Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are heavily dependent on expensive, vulnerable, petroleumbased power generation and spend 15-20% of disposable income on electricity (versus 5-10% in the OECD). Whilst having abundant renewable energy (RE) resources ranging from solar and wind to geothermal and hydro, the current level of installed renewable capacity is low.
In order to support the planning and installation of more distributed energy resources (DERs), the Institute for Environmental Analytics (IEA) is using UKSA IPP funding to develop an energy analytics platform (RE-SAT) with associated data products and modelling to support SIDS to plan and undertake their transition from fossil fuel electricity generation to renewables. Phase 1 (2017) of the project focused on developing a proof-of concept platform for the Seychelles and is the subject of this case study. Phase 2 (2018 – 2021) is scaling the concept to 6 other SIDS.
Within a year of the start of the project, RE-SAT has provided the Seychelles Government and public utilities with a cutting edge renewable energy platform that is already helping them towards a climate resilient future.
The three key components of RE-SAT that the Seychelles Government are using to move away from fossil fuels are:
- High resolution RE resource maps: For the first time, Seychelles has detailed resource maps covering all three of its main islands
(solar map; wind map; wave map; ocean thermal map).
- Easy-to-use energy scenario builder: Explores and defines the best renewable energy mix and plans where to locate assets to avoid
protected areas (e.g. national parks) – simply by placing different renewable technologies such as wind turbines, wave devices or solar panels, in any location, Seychelles users rapidly calculate the RE power that could be produced. Seychelles now has a common data repository for all stakeholders to use.
- Assessment of financial viability & investment potential: Seychelles can estimate power production and variability, taking account. seasonal weather patterns. Multiple users can log-in at one time for efficient and effective collaboration and decision-making in the Seychelles. Seychelles is now able to optimise the location for new RE infrastructure.
In summary the key impacts of the project according to the in-country stakeholders in Seychelles include:
- Engagement of different government bodies working together towards the same goal.
- The RE-SAT platform will reduce the burden of public queries regarding relevant data as data is now in a centralised repository.
- Positive impact on rooftop PV suppliers as some were willing to share their data and helped the project move forward.
- Provided the 100% renewables agenda a practical software platform with which to develop evidence-based RE scenarios for future investments.
- An energy planning platform that is easy to use and translates data into useable information with a very wide range of outputs and ways for visualising the results.
- A tailored electricity meter analysis study have categorised this data and PUC is now using the data more efficiently. This analysis has been very well received and could be used in future tariffs reform.
- Developed further expertise in GIS tools and space technology in Seychelles.