The U.K. is drawing upon technology developed in its space industry to help some of the poorest islands around the globe transition to a greener future.
The UK Space Agency is investing £2.9 million (€3.3 million) to expand a renewable energy analytics platform for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Caribbean, Pacific and Indian oceans. Following an initial phase focused on the Seychelles, a group of islands (Montserrat, St Lucia, Mauritius, Palau, Tonga and Vanuatu) will get satellite and in-situ weather data, combined with advanced analytics, to help define the best renewable energy mix locally, look at where projects could be located, examine the potential financial viability of renewable energy investments, and estimate power production and variability.
The investment is part of the International Partnership Programme (IPP), which makes the UK space sector’s research and expertise available to underdeveloped and developing economies in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Colin McKinnon, CEO of the Institute for Environmental Analytics (IEA) which has been leading the development of the RE-SAT platform thanks to support from the IPP, said: “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.”