The project has ended in 2012.
The overall objective of RESGen project was to create realistic grounds and practical tools for developing regional energy self sufficiency, and potential innovative regional research-driven clusters across the EU. The project started in May 2009 and will continued until April 2012.
The RESGen-workplan consisting of six Work Packages, associated topics such as Road Maps and Visions 2010-2020 for the regions involved in the project. Also the creation of a Joint Action Plan and mentoring had a high degree of importance as well as communication and dissemination throughout the entire project lifetime.
The partnership of RESGen consisted of 9 partners representing 4 different countries that are: Finland, Hungary, Spain and United Kingdom.
RESGen was supported by the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme (Regions of Knowledge).
Sustainable Energy Concept
The use of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) produced in the regions and rational use of energy make the core ingredients of this Sustainable Energy Concept. As its development is still taking the early steps as well technically, administratively, economically, as in terms of regulations, for instance, it is of vital importance to improve understanding of the whole energy sector, create generally applicable approaches and practical forms. In this process, the utilisation of regional research infrastructures and potential is the key as well as to foster sustainable development. The fundamental contents of the Sustainable Energy Concept are the following:
Rational Use of Energy (RUE): energy efficiency, energy saving. Renewable Energy Sources (RES): materials and other sources (biomass, wood, hydro, solar, geo, wind); can be collected from the own region. Integration: there are a number of technologies for both RUE and RES, which all can be implemented alone as separate solutions or designed to be used as a combination. However, the integration of RUE and RES technologies will be the key to the creation of whole solutions: by different combinations of the available RUE and RES technologies and regional RES energy it is possible to outline alternative solutions with different degrees of energy self sufficiency. This concept can be applied to any target, whether it is a region or a separate building, or anything between these two extremes. It is then up to the decision making system to choose the alternative which has the best possible outcome from a number of perspectives, defined by the decision makers.
The figure below illustrates how the Sustainable Energy Concept can be composed in practice. The starting point will be to implement RUE technologies. Then, the energy which cannot be saved or upgraded and is needed will be produced by RES. RES, in turn, can consist of a number of raw materials or other sources, which are formed or can be collected from the same region where it is used.
Sustainable energy and fuel can be produced from a wide variety of resources including biomass, wind, tidal, hydro, wave and photovoltaic. Many of these energy resources originate in rural areas but will be exploited by the wider community to achieve the European Union targets for sustainable energy production. These sources can be utilised using several technical solutions.
The development of industrial applications and products, new business, and integration to the mainframe energy sector of the Sustainable Energy Concept is in its very early phase. Industries who manufacture the technologies are only just about to emerge to the markets, starting with the first generation of technologies, and actually fighting against the prevailing structures instead of mutual synergy. Energy utilities do not really rely on these newcomers, as they logically strive for a maximal economic gain. This also means that the Sustainable Energy Concept is not really a part of any clusters existing in the energy sector today. However, as the Sustainable Energy Concept in any case, will have to be implemented into the energy sector, the main part of the actors will and must include such key players as municipalities and governmental authorities, usually also energy utilities. Large energy industries have the best possibilities to adopt the Sustainable Energy Concept into their product portfolio and join the new cluster development and manufacture the new technologies. Still, there are a number of new small and at least potentially growing enterprises who are about to be important in this new direction. Therefore, there is a substantial difference between the existing conventional and established energy cluster and the aspired and emerging cluster focusing on the Sustainable Energy Concept aimed by RESGen (research driven cluster). These differences can be listed as concerning partly the actors but more importantly the contents and especially the phase of development (and state of play).
It is clear that a more efficient utilisation of the region's own renewable resources has a significant potential in both stimulating the regional economy and reducing the region's CO2 emission. It will boost the economy with direct business benefits, increasing the overall capacity of regional players in enhancing science and technology based development, but it also reflects to employment and other social aspects. Summarising, the vast money flow in the energy sector can circulate in the own region instead of being sent away, usually abroad. RES replaces the use of fossil fuels and, thus, reduces the direct emissions of CO2 and also other green house gases. What is even more important, especially the emission balances will improve remarkably.
Summary and partners
The overall objective of RESGen project is to create realistic grounds and practical tools for developing regional energy self sufficiency, and potential innovative regional research-driven clusters across the EU. This objective will be achieved through a Workplan consisting of six Work Packages (WP´s):
WP1: consists of project management and coordination.
WP2: will intend to boost and increase the understanding of the regional sustainable energy concept as well as to identify, assess and compare regional capacities and capabilities or research driven clusters to generate sustainable energy and related economic development.
WP3: will produce Road Maps and Vision 2010-2020 for the regions involved.
WP4: will lead to the definition of Joint Action Plan for further collaboration.
WP5: Mentoring activities will be implemented concentrating on mutual learning and exchange of knowledge.
WP6: will be devoted to Communication and Dissemination. RESGen will have a strong and clear focus on external communication and dissemination right form the beginning.
The RESGen consortium brings together nine partners, from four different EU regions and countries. Each region is represented with businesses, academic/research institutions and local/regional government body. The partners are following:
Finland: Regional Council of Ostrobothnia, University of Vaasa - Vaasa Energy Institute, Oy Merinova Ab.
Spain: Fundación Labein, Ente Vasco de la Energía and Cluster de Energía del País Vasco.
Hungary: North-Hungarian Regional Innovation Agency and Károly Róbert College.
United Kingdom: Cornwall County Council.
RESGen Project Overview
The reform of energy sector will be a long evolutionary change process from local to national and EU level. The RESGen project is to understand this process comprehensively by taking the achievements of research infrastructures as the starting point and creating a conscious path from theory to practice, and thus boosting the development of Sustainable Energy Concept. This comprehensive approach makes the scientific foundation for RESGen.
The overall objective of RESGen is to create realistic grounds and practical tools for developing regional energy self sufficiency capacity by strengthening, utilising and optimising the regional research infrastructures and potential as well as supporting innovative regional research driven clusters across the EU. More specific science & technology (S&T) objectives are:
- To explore the state of development of research driven clusters and suggest improved ways for their management. RESGen will explore the state of development of research-driven clusters in the participant regions, and will foster when appropriate seedbeds to create new regional research driven clusters. RESGen will also suggest a dynamic and interactive approach in order to explore improved ways of managing regional research-driven clusters maximising the potential for the successful involvement of regional actors.
- To strengthen the research potential of the participant EU regions by encouraging and supporting regional RES research driven clusters. Regional research driven clusters will permit to associate, improve links and knowledge flows between different regional partners such as regional authorities, research entities and the local business community. This will foster wide cooperation (regional, inter-regional, trans-national) between regional partners in areas of common interest and mutual learning.
- To prepare the grounds for sustainable energy management. Research infrastructure prepares the ground for sustainable energy management and towards the development of energy self sufficiency in regions (generation of energy by regional renewable energy sources). This infrastructure is like an umbrella creating the preconditions for practical application producing analyses, knowledge, expertise and experts, better understanding of the whole energy sector, and cohesion between different actors and stakeholders. This will enhance the regional science and technology based development, increasing the regional capacity of investing and conducting R&D activities and the regional economic development and competitiveness.
- To guide the participating regions and actors towards Sustainable Energy Development. RESGen will boost Sustainable Energy Concept and guide participant regions and actors towards energy self-sufficiency reaching future goals in sustainable energy and reduction in CO2 emissions. Analysing the RTD policies and the existing framework for knowledge triangles and research driven clusters in regions, as well as it’s impact on regional economic development, will be a key tool for integrate policy and energy agendas into research and economic development.
- To foster a future oriented strategy. The achievement of energy self sufficiency will be a long process, which touches the whole society. RESGen project aims at taking action in the participating regions towards sustainable energy management providing a road map and a vision 2010-2020.
- To promote synergies and learning processes across Europe through the development of Joint Action Plan. RESGen seeks to promote synergies between regional and research policies by producing regional research strategies linked to Renewable Energy Sources which regional authorities can integrate into their strategies. The participants will learn from the others and create synergies among them through the development of Joint Action Plan.
- To mentor partner regions. RESGen will mentor regions with a less developed research profile and experience regarding the Sustainable Energy Concept by more experienced partners through mutual exchange of experiences and best practices as well as through the development of Joint Action Plan.
- To suggest joint future actions. RESGen will suggest further actions for the partners involved in the partner regions and as joint partners in national or European initiatives. These will permit to use and further exploit the knowledge generated and the synergies created within RESGen through regional, national and Community programmes (RTD Framework Programme, the CIP and the Structural Funds) for research and economic development.
RESGen will have several positive impacts regarding research infrastructures, management of research-driven clusters and increasing the use of sustainable energy, which in turn lead to reductions of CO2 emissions in the regions. These benefits will be achieved through a dynamic approach transferring knowledge and experiences and stimulating mutual learning between the participating regions, but also providing all the best practices for any other region in the EU. Among the expected impacts are to be:
Maximising the benefits of research infrastructures for regional economic development Regional Contributions to the reduction of CO2 emissions Potential synergies: structural and other funds, cohesion policy.
Basque Country, Spain
Communication and Dissemination
The purpose of the RESGEN project is to create Road-maps for achieving an Energy Self-sufficiency. An essential component in this is to ensure that the results and findings of the project are communicated to all stakeholders. This both regionally and on a European level. Most of the communication is taking place locally e.g. in the communication taking place in the Regional Strategic Committees but the results of the project is also communicated in different seminars, work-shops etcetera outside the partner regions.
Experiences from EU collaborative projects speech slides
Jerker Johnson, Coordinator of the RESGEN CPMR Baltic Sea Seminar Lahti, 15th– 17th September 2010
Rok Cluster Experience: The Resgen Project
Johan Wasberg, Development Director, Merinova Technology Center PITER Final Seminar Brussels, 14th December 2010
Biomass And Regional Development
Joint intervention of the RESGEN, BIOCLUS and BIOMOB projects at the 19th European Biomass Conference in Berlin 9th June 2011*
Implementing Sustainable Energy – The RESGen Procedure Forthcoming article
abstract on RESGEN process Pekka Peura, Lisa Goodall, Lindsay Knuckey, Hanna Kuittinen, László Dinya
The purpose of the RESGEN project is to create Road-maps to energy Self-sufficiency and to develop a Joint Action Plan for the measures that needs to be undertaken to achieve the objective. Due to different circumstances in the different partner regions the stakeholders in the project are involved in a methodological discussion on how to proceed. The methodological discussion have been conducted e.g. during the Project Steering Committee meetings and apart from regional differences the discussion have also been reflecting different points of views between the actors largely presenting different perspectives representing the triple-helix framework.
Joint Action Plan Methodology
Lisa Goodall, Cornwall Development Company
Regional SWOT analysis of sustainable energy and innovation capacities
Prof. Dr. László Dinya, KRF - Northern Hungarian Region
Smart Specialisation in Ostrobothnia?