Academic Expertise in Renewable Energy
Research and Development is supported through both industry and academia, with Wales-based researchers leading the way.
Wales has rich resources for academic collaboration. Many companies are already involved in research and technology transfer projects with academic institutions including major organisations such as Rolls Royce, Siemens, National Grid and Hitachi.
Local expertise covers the full spectrum of industry issues – including economics, technology, training, production and supply chain management.
SPECIFIC is a UK Innovation and Knowledge Centre based in Baglan, south Wales. Their new 5 year £26 million business plan is supported by the public sector, industry and academia. They are unique in their operation within the UK’s Innovation Ecosystem, as they are the only UK centre that is developing building integrated solutions combining solar thermal and heat storage in conjunction with PV and electrical storage. Industrial partners include NSG Pilkington Glass, Tata and BASF.
Going forward, the next 5 years sees SPECIFIC targeting a Building Demonstrator Programme aligned to its ‘Buildings as Power Stations’ vision. This translates as buildings being self-sufficient by generating, storing and releasing their own electrical energy.
Swansea University’s Centre for Solar Energy Research are researching new PV materials for solar energy conversion, leading to a new generation of lowcost PV module products.
The Welsh European Funding Office has recently extended funding for several key research projects, including SEACAMS 2, a £17 million, three year project at Bangor and Swansea universities. Through SEACAMS, companies wanting to harness the sea’s power and create a sustainable marine energy industry in Wales will be able to access vital research support they need if they are to be able to progress with their multi-million pound developments.
SEACAMS 2 is set to develop a network of coastal observatories to collect high-quality data and ensure its availability to potential developers.
Cardiff University is leading a £24 million project aimed at developing more intelligent ways of managing future energy systems alongside Swansea University and the University of South Wales. FLEXIS aims to meet the diverse, complex and inter-dependent challenges that arise when new sources of energy are integrated into the grid by suppliers.
The challenges are varied and include: accommodating power supply from multiple, somewhat random places; storing energy when it is not needed; coping with extreme flows of energy into the system; accommodating an ailing infrastructure; and making sure all challenges are met in a socially acceptable, affordable way.
Cardiff University’s HydroEnvironmental Research Centre is developing hydro-environmental computational models to predict water quality, flow, sediment and contaminant transport processes in coastal waters, estuaries and river basins. The University has worked alongside companies such as ARUP, C2H2 and Scottish Water to deliver their project aspirations.
Bangor University’s Environment Research Centre is developing energy generation through waste, sewage and grown biomass, and the centre is also home to the Wales Centre of Excellence for Anaerobic Digestion. This is a technical support unit helping organisations to develop their own Anaerobic Digestion energy plants.
The entire renewable energy sector in Wales is underpinned by a pledge at government level to drive towards a Low Carbon Economy – a strategy developed to maximise energy investment and bring economic benefits to our businesses and communities.
So, every locally-based company has access to our full range of support and a chance to test and develop new technologies in our prime locations.
View or download our Renewable Energy booklet.
Contact us for more information.