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Northern Dimension Newsflash 2/2021 is out

The Northern Dimension Newsflash 2/2021 is out! In this newsletter: The Northern Dimension Institute is currently mapping…

NDI Policy Brief 16: Decarbonizing road passenger transport in the ND area

NDI Policy Brief logo jpeg

This policy brief elaborates recommendations for road passenger transport decarbonization in the Northern Dimension (ND) area. On the one hand, road transport emits 25% of total greenhouse gas in ND countries and produces dangerous local pollutions, and the share of passenger transport of these emissions is more than 75% [1] Nitrogen oxide, sulphur oxide and particular matter emissions are the reason for numerous lung and breathe diseases of city inhabitants. On the other hand, road transport gives people invaluable freedom of movement, as people commute every day to work, study and leisure. Average motorization rate is over 50% in ND countries [2, 3]. This raises the key question: How can people keep their freedom of movement but pollute less? There are several ways to decarbonize road passenger transport, such as optimizing driving needs according to ecological criteria, remote work or study, using 2 and 3 wheelers empowered by human or electricity, sharing mobility services with others, and driving less polluting cars such as hybrid, electric or gas vehicles. All these options influence traditional behavior, which needs to be considered in developing policies for road passenger transport decarbonization.

  • Recommendation 1. Inform people about climate and ecological issues and thus influence positively consumer behavior, and popularize ecomobility.
  • Recommendation 2. Develop infrastructure and services for carbon-free mobility and sharing. Support eco infrastructure.
  • Recommendation 3. Balance between economic, ecological, and social needs. Limit the use of polluting transport wherever and whenever it is possible. Ensure access to mobility for people living in remote areas and for low-income people.
  • Recommendation 4. Make a realistic long-term vision, which includes support for R&D, development of carbon footprint trackers that find the optimal ecological and economic model of sustainable transport system, as well as learning from international experience.
  • Recommendation 5. Support more intensive technology transfer, joint research, pilot projects, and NGO initiatives among ND countries.

Download the policy brief: Decarbonizing road passenger transport in the ND area (PDF)

For more information, please contact the authors:
Natalia Sarakhanova, Saint Petersburg State University of Economics, sarahanova.n [a] unecon.ru
Dmitry Vasilenko, Saint Petersburg State University of Economics, dvasilenko [a]  finec.ru
Vasily Zinin, National Gas Vehicle Association, v.zinin [a] ngvrus.ru

This policy brief was written as a part of the NDI Policy Brief Training held in October 2020.

NDI POLICY BRIEF 12: Wind Energy is a key solution for remote area energy supply in the High North of Russia

NDI Policy Brief logo jpeg

The energy supply in the Russian Federation is characterized by a large number of remote northern settlements which are powered by imported fossil fuel, mostly diesel fuel. Therefore, sustainable development of remote northern territories is a major challenge. One solution to this challenge is to increase the use of wind energy. The replacement of a majority of diesel power plants with wind power plants would reduce economic costs and environmental risks, and thus contribute to the sustainable development in the High North.

  • Recommendation 1. To invest in the construction of wind power plants in the High North with the plant capacity corresponding the demand of electrical capacity of the settlement. Initial investments represent the largest part of the wind power plant costs. These investments are paid off by using a natural renewable energy source.
  • Recommendation 2. To support research on the icing of wind power plants and the development of de-icing systems. Solving the icing problem is the key to the sustainable operation of wind turbines in the north.
  • Recommendation 3. To integrate wind power plants to existing power supply networks to create a smart grid system. This system would eliminate the risk of energy shortages caused by possible wind instability.
  • Recommendation 4. To raise public awareness about the benefits of clean and renewable energy through distributing information on television, organizing training courses for companies, and providing education in schools and universities.

A map of Russia presenting mean wind speeds in the area A map of mean wind speeds in Russia

The Policy Brief can be downloaded here.

For more information, please contact the author:
Dr Pavel Maryandyshev, NARFU, Arkhangelsk, Russia, p.marjyandishev [a] narfu.ru

This policy brief was written as a part of the NDI Policy Brief Training held in October 2020.

Northern Dimension Future Forum on Environment: Black carbon and Climate Change in the European Arctic, 19 Nov 2018, Brussels

DATE: Monday 19 November 2018, at 13:00 – 17:00
VENUE: Thon Hotel EU, Rue de la Loi 75, 1040 Brussels, Belgium
Northern Dimension Future Forum on Environment: Black carbon and Climate Change in the European Arctic brings together European decision-makers and top experts to discuss the challenges and solutions available to tackle climate change by reducing black carbon emissions.
Temperatures in the Arctic are rising clearly faster than the global average temperatures. Black carbon, that may cause some 20-25% of the warming in the Arctic and has also detrimental health impacts, has received special attention by intergovernmental bodies, national governments, NGOs and academia. For example, the Arctic Council, Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership, Climate and Clean Air Coalition and the World Bank’s Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 all aim at reducing black carbon emissions.
The Forum will showcase solutions-oriented initiatives and actions underway to reduce black carbon emissions and inspire deeper collaboration between research and governments for evidence-based policy-making and actions. The event features two knowledge arenas consisting of expert interventions followed by decision maker comments and a moderated discussion. The Forum will underline the opportunities and potential to reduce black carbon emissions fast by adopting already existing effective technological solutions and policies, thus mitigating climate change globally, and particularly in the European Arctic regions.
Participants will include representatives of national governments, EU institutions, European Parliament, intergovernmental organizations, international financial institutions as well as business, academia and civil society.
More information and registration here (link)

Publication: The Rapidly Developing Nordic Bioeconomy: Exerpt from State of the Nordic Region 2018

Nordic Council of Ministers has published a reprint of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ State of the Nordic Region 2018 about the Nordic Bioeconomy.
  • Refsgaard, Karen
  • Teräs, Jukka
  • Kull, Michael
  • Oddsson, Geir
  • Jóhannesson, Torfi
  • Kristensen, Iryna
The Rapidly Developing Nordic Bioeconomy is a reprint of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ State of the Nordic Region 2018. The new bioeconomy, and the general shift from a fossil-based to a bio-based economy, is an area with vast potential for the entire Nordic Region, although it is more relevant to some geographical areas than to others.
The publication maps the scale and distribution of bio-based industries, such as forestry, fisheries, aquaculture and biogas production and contains informative and concise description of the Nordic Bioeconomy.
You can find the publication here.

Seminar “Financing the Future of Energy Efficiency”, Riga.

Save-the-date 5th October in Riga

How can green investments be financed to accelerate the transition to a carbon-free economy in the most cost-effective way? How are energy efficiency solutions applied, which financial schemes are used, and what are the different experiences on financing energy efficiency across the countries in the Baltic Sea Region?

Baltic Development Forum in close collaboration with the Council of the Baltic Sea States/Baltic 2030 (HA Climate), Ministry of Economics of Latvia (PA Energy/EUSBSR) invites you for a regional seminar “Financing the Future of Energy Efficiency” on 5th October 2017 in Riga.

The aim is to take a Baltic Sea Region perspective on how to exploit the full potential of energy efficiency by demonstrating good examples across the region and showing ways to tap into the region´s potential through transnational knowledge, expertise transfer and enhanced regional cooperation.

The seminar will focus on financing energy efficiency with tfehe aim to shed light on the experiences in applying energy efficiency solutions and various financing schemes used differently across the region. To learn from each other and to build the knowledge required to address the challenges incurred by climate change.

The event will include different viewpoints on how financing of green investments should be realized in the most cost-efficient and commercially viable way. This will include the European policy perspective as well as financial institutions, banks and the industry perspective. Cases with best practices on financing energy efficient solutions, including ESCO models, will be shared to find the best possible solutions to the existing challenges with the tested financing schemes.

The seminar is targeted towards national and municipal organizations, cities, policy and commercial banks, industry representatives working with climate change and energy efficiency solutions.


Proceed with the registration here.

Stay tuned for further updates on the programme.

12.00 Registration. Lunch
12.45 Welcome
Flemming Stender, Director, Baltic Development Forum
Krista Kampus, Senior Adviser and Head of the Sustainable Development Unit – Baltic 2030, Council of the Baltic Sea States

13.00 Key-note by the State Secretary of the Ministry Economics of the Republic of Latvia Juris Stinka – Setting the Scene

13.10 Financing green investments
Paul Hodson, Head of Energy Efficiency unit, DG Energy, European Commission (tbc)
Rafal Rybacky, Head of Public Sector Operations in Poland and the Baltic States, European Investment Bank (tbc)
Patrik Marckert, Senior Manager, Energy & Environment, Nordic Investment Bank
Victor Gancel, Flagship Manager Low Carbon City Lab, Climate-KIC Nordic
Mats Olausson, Green banking expert, SEB (tbc)
Reinis Bērziņš, Chairman of the Board, Altum (tbc)

14.50 – 15.15 Coffee break

15.15 – 16.20 Panel on best-practices, including ESCO models
The panelists are to be confirmed. We will hear the views from the following countries:
Norway: Hallvard Benum, Energy Ingineer, Kongsberg municipality
Finland: Päivi Laitila, Head of Energy Efficiency Unit Motiva
Denmark: Køge municipality
Sweden: Sinfra
Estonia: KredEx
Lithuania: Housing and Urban Development Agency

16.30 Summing up and steps ahead

Energy Efficiency Call 2016 is now open

New funding opportunities: Energy Efficiency Call 2016

Horizon 2020 topics facilitating the market uptake of energy technologies and services, fostering social innovation, removing non-technological barriers, promoting standards and accelerating the cost effective implementation of the Union's energy policies, have opened.

Read more and apply on the EASME website.

Call for proposals: The Nordic Green Growth Research and Innovation Programme

The Nordic countries have committed themselves to ambitious climate goals towards 2050 in terms of developing energy efficient and low-carbon societies. To achieve these goals, extensive green transitions are needed in all areas of the Nordic societies and economies, facilitated by promoting green economic growth, sustainability and competitiveness in both the public and the private sectors.

The main research and innovation funders in the Nordic countries are now launching the joint Nordic Green Growth Research and Innovation Programme (hereafter “the programme”) in cooperation with NordForsk, Nordic Innovation and Nordic Energy Research.

The programme will cover innovation, research and energy, as well as science and technology. The programme will generate Nordic added value and create synergies with relevant initiatives nationally and at the Nordic level.

Application period ends in 16.08.2016 - 10:00 CET

The total budget amounts to NOK 73 million.

Funding decision: mid-November 2016. Project start-up: Q1 2017.

Find more information about the Programme from the NordForsk website.

Report: Nordic Energy Technology Perspectives 2016

Nordic Energy Technology Perspectives 2016. Cities, flexibility and pathways to carbon-neutrality

Nordic Energy Technology Perspectives 2016 (NETP 2016) is a Nordic edition of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) global Energy Technology Perspectives 2016. The report offers a detailed scenario-based analysis of how the Nordic countries can achieve a near carbon-neutral energy system. The Nordic Carbon-Neutral Scenario achieves an 85% reduction of Nordicenergy-related CO2 by 2050 (from 1990 levels) at lowest total cost. This takes place in the context of the IEA’s global 2-degree scenario and uses the same models and assumptions. The analysis is carried out by seven leading Nordic research institutes and the IEA. The project is coordinated and supported by Nordic Energy Research.

Open call for transnational smart grids projects

Nordic Energy Research, in cooperation with NordForsk, is facilitating the call process on behalf of the ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus partners.

ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus is an initiative of funding programmes from 21 European countries and regions. The overall goal of ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus is to support knowledge-sharing between European smart grids initiatives by promoting and financing joint projects. This document is an invitation to respond to the 2016 joint transnational call for smart grids projects in Europe. The total available budget is approximately €20 million.

Deadline for application is June, 15.

For further information, please visit the Nordic Energy Research website.

Call for proposals: The Nordic Green Growth Research and Innovation Programme

The main research and innovation funders in the Nordic countries are now launching the joint Nordic Green Growth Research and Innovation Programme in cooperation with NordForsk, Nordic Innovation and Nordic Energy Research.

The programme will cover innovation, research and energy, as well as science and technology. The programme will generate Nordic added value and create synergies with relevant initiatives nationally and at the Nordic level. The total budget amounts to NOK 73 million.

The deadline for application is 18 August 2016.

For further information, please visit NordForsk website.


Kaliningrad Wastewater Treatment Plant finally in operation

The long-awaited wastewater treatment plant in Kaliningrad started operations on 18 December 2015 at about half of its capacity. By April 2016, the plant has reached almost full capacity processing biologically over 100,000 cubic meters of wastewater per day. The construction of the plant’s sand-filter and UV disinfection units will be finalized during the nearest weeks, and the handling and disposal of wastewater sludge will be solved during the next few months.

New issue of "Green Growth the Nordic Way"

Nordic Council of Ministers has published a new issue of the web magazine "Green Growth the Nordic Way" that focuses on climate financing and parliamentary follow-up to COP21 (the 2015 Paris Climate Conference). This issue looks at two factors, namely the role of the elected parliamentarians to ensure climate action and the possibilities to secure a better financing for green investments.

Read the "Green Growth the Nordic Way"

Dissertation: Black carbon deposition in the European Arctic from the preindustrial to the present

Meri M. Ruppel
Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Department of Environmental Sciences
University of Helsinki, Finland

The objective of this thesis is to collect new spatial and temporal data on BC deposition in the European Arctic from the preindustrial to the present (i.e., the last ca. 300 years), and assess BC sources and climatic implications, by analysing five lake sediment cores from Arctic Finland and an ice core from Svalbard. 

The results suggest that black carbon may have exerted a significant impact on the radiative forcing and thereby past climatic warming of the Arctic, in the most recent three or four decades. However, the study indicates that local results cannot necessarily be extrapolated over wider areas, and therefore further studies are required to establish regional black carbon deposition trends within the Arctic.

To read the thesis, please visit University of Helsinki webpage.

EASME looking for experts on environment and resources

The European Commission Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME) is looking for independent experts to act as peer reviewers in the evaluation of project proposals in the fields of climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials. The next evaluations in the field of environment and resources are planned for spring 2016.

EASME is looking for experts from local, regional and national administration, including environmental and civil protection agencies, industry, business associations and innovation agencies, and universities and research institutes (in particular from Central and Eastern European countries).

Further information is available at EASME page.

Aleksanteri Insight: The Arctic Paradox and Russia's Energy Policy

Through its use of the Arctic, Russia tries to fortify the idea that it is a global energy superpower, writes Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen in the March issue of Aleksanteri Insight, a series of expert opinions published by the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki.

Read the article in full here.

Baltic Rim Economies Issue 3, May 2015

​The Baltic Rim Economies introduces articles on current topics concerning the Baltic Sea region. This issue includes, among others, the article on the energy market of the Baltic countries written by the Vice President of the European Commission, Maroš Šefčovič.

Read Baltic Rim Economies 3/2015

Improving the environment with committed stakeholders

The Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP) has been highly successful in co-financing projects to improve wastewater treatment in North West Russia. As a result of NDEP’s 14 year cooperation with St Petersburg Vodokanal, the city is now treating 98.4% of its wastewater. NDEP grants of EUR 40 million, combined with loans of EUR 220 million from the EBRD, EIB, NIB and NEFCO have helped to leverage investments worth over EUR 860 million. Since 2011, all major wastewater treatment plants in St Petersburg have been treating wastewater in full compliance with HELCOM recommendations. NDEP has financed similar investments also in other cities in Russia to protect the fragile ecology of the Baltic and Barents Seas area.

NEFCO’s Framework Agreement with Belarus

Belarus joined Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP) in 2010 and the first phase of wastewater treatment projects in Vitebsk, Grodno and Brest has now entered an implementation phase. NDEP grants of EUR 6 million have attracted IFI loans and additional bilateral grants from Finland and Sweden. The total financing package for the three cities is approximately EUR 70 million. Encouraged by this success, Belarus pledged new funds to NDEP to finance the next phase of additional wastewater treatment investments, potentially worth around EUR 56 million. For this purpose, NEFCO signed a Framework Agreement with the Government of Belarus on 20 January in London to step up their activities to protect the environment in the Northern Dimension Area.

Report: Energy and Transport – Key results and recommendations (2014)

Report: Energy and Transport – Key results and recommendations (2014)

Filip Ehrle Elveling (Editor), Hans-Olof Dahlberg, Hans Fridberg, Lars Hasselager-Olsen, Ágústa Loftsdóttir, Lars Nilsson, Mogens Schrøder Bech, Erlend Solem, Per-Andre Torper and Tom Warras

The Energy and Transport programme, spanning from 2010 to 2014, has aimed to contribute to making the Nordic region a leading region in Europe for developing, demonstrating and using new, sustainable energy technologies in the transportation sector.

This report summarises the programme’s results and key recommendations, pointing to a successful outcome with novel project ideas, new Nordic partnerships and combined research efforts. The Nordic countries are, though having a lot in common, different in many aspects. It is when combining these differences to achieve mutually beneficial results that the Nordic region can really become a leading region of new, innovative technology developments in sustainable transportation.

Nordic Energy Research

Horizon 2020 Energy Efficiency: Information Day 12 Dec 2014, Brussels

Horizon 2020 Energy Efficiency Information Day will be held on 12 December 2014 in Brussels.

In the Information Day you will...

  • Get an update on the European policy on sustainable energy.
  • Learn about the energy efficiency priorities of the 2015 Horizon 2020 calls.
  • Find out how to apply for funding.
  • Participate in sessions dedicated to the different funding areas, meet the EASME team and get answers to your questions.
  • Use the opportunity to find new project partners.

A new tool to assess off-shore wind power logistics costs

Logistics is an important competitive factor for the offshore wind industry. With a share of up to 20% of total cost, logistics expenses have a significant impact on the profitability of a wind farm. However, compared to other industries, the wind energy sector is still far away from transparency in logistics costs. A particular challenge for the maritime supply chain results from the effects of disturbances such as the influence of weather conditions, which considerably complicate the planning of a holistic logistics concept.

Innovations based on tight co-operation between researchers and industry are required to tackle problems like this. A good example of such cooperation is the Offshore Logistics Diagnostic tool developed by the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL), Fraunhofer IFF, and Logistics Service Agency Bremerhaven. It was used in practice with the energy supplier EnBW to simulate maritime logistics processes for the construction of the offshore wind farm Baltic 2. It is the first offshore logistics planning tool based on dynamic simulation technology that has been successfully used in practice. The tool supports the planning of logistics concepts as well as the verification of previously proposed concepts for the construction of offshore wind farms. It can therefore support all actors involved, including logistics service providers, energy suppliers, manufacturers, shipping companies, port operators, engineers, or banks and insurance companies.

Conference on petroleum resources, energy-political cooperation and social development in the Arctic region.

Norwegian-Russian cooperation – The path behind us and the path ahead

The Research Council of Norway arranges a Norwegian-Russian conference on petroleum resources, energy-political cooperation and social development in the Arctic region.

The conference will be held on 19.-20. Nov. 2014 in Oslo, Norway.

For more information and registration please see the Research Council of Norway website.

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