intent to construct a 12 Megawatt Power2Gas facility in Delfzijl (The Netherlands). Here syngas from the Torrgas biocoal-gasifier will be upgraded with hydrogen from electrolysis and delivered to nearby industrial consumers. Attero expects to realize a P2G installation in cooperation with PON and Audi and focuses on the production of SNG for mobility.

Largest installation
By using this sustainably produced www.custom-papers-online.com syngas a large step forward has been taken to make the chemical industry more sustainable. Besides this, Power2Gas-technology can be used as a solution for any temporary surplus from wind and solar energy. The installations that are being built in the Energy Valley region are not only the first in the Netherlands, but also the largest of their kind – considerably bigger than existing Power2Gas initiatives in Germany for example.

Knowledge and experience
The Delfzijl project is unique in its use of oxygen from electrolyses in the gasification process of Torrgas. In most other Power2Gas-projects sustainable oxygen is not being used. The Power2Gas installation in Delfzijl presents a significant advancement in research into this scaling process and will offer the Netherlands and the Northern Provinces important knowledge about and experience in the total integration of the Power2Gas concept in industry and the national power supply.

Storage of sustainable energy
With the rise of solar and wind energy, with a variable output , there is a need to balance and manage the supply and demand of energy. By the transfer to hydrogen and eventually green gas, green energy can be stored in the gas infrastructure where it will find its way to users.

This way the gas infrastructure will be used as a huge storage medium and help to ensure that all energy, which can be produced with sustainable solar panels and wind turbines is actually being used.

Power to Gas in the Energy Valley
Energy Valley sees many opportunities for Power2Gas in the region. There is a growing need for links between Power2Gas concepts and the production of sustainable energy from wind turbines, solar energy and biomass. The electrical energy can be transformed to hydrogen-gas and oxygen-gas. This sustainable hydrogen can be used directly in the industry or in mobility (for example buses that drive on hydrogen). In the Energy Valley region these concepts can be demonstrated and realized very well in industry parks such as Chemiepark Delfzijl and the Energietransitiepark Midden-Drenthe.

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The ENSEA project has come to the point that triple helix partners from other regions around the North Sea can be involved in project development and can participate in different thematic Working Groups within ENSEA. We are happy to announce the involvement of the North Jutland region as an Associated Partner. A short interview with Morten Lemvigh, Head of Office, of North Denmark Region and Eskild Holm-Nielsen, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Science of AAU Esjberg on how they got involved with with ENSEA and about their expectations of the Associated Partnership.

Energy Vision answers to ENSEA questions
The invitation to applying for associated partnership in ENSEA came from Stavanger University with whom Aalborg University has an increasing number of collaborations. The applicant was North Jutland energy platform, EnergyVision, on behalf of the North Denmark Region, North Jutland municipalities, Aalborg University, and North Jutland companies as well as AAU Esbjerg.

Morten Lemvigh, Head of Office of North Denmark Region

Morten Lemvigh, Head of Office of North Denmark Region

Indicating the main area of interest where the North Denmark region and ENSEA connect Morten Lemvigh says: “As a regional authority, energy system integration is a key to achieving two converging goals: the movement towards a smarter and greener energy system and the promotion of business within the field. Both aspects are currently highly prioritized at a strategic level in North Denmark and will be even more so in the future.” He continues: “Furthermore, it is apparent that steps towards the smart energy system of the future must be seen in a trans-regional context just as business development may obtain crucial R&D fertilization from exchange of knowledge and ideas with partners from our adjacent countries and regions in the North Sea Region.”

Eskild Holm-Nielsen, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Science of AAU Esjberg

Eskild Holm-Nielsen, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Science of AAU Esjberg

Eskild Holm-Nielsen mentioned that participation in ENSEA gives Aalborg University the opportunity to further intensify the collaboration with partners in the North Sea Region. He states: “At a concrete level, AAU hopes to become part of a successful platform for projects and partnerships within many of the thematic work groups of ENSEA. These thematic areas include: North Sea Power Ring, Sustainable Communities, Research & Education. Many of these activities may involve our campus in Esbjerg.”

Asking about the expectations of the associated partnership with ENSEA Morten Lemvigh  replies: “As a means to achieving these overall targets, the North Denmark Region hopes to accelerate triple-helix based collaboration between SME’s, authorities, and  research institutions within the region as well as between regions. Participation in ENSEA is thus a very promising tool because North Denmark already has strong traditions of collaboration within most of the thematic focus areas covered by ENSEA. We are very hopeful that these strengths may be increased by our engagement in the efforts of ENSEA to form an alliance around the North Sea through specific projects.”

Eskild Holm-Nielsen says: “Based on the invitations for collaborations we have received so far (having been an associated partner for only a short period), we see this as an excellent opportunity to engage in projects with the right scope and quality addressing important challenges of today and of the future.”

Also interested in becoming an Associated Partner? Download the factsheet ENSEA – Associated Partner – Information for interested third parties with more information and on how to get in touch.

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The triple helix consortium partners cooperating within the ENSEA project share a common vision with respect to how a secure, clean and efficient future north sea energy system can be developed, while building on strong regional competencies.
ENSEA studies have indicated that regions located around the North Sea basin poses similar yet often highly complementary expertise when it comes to energy and renewable energy technology.

Additionally, and under influence of low pragmatic European energy and innovation policies, these regions have developed energy- and smart specialisation strategies that have driven research and innovation activities over the last years in similar ways. As a consequence, regional innovation infrastructures (e.g. technical facilities, entrepreneurial support services, financial facilities) and business networks have developed in comparable ways.

Although the development of a resilient energy system is often thought to be a top-down process driven by strongly coordinated strategies at EU and national level, ENSEA partners see significant opportunities to speed up this transition process by supporting necessary innovations on important technologies that currently slow-down our energy transition. Considering our main energy challenges within the North Sea region and our need for further integration of renewable energy technologies with existing energy production capacities, infrastructures etc. these so called “key enabling innovations” often lie at the intersection of multiple disciplines and traditional value-chains.

In the coming period, the ENSEA working group for innovation will focus on setting up highly pragmatic services that allow entrepreneurs from different regional business networks, with different but synergetic skills and competencies to cooperate with each other across regional and national borders. In doing so, entrepreneurs will be taking advantage of new opportunities offered to them by access to new innovation infrastructures (knowledge, test and demonstration facilities, living labs, funding etc.) and ultimately, long lasting business opportunities. In this way ENSEA will not only facilitate the development of technological and non-technological innovations so drastically needed, the increased links between specialised skills and knowledge will lead to new interdisciplinary value chains that can provide the North Sea region with new job opportunities and economic growth.

As a first step towards this goal Dutch project partner Energy Valley, has participated in a benchmarking exercise where cluster management practices, offered services, connection to innovation infrastructures etc. where analysed.

Providing a sound basis for further pragmatic innovation support for energy related entrepreneurs, the benchmarking exercise awarded Energy Valley with a bronze label for cluster management “striving for cluster excellence”. Project partners from Scotland and Northern Germany have detailed plans to further implement these benchmarking activities in their organizations, as a basis to further align their regional innovation infrastructures and develop pragmatic support services that will help entrepreneurs to take advantage of innovation and business opportunities in the wider North Sea region.

Together, ENSEA partners wish to establish an “interregional cluster of energy excellence” where our bottom-up organized cooperation on key energy innovations can make a significant contribution to the development of a secure, clean and efficient North Sea energy system. When we will achieve this, we will be a leading example for interregional cooperation in the world.

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28 01 2015

Partner: Scotland

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In this newsletter we would like to introduce one of the regions participating in the ENSEA project – Scotland.  David Butler, regional representative for Scotland on the project, explains why Scottish Enterprise and the other Scottish partners joined the project and what contributions can be made by Scotland.

David Butler

David Butler

He says: “We could see that the North Sea plays a big part in the economies of all of the participating regions involved in ENSEA. This immediately meant we have some common opportunities and challenges facing us that could be better addressed through collaboration.”  They were also delighted to be involved with their Dutch and German partners who have shown how effective closer working can be with their Energy Valley partnership.  Scotland is hoping to develop ENSEA as a long term partnership.

The Scottish cluster is represented by the triple helix of Scottish Enterprise, Energy Technology Partnership(representing 12 universities) and Scottish Renewables.

Scottish Enterprise is Scotland’s main enterprise, investment and innovation agency, delivering a wide range of services to support business development, research, innovation and investment, particularly focused on SMEs.

The Energy Technology Partnership is the largest power and energy research and education partnership in Europe clustering the excellence from 12 Scottish Universities and is funded by Scottish and UK Government research funds, Scottish Enterprise, other public bodies and industry.

Scottish Renewables is the trade organisation representing the full renewable energy industry in Scotland and includes over 150 SMEs and has over 300 members working in the sector.

The three organisations have established a long-term collaboration to facilitate knowledge transfer across the sector and identify opportunities to attract research and development focused investment. Examples of collaboration include: ITREZ, Scotland’s International Technology and Renewable Energy Zone for the development of the offshore renewables sector.

It acts as a global R&D hub, bringing business and academia together; PNDC (Power Networks Demonstration Centre) is a large‐scale investment project across industry, academia and the public sector aimed at providing world‐class facilities to accelerate the adoption of new, ‘smart’ technologies, from advanced power grids to electric cars and household appliances. It targets the international energy sector for participation in its research programme.

A new Chief Minister and his cabinet free quote at website were sworn in today, after their party did well in the state elections here earlier in December.

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