New €1.77m project launched to support Western Region’s Renewable Energy Sector

‘Western Development Commission leading new EU-funded project’

The Western Development Commission has successfully applied for funding of €1.77m for a new three-year project to support the renewable energy business sector in the Western Region.   ‘Generating Renewable Energy Business Enterprise’ (GREBE) is an international project which will be led by the Western Development Commission (WDC), and will be co-funded by the EU’s Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) Interreg programme.  The project was launched at the Twin Trees Hotel in Ballina on Wednesday 24th February by the Chairperson of the Western Development Commission, Mr. Paddy McGuinness.

According to Mr. McGuinness, “Over the next three years renewable energy enterprises from across the region will be able to access a range of new opportunities in business and mentoring support.  The wealth of renewable resources in the region means this sector holds great potential for sustainable job creation.  GREBE aims to help startup and renewable energy SMEs at different stages in their business to take the next step”

The project will be run by eight organisations in the West of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Finland, Norway and Iceland, who will support renewable energy enterprises.    It will focus on the challenges of peripheral and arctic regions as places for doing business, and help develop renewable energy business opportunities provided by extreme conditions.

The activities of the GREBE Project were outlined by the project co-ordinator Pauline Leonard, who added that “GREBE will equip SMEs and start-ups with the skills and confidence to overcome these challenges of their location and use place based natural assets for renewable energy to sustainable effect. The renewable energy sector contributes to sustainable regional and rural development and has potential for future growth”.

GREBEs’ project activities have already started.  For updates on future opportunities see www.wdc.ie  and the GREBE Renewable Energy Blog (www.greberenewableenergyblog.

wordpress.com)  and connect with us on Facebook (GREBEProject) and Twitter (@GREBE_NPA), or contact Pauline Leonard, Regional Development Executive & GREBE Project Co-ordinator at the Western Development Commission (paulineleonard@wdc.ie).

Contact:

Pauline Leonard, Regional Development Executive & GREBE Project Co-ordinator, WDC, 094 9861881 or 087 2587646

Notes to Editor:

The NPA is a co-operation between nine programme partner countries; Finland, Ireland, Sweden, the United Kingdom (Scotland and Northern Ireland), Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and Norway. The NPA 2014-2020 is part of the European Territorial Cooperation Objective, supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and ERDF equivalent funding from non EU partner countries.

GREBE will be operated by eight partner organisations across six regions:

  1. Western Development Commission (WDC), Ireland
  2. Action Renewables, Northern Ireland,
  3. Fermanagh & Omagh District Council, Northern Ireland
  4. Environment Research Institute, University of Highlands & Islands, Scotland
  5. Natural Resources Institute (LUKE), Finland
  6. Karelia University of Applied Sciences, Finland
  7. Narvik Science Park, Norway
  8. Innovation Center Iceland, Iceland