Green energy attracts record number from Northern Ireland  

Twenty seven local companies and organisations including a number of further education colleges are visiting Europe’s biggest exhibition for green energy and energy efficiency with Invest Northern Ireland.

The companies have signed up for an Invest NI sectoral mission to Energiesparmesse/expo Energy at Wels in Austria from 5-7 March. The show focuses on sustainable energy generation and energy efficiency, covering solar installations, photovoltaics, biomass heating systems, wood-chip fired heating plant, Combined Heat and Power systems, biogas installations and heating control systems.

As part of its support for companies in energy efficiency and sustainable products, Invest NI also assisted four local companies to take part in EcoBuild in London, from 2-4 March, the world’s biggest showcase of sustainable building products and services.

Tracy Meharg, Invest NI Managing Director of Innovation and Capability Development, commenting on the mission to Wels in Austria, said: “The focus of the visit is to help local companies to identify the latest technologies, meet potential partners and/or distribution channels andexplore opportunities for licensing in new technologies for distribution through their existing channels.

“The colleges will benefit from identifying the latest technology to enhance the content of their courses in the area of sustainable energy technologies, an important contributor to the development of the sector in Northern Ireland.

“This visit, together with the missions we plan to other alternative energy events such as All Energy, Aberdeen (May), Renewable Energy World in Amsterdam (June), and Husum Wind Show in Germany (September) indicate our commitment to encourage and assist companies here to take advantage of opportunities now developing from the global drive to harness sustainable energy.

“We are also helping individual companies to pinpoint opportunities by means of a brokerage service delivered by the Enterprise Europe Network, which is arranging appointments for them at the show with potential technology partners for joint ventures/license agreements/subcontracting, potential agents and distributors, and collaborative R&D projects.

The UK’s commitment under the EU Renewables Directive and the current level of oil and gas energy prices is making generation from renewable sources, energy conservation and an efficient use of energy more important than ever before.

“The show will help our companies to keep abreast of opportunities across a broad range of alternative sources. Northern Ireland already has expertise in key technologies such as solar power, wind and biomass. We aim to build on this expertise and also to encourage innovation in others,” she added.