What is RE-SAT and how is it supporting the growth of renewable energy in Small Island Developing States (SIDS)?
RE-SAT is a new, powerful energy planning analytics platform, using satellite data and other environmental data to plan for transition to renewable energy. It has been developed by the Institute for Environmental Analytics, based in the UK.
It aims to support the governments of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in reaching their renewable energy targets. Following a very successful pilot in the Seychelles in 2016-17, the UK Space Agency International Partnership Programme has funded the roll-out to six more SIDS over the next 3 years.
Which islands have been chosen?
- St Lucia
We chose these islands as part of our goal to trial the product with early adopter countries within 3 regions – the Pacific, Caribbean and Indian Ocean. Also all these countries already have momentum to increase the use of renewable energy and great potential thanks to their natural resources.
Their governments recognise the potential of RE-SAT and the benefits it could bring, and have been very supportive.
How does RE-SAT work?
RE-SAT combines multiple environmental datasets, including Earth Observation (EO) data from satellites, with advanced analytics and software engineering to provide detailed renewable energy data to help users:
- Support strategic energy planning.
- Help SIDS define the best RE mix by planning where to site different assets.
- Estimate power production taking into account environmental constraints.
- Minimise the risks in investing and make the transition to RE a reality.
RE-SAT will provide for each SIDS:
High resolution RE resource maps
- for instance, solar map; wind map; wave map; ocean thermal map
Easy-to-use scenario builder
- explores and defines the best renewable energy mix
- 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, users rapidly calculate the RE power that could be produced
- a common data repository for all stakeholders to use
Assessment of financial viability & investment potential
- ability to estimate power production and variability, taking account their seasonal weather patterns
- multiple users can log-in at one time for efficient and effective collaboration and decision-making in the SIDS
- ability to optimise the location for new RE infrastructure
RE-SAT runs as a true partnership and collaboration is at the heart of it. It is therefore not a one-off consultancy exercise by a third party.
What difference will RE-SAT make?
RE-SAT aims to support the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, offering a low carbon pathway for sustainable development and supporting the government’s commitment to transitioning to a low-emission, climate-resilient future.
For the first time RE-SAT enables government, communities, stakeholders and energy providers to analyse the energy generation capacity and grid impact of different deployments of wind, solar and wave renewables in order to maximise the impact of investment, reduce financial risk and reduce exposure to volatile fossil fuel markets.
The IEA holds regular workshops with stakeholders and the government during the project, to ensure RE-SAT is configured to meet their national objectives.
What does this mean for local energy suppliers / companies?
In each SIDS we work with local stakeholders / local energy companies. We all recognise the potential of renewable energy and we are all keen to realise that.
Training workshops ensure that the skills to use RE-SAT are developed among the stakeholders and government in each SIDS.
How has RE-SAT been funded? / How much funding did you get?
The IEA was awarded £2.9m total funding in 2018 to roll-out RE-SAT Phase 2 to a further 6 SIDS by the UK Space Agency International Partnership Programme (IPP). The funding recognises the IEA’s world-leading expertise in data analytics and data visualisation and the success of the pilot in the Seychelles.
What do SIDS government pay towards RE-SAT?
During the current phase, the governments make in-kind contributions, including hosting the IEA team on missions and also contributing data and access to staff to support the work programme.
What is the IEA?
The IEA is a world-leading applied research and development organisation focused on supporting customers who understand the opportunity afforded by environmental data analytics to manage risk, improve business operations and open up new markets.
We work with organisations large and small to help them turn data into competitive advantage through visualising existing data sources, analysing past historical trends and developing predictive analytics tools. We also offer tailored training programmes to develop in-house capacity for data analysis.
Our projects cover a range of areas where environmental data is a strong driver such as agriculture, infrastructure monitoring, international development and risk management. All are focussed on quickly but effectively, trialling new ideas and de risking clients’ investment in new products, services or business processes.
We based at the University of Reading in the UK. For more information about the IEA please visit: https://www.the-iea.org/
More about the UK Space Agency IPP
The UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP) is a five-year, £152million programme designed to partner UK space expertise with overseas governments and organisations. It is funded from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).
The Global Challenges Research Fund (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, the UK Academies, the 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.
Further information and media enquiries
To find out how the IEA can help you with your energy planning data analytics, please email
For media enquiries please contact Sally Stevens, Marketing & Communications Manager of the IEA, on email@example.com