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UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme awards £2.9m to expand IEA’s cutting-edge renewable energy software platform – University of Reading

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UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme awards £2.9m to expand IEA’s cutting-edge renewable energy software platform

Release Date 21 May 2018

The IEA's RE-SAT platform in use

An innovative new data analytics technology development project that helps developing islands towards a climate-resilient future has been endorsed with a further £2.9m funding.

The Institute for Environmental Analytics (IEA) developed a proof-of-concept software platform, RE-SAT, in 2017, thanks to initial funding from the UK Space Agency International Partnership Programme. Following its successful launch in the Seychelles, the UK Space Agency has today Tuesday, May 22nd, announced funding for Phase 2 which will see RE-SAT extended to a further six small island developing states (SIDS) in conjunction with the United Nations Development Programme, Rocky Mountain Institute/Carbon War Room and Clinton Climate Initiative.

RE-SAT - which stands for Renewable Energy Space Analytics Tool - enables SIDS governments, their communities, stakeholders and energy providers to analyse the energy generation capacity and grid impact of different deployments of wind, solar and other renewables. It combines earth observation data with innovative modelling, offering a low carbon pathway for sustainable development and supporting SIDS’ commitments to transitioning to a low-emission, climate-resilient future.

RE-SAT maximises the impact of investment, reducing financial risk and reducing exposure to volatile fossil fuel markets. The platform will be tailored to each island and bespoke training from the IEA will support its implementation, ensuring it has a sustainable legacy.

Colin McKinnon, CEO of the IEA, said: “We are very grateful to the UK Space Agency for funding this expanded programme of work to leverage the impact of the RE-SAT platform to another sixisland nations around the world. This will allow us to build on the successful launch of the platform in the Seychelles and will see the platform develop additional features - such as knowledge sharing functionality - which will further benefit renewable energy professionals in our partner countries and help them as they plan their transition to higher levels of clean energy over the coming years.”

Dr Graham Turnock, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said: "The first phase of the RE-SAT project has proved extremely valuable in helping the Seychelles plan their move away from fossil fuels to renewable energy. This additional funding from the UK Space Agency means that positive work will now be shared with a further six small island developing states.

"Our International Partnership Programme is already helping more than 30 developing countries tackle big issues, putting British innovation on a global stage and showcasing the capabilities of our leading space businesses."

The UK Space Agency IPP funding for Phase 2 will enable the IEA to continue the development of RE-SAT as a robust, operational system that covers all renewable technologies likely to be used by SIDS, extending and enhancing its technical scope to provide high quality and reliable data for each island. The IEA is in the process of selecting island partners.

In just a few years since its launch in January 2016 the IEA has grown from a few staff to a team of 25 working on innovative and meaningful data projects ranging from agriculture to smart city infrastructure, and this funding will enable it to continue to grow its expertise in cutting-edge data analytics and data visualisation.

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