Regional Council of North Karelia held a final AgroRES stakeholder group meeting in Joensuu 12 May to summarize the projects outputs and the Final Conference in Rome, and to discuss future efforts for renewable energy.

The AgroRES action plan for North Karelia focuses on improved governance of funding renewable energy projects in agriculture and rural areas, in line with the revised and updated Climate and Energy Programme and its implementation plan.

Carbon balance calculation critical in funding

Inspired by interregional exchange of ideas in the AgroRES project, a study on renewable energy in agriculture was made in North Karelia, and finalized in January 2021, including information on carbon balance in agriculture in the region. As a result, the renewed Climate and Energy Programme now includes control of carbon balance. Funding specialists will take carbon balance calculation into consideration when advising applicants of ERDF funding for projects that address low-carbon activities in agriculture and rural areas. We expect that this will improve carbon balance in the region in the long run.

The revised Climate and Energy Programme and its implementation plan were approved by the Regional Council of North Karelia in February 2021. The programme has a strong linkage to projects funded in North Karelia, particularly to those funded from the main structural funding programmes.

To accelerate implementation of the Programme, including promotion of rural renewable energy, Regional Council of North Karelia and Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for North Karelia have in the beginning of 2023 established a new climate task group, with climate and environmental specialists in the region. The task group also prepares topics and proposals for a regional climate and energy development group including municipalities and a wide range of stakeholders.

New data of renewable energy production and use in North Karelia 2022 will be available by energy fraction from the end of 2023 and it will show the development in 2020–2022

Case presentations

The final regional AgroRES meeting included case presentations by stakeholders: Karelia University of Applied Sciences is piloting digital services for energy communities in a housing cooperative in the region. Biokymppi Oy producing biogas distributes it now in two biofuel stations in the region, in Joensuu and in Kitee.

Regional Council of North Karelia gave an overview of funding possibilities, and of the progress of the Climate and Energy Programme together with recently collected feedback from municipalities and other stakeholders about its implementation .