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Third Greensettle seminar was held in Kostomuksha

The third Greensettle seminar was organised in Kostomuksha on 10th of December. As the project is approaching its end, it was time to go through the research carried out in the Republic of Karelia and to visit the site of a small scale investment, which has been implemented as part of the project. The seminar was attended by representatives of the Kostomuksha City, project partners from Univeristy of Oulu, Karelian Research Centre (KarRC RAS), Karelian Regional Institute of Management, Economics and Law (KRIMEL) of the Petrozavodsk State University and representatives of the company, which had completed the investment in Kostomuksha. Also the project officer of the project from Karelia ENPI CBC programme was present in the meeting. The seminar programme is available here.

The main idea of the project was to study best practices of resource management and to encourage development of green ceities in remote cross border areas of Finland and Russia. This event offered a possibility to go through project results from the viewpoint of the target territories in Republic of Karelia. What has been achieved so far?

The seminar was commenced with a presentation of the investment in the swimming pool area of Korablic kindergarten. A heat recovery system with two heat pumps had been installed to the pool area, and the visitors could study the installed technologies and hear about the reconstruction process and its outcomes from the engineers. A short brocuhere about this investment is available in English and in Russian.

Renovated pool area

The renovated pool area of the Korablic kindergarten in Kostomuksha.

The seminar continued then at Barents link center with presentations. The leader of the project, Eva Pongrácz from NorTech Oulu, opened the event and gave a short overview of the proejct and the investment activities. Although project results could not be evaluated yet in its entirety, it was good to reflect on the results achieved so far. As it happened, the temperature was truly chilling on this day, around -30 degrees celsius, so this provided a poignant reminder that energy saving is of vital importance. It is possible to ower heating costs with new energy saving technologies, as the investment made in the Korablic Kindergarten will surely demonstrate.

Representatives of the Universal company, which had implemented the investment, provided additional information regarding the work done in the kindergarten. The heat recovery system was installed in the swimming pool area and a proper ventilation system was built, which the facility did not have earlier. The new system has been operational only for a short period, but the preliminary results pointed to a 26 percent decrease in energy consumtion, when compared to figures from last year. Also the humidity levels have dopped significantly and the quality of the air has markedly improved. Although data is needed from a longer period to verify the drop in energy consumtion , the representatives of the company emphasized that similar solutions may be applicable to other public facilities and housings.

Physical investments are the most visible results of a project, but besides these there has been plenty of research and various studies have been carried out. There were discussed by the partcipants. The project has turned into a showcase of new infrastructural models for the development of northern regions, which KarRC RAS Institute of Economic studies is working on. Evgeny Zhirnel from KarC RAS gave a presentation about the new possibilities for developing the pilot territories and their current coinstrants. Growing price of energy, accessibility of energy-efficient technologies and construction of private houses are all linked to adaptation of energy efficient tehcnologies. In his opinion Kostomuksha urban district may become a pilot territory in Republic of Karelia for implementing modern energy saving technologies.


Seminar in Kostomuksha

The seminar was held at at Barents link Centre in Kostomuksha, an appropriate location for cross border co-operation projects

Elizaveta Druzhinina from KRIMEL told about the implementation of energy saving technologies from the viewpoint of sustainable regional development. She also gave a presentation of the second investment, thermal insulation of the attic of Rycheek kindergarten in Kalevala settlement. A brochure of this investment is available in English and in Russian.

Representatives of the Kostomuksha city, Nikolay Bigun and Galina Potapova, shared their opinions with the other partcipants. Mr Bigun stressed that the practical outcomes of the project are essential for the socio-economic development of the town. The city has to diversify its economic basis and therefore it is necessary to create conditions for the development of new economic sectors. One of these could be the energy efficient technologies. Mrs Potapova mentioned the difficulties experienced in the implementation of this and other international projects, especially regarding the legislative mismatch between the two countries. In the end, the project had not resulted only in a new investment in the area or in increased knowledge about the possibilities and opportunities for the region, but it had also increased their know-how about project management.

Henna-Mari Laurila, the senior advisor for ENPI CBC Karelia Programme, was pleased with what she had seen and heard during her visit in Kostomuksha. She also shed some light into the future of the new ENP funding programme structure, which will start in the end of 2014. In the closing speech Eva Pongrácz underlined the importance of combining academic research with practical implementation, as the main priority of such cross-border collaboration projects.


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