Senior lecturer, Dr Saskia Harkema, made a presentation on the sustainable use of energy by SMEs at the "Circular Economy" conference held at the Media Plaza in Utrecht in November this year. Harkema is part of Wittenborg University's GREAT-team.
GREAT (Growing Renewable Energy Applications and Technology) is a cross-border EU-project under the INTERREG IVB NWE programme. It aims to encourage SMEs and collectives of SMEs to develop and apply sustainable renewable energy solutions.
Wittenborg University is one of the Dutch partners in the project which seeks to accelerate the deployment of Smart Grid in North-West Europe.
The Utrecht conference, held earlier in November, was entitled "The Circular Economy in the HBO" - HBOs are universities of applied science, like Wittenborg. In total, 80 people from the sector attended. During the conference attendees were presented with current initiatives within the Netherlands' applied higher education sector in the circular economy. Different views on the theme were presented and attendees had the opportunity to network around the subject of the circular economy with a view on follow-up initiatives. Organizers are of the opinion that the theme presents ideal multi-disciplinary project opportunities.
Harkema presented the outcomes of exploratory research carried out in the Netherlands and Belgium around challenges in the diffusion and adoption of sustainable energy solutions among SMEs.
She also showcased a tool developed by the Wittenborg Team for SMEs which helps them to assess pay-back time of investment in Renewable Energy technologies such as wind, solar and heat-pumps.
by Anesca Smith