HYBES project consortium meeting in Sweden

The city of Umeå in Sweden was the backdrop to the third meeting for partners working on the HYBES Project. This project aims to find new ways to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainable energy in rural areas. The meeting, which took place from March 19th to 21st, included partners from Norway, Sweden, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and Ireland. The project consortium meeting marked one year since the project began.


The meeting started at Umeå City Hall, where Umeå Municipality welcomed everyone warmly. 

-Our Umeå meeting was jointly planned and organised by Umeå Municipality and Umeå University. In addition to operational planning with the mandatory work packages, the meeting aimed to provide insight into the transition work and research in Umeå, focusing on energy solutions, citizen engagement, and cultural elements. Both good examples and examples with potential for improvement were shown that could be relevant to other project partners. - says Torgny Fors, Energy and Climate Advisor at Umeå Municipality.

Bjarne Lindelov, who manages the HYBES project and works as a researcher at Nordland Research Institute, then shared updates about the project and set the agenda for the project meeting. 

-In the last half year, Hybes has focused on anchoring decarbonisation strategies within partner regions. Partners have organised local workshops involving stakeholders from public and private sectors, research, education, and citizens. Hybes will use this platform to implement hybrid RES solutions and knowledge creation from our pilots and joint-developed activities in the coming period. Furthermore, we will approach a decarbonisation mindset in the context of cultural events. On the road towards a low-carbon society, we explore the possibility of raising awareness and changing individual behaviour through the lenses of artistic exhibitions. - summarises Lindeløv.

Research fatigue, The Silo Effect and growing opportunities

The group discussed essential issues related to reducing carbon emissions in their countries. Partners compared how different sectors like schools, businesses, governments, and communities work on decarbonisation. Interestingly, many regions face similar challenges, like tiredness from too many meetings with stakeholders, slow government decisions, and The Silo Effect, where different working groups within the same public organisations are not sharing information. For example, in Ireland, government departments are doing similar projects because they need more information on what others are doing. In Umeå, Sweden, organisations within the same community weren't discussing plans to reduce carbon emissions until the HYBES project organised a workshop for them to work together. 

The decarbonisation landscape is also full of opportunities. All partners mentioned increased opportunities for citizen-centric research, where communities come together and apply for funding to implement measures for decarbonisation. All local initiatives grow awareness and inspire other initiatives to help further reduce carbon emissions.


Best practices in energy efficiency

Umeå University was a meeting place on the second day of the project consortium meeting. The main agenda was the comprehensive exploration of macro energy analysis and best practices in energy efficiency. The consortium looked at different scenarios, including tracking energy consumption, production, and resource extraction in all economic sectors and how that affects emissions. Deliberations encompassed energy monitoring tools, educational institutions' decarbonisation strategies, and curriculum integration plans. The afternoon saw solar and geothermal energy solutions presentations, underscoring the project's commitment to sustainable technologies. 

-We knew Hybes was approaching activities and supported highly actual energy solutions. However, we acknowledge a big gap between the needed and actual implementation of action to meet national and international emissions goals. The ongoing experimental activities highlighting the potential between RES energy sources like solar, wind, geothermal, and hydrogen will enrich our pilot projects. - Lindeløv thinks future implementation in cities and peripheral regions shows good potential.

The final day took place at City Hall Umeå, focusing on energy infrastructure for low-carbon transport systems. Partners embarked on a tour of local buildings, gaining firsthand insights into sustainable construction practices. Discussions delved into collaborative opportunities across various project activities, emphasising the importance of synergy in achieving shared goals.

-The last meeting took place in Umeå Municipality's utility company's test house, which, in addition to conference rooms, also has an innovative apartment. The apartment is equipped with several data-gathering sensors and intelligent solutions that demonstrate technical possibilities, including improved energy efficiency. - Fors summarises.

HYBES - Hybrid energy solutions for buildings and infrastructure


New project for zero-emission buildings

HYBES will develop new methods to make buildings more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. The project partnership comprises institutions from Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Ireland.