31 January 2017 – The Institute for Environmental Analytics has been chosen to lead a major renewable energy project for the Government of Seychelles, using our world-leading expertise in data analytics and visualisation.
The project – RE-SAT (Renewable Energy Space Analytics Tool) – will be led by the IEA, in partnership with the Government of Seychelles, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and funded by the UK Space Agency through its International Partnership Programme (IPP). IPP is a 5-year £150million programme which uses the UK Space sector’s research and innovation strengths to deliver a sustainable, economic or societal benefit to undeveloped nations and developing economies.
The IEA will develop a proof of concept energy planning tool using earth observation (EO) and other data sources to enable Seychelles to rely less on expensive fossil fuel electricity generation and more on its abundant sources of solar and wind renewables.
Dr Maria Noguer, Climate Programme Manager at the IEA, says: “Seychelles has enormous potential to be energy-independent due to their natural renewable energy resources. However renewable supply fluctuates with changes in weather so reserve capacity must be invoked from traditional energy generation methods at short notice, limiting the ability of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as the Seychelles to completely switch to renewable energy.
“Understanding minute-by-minute variability is a key question as this affects the requirement for reserve energy generation. However, long periods of historic observations are often not available from existing data sources. As such, part of our project will be to use earth observation data to construct a synthetic weather model to simulate a year in the life of the Seychelles. This model will help improve both the planning of new renewable investment and also the day-to-day management of reserve capacity.”
Under the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Seychelles is committed to transitioning to a low-emission, climate-resilient future and has recently embarked on the development of a road-map for 100% renewable energy by 2050.
Seychelles’ Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Mr Didier Dogley, comments: “Accurate data and information is vital for the forecasting, selection and adoption of the right renewable energy technology, optimising production of electricity in the country. Seychelles is a country with limited land resources and cannot afford to make mistakes in the deployment of renewable energy technologies. We must get it right from the outset and this initiative will greatly contribute towards this goal.”
Dr Noguer and IEA Principal Consultant Alan Yates have carried out their first on-site visit and will return to the Seychelles in February.
Ultimately it is hoped that the RE-SAT planning tool could be rolled out to SIDS through UNDP’s global SIDS Sustainable Transition in Energy Programme (SIDS-STEP).
Colin McKinnon, CEO of the IEA, based at University of Reading, commented: “This is a significant bid win and opens up a new exciting market where we can apply our data analytics expertise to aid developing countries in their journey to a more sustainable future.”