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Climate and Energy Programme of North Karelia 2020


The Climate and Energy Programme of North Karelia presents a plan of action for the North Karelia region on climate change mitigation and adaptation. The Climate and Energy Programme implements the climate targets set out in the European Union and Finland.


Visions and targets presented in the programme aim far beyond the target year of 2020. The programme was made in cooperation with all of the actors in the region and it sets a common vision of the desired future. The Regional Council of North Karelia acted as the programme coordinator.


The strengths of North Karelia are its rich natural resources and diverse expertise in the bioenergy and forestry research sectors. In terms of energy self-sufficiency and the share of renewable energy, North Karelia already exceeds the EU and national climate targets. Climate change and the challenges it poses are seen as a possibility for the North Karelia region to develop innovations and new business opportunities. The programme focuses on the sectors of energy production and consumption, transport, community structure and land use planning, construction, waste management, agriculture and forestry.


Please follow this link to view the Climate and Energy Programme of North Karelia.

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Community Resilience: Emerging Opportunities around Sustainable Water Infrastructure 

This timely event was held in Inverness last week and was attended by over 40 delegates from a wide range of water and community development sectors in the region.

Neil Ross, Head of Community Growth at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, opened the event on Friday the 20th April. Speakers included George Ponton, Head of Research & Innovation at Scottish Water, who presented on Research, Innovation and Community Implementation and Nick Wilding from Carnegie UK Trust on Exploring Community Resilience.

Case studies were presented from on The Sunart Community Company Hydro electric Scheme and the Upperlands Community Development Company, a community surgery was held for community members to gain advice on their individual cases along with a facilitated group discussion.

Two site visits were made during the event. Delegates were invited to Findhorn Ecovillage to learn about the Ecological Water Waste Treatment process they apply, and also to view the Tomatin Micro-Hydro 9.5kW installation.

The event was part-funded by the SMALLEST project. Please click here to download the full programme.


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Edited by James Haselip and David Pointing, the Cool 100 Book describes 100 inspiring, educational and practical examples of sustainable and accessible energy supply solutions created by or suitable for isolated communities in the cool regions of the world.

The book features 11 projects, explored in detail and an additional 89 projects in less detail, though each entry provides relevant links to further information. These projects range from examples of successfully operating sustainable energy systems in isolated communities around the world, to community education and outreach-focused programs, regional and national initiatives and networks, and other specific information resources and tools.

The locations of the projects featured in the book range across the northern hemisphere, but also Antarctica, and less cold regions of the planet, but have a particular focus on communities in the northern hemisphere. In addition to the printed publication, the Cool 100 is also an evolving database of practical and sustainable energy solutions for isolated communities in cooler regions. All projects featured in the book are located on an online, wiki-style portal, which anyone can edit and make contributions to.

Visit and make your contribution today!


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Concluding meeting of the SMALLEST project

The concluding meeting of the SMALLEST project will be held at the Scottish Parliament to mark the end of the strategic Northern Periphery Programme project in Scotland, sponsored by Mike Mackenzie MSP.

The event will be held at 18.00 – 20.00 on Wednesday, 28th March 2012.

This event is for all those with an interest in community renewable energy and its development in Scotland. You will learn:

  • What the SMALLEST project has done to innovate in community renewable energy
  • how the SMALLEST service will continue beyond the lifetime of the project
  • how the SMALLEST service integrates with existing advisory services in the sector
  • the prospects for community renewable energy in Scotland
  • the policy refinements required to exploit this potential
  • the relationship of community renewable energy in Scotland to other regions in the Northern Periphery of Europe
  • the potential for the regions to work together to improve community renewable energy

Speakers will include European partners representing community renewable energy interests from Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Northern Ireland and Ireland, as well as Scotland.

The meeting will be attended by the network representing stakeholder interests in Scottish community renewable energy.

Reserve your place now by contacting Amy Clarke by phone: 0131 202 1649 or email: by 18th March 2012.

We hope you can join us.

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Micro-renewable energy networking evening


Photo: Diane Smith

SMALLEST and the SEAM Centre are hosting a FREE and informal networking event at the SEAM Centre, Inverness College UHI on Monday the 26th March. This is a great opportunity for home-owners, installers, community representatives, professionals and anyone else interested in discussing small-scale renewable energy and getting up to date with current issues in the industry. Highlights of the evening will include:
  •  Demonstration equipment and fuel types on display.
  •  Representatives from SMALLEST EU project with experience of projects in other countries will be present.
  •  Light refreshments available

Feel free to drop in for any part of the evening.

For further information and to notify your attendance please contact:

Peter Dennis

01463 273650

SEAM Centre, Inverness

3 Longman Road



To view the flyer for this event, please click here.

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Partners blow back in from County Fermanagh 


Despite the high winds across the UK last week the SMALLEST partnership made it home safe and sound after returning from a successful partner meeting in Northern Ireland.

The partnership gathered in County Fermanagh for the penultimate partner meeting of the project, where they visited a number of local communities.  The partnership made a stop at Orchard Acre Farm where they learned how one family has managed to create a diverse eco tourism business in the area situated in their award winning eco barn. The barn is fully insulated using hemp to insulate the walls, rainwater is collected from the roof and used within the barn and a combination of solar PV and wood fuel are employed for heating and lighting the building. The SMALLEST partners were also invited for a tour of the Balcas CHP plant in Enniskillen to see how Balcas use waste materials to make Brites wood pellets. Balcas Ltd. is one of the largest wood production suppliers in the UK. On the second day of the meeting the partners were invited to visit the Upperlands community renewable energy project, where the community has been successful in installing a 100kW micro-hydro system.


SMALLEST Tweets Renewable Energy Advice (#renbubble)


The SMALLEST project has launched a new discussion forum for community renewable energy using Twitter as a platform. Log on to Twitter, Fridays at 10am (UK time), ask questions and get advice from renewable energy experts around Europe.

Twitter is a valuable source for renewable energy news and provides a responsive network of interested people. SMALLEST is using Twitter to host debate, questions and advice on community renewable energy.

It’s simple! To ask a question related to renewable energy log on to your Twitter account, type your question in the ‘what’s happening’ bar – adding #renbubble at the end of your question - and send it off to cyberspace. 

So if you have questions on community renewable energy, an issue or problem that you would like advice on, ask our SMALLEST experts’ on Twitter.

The key word is #renbubble!




Launch of Renewable Energy Mayo


A new support service that dramatically improves access to Renewable Energy in County Mayo will be launched next week. The invaluable service will provide support for communities interested in adopting renewable energy solutions.

Renewable Energy Mayo is the result of a partnership between Mayo County Council and International Resources and Recycling Institute. It is part of a European funded programme called SMALLEST, a service which helps to make renewable energy accessible to communities across the northern periphery of Europe.

The new Renewable Energy Mayo team is based locally. Shane Mulchrone, Community Development Officer, comments: “Sustaining rural communities is a major issue in Ireland today, none more so than in County Mayo. This exciting new service will therefore allow all the communities across Mayo an opportunity to become more economically and socially sustainable through renewable energy solutions. Successful projects can result in job creation, a wealth for the community and possibly energy independence”. Mr Mulchrone, who is based in the Community and Integrated Development offices of Mayo County Council in Moneen, Castlebar, will be taking charge of engaging communities across Mayo and supporting community renewable projects through a mentoring and advisory service.

Clar I.C.H. in Claremorris has also been involved in setting up this important new support service. Áine Carr, Energy Development Officer at Clar I.C.H. explains: “We offer independent guidance and advice to householders, businesses and community groups who are interested in installing renewable energy or developing renewable energy projects”. Ms. Carr is responsible for identifying renewable energy solutions for the Mayfield Sheltered Housing Scheme which involves designing a biodiversity park at the site, along with identifying renewable energy solutions for Claremorris and the surrounding areas.

Michael Prenty, Energy Advisor at Clar I.C.H. highlights: “Providing energy advice at a local level helps householders manage their energy bills and make decisions about heating their homes”. Mr Prenty will be the first point of contact for all energy efficiency queries to Renewable Energy Mayo.

Interested community groups are invited to attend the launch of Renewable Energy Mayo on the 28th September at the McWilliam Park Hotel, Claremorris from 9am until 1pm.

If your community is interested in attending the launch or investigating renewable energy solutions please contact Shane Mulchrone on 35394 9047545 or via email at You can also find further information on Renewable Energy Mayo at

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