About the Initiative
This European research project "Hybrid energy solutions for buildings and infrastructure" (HYBES in short) is led by Nordland Research Institute from Norway with partner institutions from Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Ireland. Funded by Interreg - Northern Periphery and Arctic programme, it will develop new methods to make buildings and districts more energy efficient and environmentally friendly, combining the concept of ‘Living Labs’ and the roll out of innovative tools towards establishing dedicated Decarbonisation Zones (DZ) in rural and peripheral regions.
The HYBES project priority is to strengthen the capacity for climate change adaptation, and resource sufficiency in NPA communities (Northern Periphery Areas), as well as to promote energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
HYBES aims to build a knowledge-based ecosystem within communities to promote decarbonisation zone opportunities and to build citizen capacity towards achieving carbon neutral goals.
In additional to advancing technical solutions through pilots and research, each region will engage local citizens, municipalities, energy producers and businesses through social living labs. These social living labs will support citizen and community engagement activities and innovations that support the socio-technical transition to decarbonisation. In this way, the project advances the development of replicable local solutions and enhances capacity to engage citizen and community actors as agents of change alongside industry, reseach and public stakeholders and deeping the potential for zero-emission ecosystems.
The project will jointly create knowledge-based tools and activities for promoting improved energy efficient solutions to achieve substantial reduction of greenhouse gas emissions within the NPA region.
Through the development of a Framework for HYBES Living Labs led by UCC, activities in the five partner regions; Norway, Sweden, Ireland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, will:
- Refine 5 ‘living labs’ in the regions to promote and develop dedicated Decarbonisation Zones in rural and peripheral areas which can be replicated across the NPA region & beyond.
- Identify good practices and techniques that can address decarbonisation challenges and help achieve carbon neutrality.
- Facilitate co-creation and citizen engagement as a means of building citizen knowledge around the benefits of decarbonisation.
- Offer interaction with communities and stakeholders within NPA region.
- Develop a ‘carbon school’ initiative which will enable school children to see first-hand the benefits of decarbonisation initiatives with the aim of developing curriculum change.
UCC works together with local partners Cork County Council, Northside Community Enterprises and Carbery Housing Association on this initiative.