RE-SAT to accelerate Mauritius’s transition from fossil fuels

Renewable energy project to accelerate Mauritius’s transition from fossil fuels launches with January workshop

Press release issued Thursday, January 17th, 2019.

UK-based Institute for Environmental Analytics is to partner with the Government of Mauritius to implement an innovative renewable energy analytics planning platform – RE-SAT – to support the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

The partnership has been made possible by investment from the UK Space Agency International Partnership Programme (IPP) and reflects Mauritius’s position at the forefront of promoting clean growth.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministry of Energy & Public Utilities (MEPU) and the  Institute for Environmental Analytics (IEA) in May 2018.

The focus of the MOU is to implement a sophisticated innovative renewable energy analytics platform, RE-SAT, to support policies for accelerating the energy transition of Mauritius from fossil fuels to renewable energy and deliver greater self-sufficiency, while reducing global carbon emissions to combat climate change.

The IEA, which is based at the University of Reading, works with organisations, large and small, to help them turn large volumes of existing multi-sectoral environmental data into competitive use. Past historical trends from such data are used to inform future energy development scenarios with the RE-SAT platform with focus on renewable energy. In the process, the IEA provides tailored training programmes to the beneficiary to develop in-house capacity for complex data analysis and scenario analysis for electricity supply options.

Typically, IEA projects cover a range of areas, where environmental data is a strong driver such as energy, agriculture, infrastructure monitoring, international development and risk management, with focus on quickly but effectively testing new ideas and de‑risking clients’ investment in services such as energy supply or business processes.

Partnership to support transition from fossil fuels

The IEA partnership with Mauritius will last until March 2021.

The IPP is a five-year, £152million programme designed to partner UK space expertise with overseas governments and organizations. It is funded from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).

The GCRF is a £1.5billion fund, which forms part of the UK Government’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment, and is overseen by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and delivered through 17 delivery partners including the Research Councils, UK Academies, UK Space Agency and funding bodies.  It harnesses the expertise of the UK’s world-leading researchers, focusing on funding challenge-led disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, strengthening capability for research, innovation and knowledge exchange and providing an agile response to emergencies, where there is an urgent research or on-the-ground need.

Mauritius is one of six small island developing states (SIDS) to benefit from £2.9m investment from the UK Space Agency IPP in the use of the RE-SAT platform. The others are: St Lucia, Montserrat, Palau, Tonga and Vanuatu.

The commitments of the Government of Mauritius in regional and international forums to promote green growth have been instrumental in forging the IEA partnership.

RE-SAT provides highly detailed renewable energy information

RE-SAT combines satellite and in-situ weather data with advanced modelling to provide highly detailed renewable energy information to help users:

  • Explore and define the best renewable energy mix.
  • Plan where to locate different renewable energy infrastructure.
  • Assess the potential financial viability of renewable energy investments.
  • Estimate power production and variability, taking into account seasonal weather patterns.

The IEA will work closely with the MEPU and other local energy agencies to tailor and customize RE-SAT to the needs of Mauritius and build capacity to support its implementation, combining the IEA’s expertise with in-country knowledge and skills.

The IEA is committed to provide advanced data processing and analysis with a view to developing a sound business case for switching to renewable sources at a greater pace and extent.

RE-SAT addresses RE intermittency

The powerful RE-SAT platform allows minute-by-minute data crunching to simulate variability of intermittent energy such as solar and wind so as to sustainably address the pertinent question of grid stability supported by adequate reserve energy generation.

A downside in many countries is the lack of data sources through long periods of historic observations. With its world-leading skills in complex data analysis and the use of Earth observation data, the IEA will construct a synthetic weather model for Mauritius, to improve both the planning of renewable investment and also the management of reserve capacity.

The project runs as a true partnership using the knowledge and expertise of Mauritian partners and the high end expertise of the IEA. It is not the classical one-off consultancy exercise, as the local pool of professionals supporting the partnership would be sufficiently mentored to use the RE-SAT platform at the end of the partnership.

Ends

For more information, including comments and interview opportunities, please contact Sally Stevens, Marketing & Communications Manager at the IEA on +44 (0) 7740 674074 / +44 (0) 118 378 6821 or email s.stevens@the-iea.org

A RE-SAT image is available, please email s.stevens@the-iea.org.

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