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Innovate UK agrees to fund project to develop clean reliable energy for off-grid applications in Africa.

GALWAY, January 19, 2023 — Innovate UK has confirmed funding for the £230,000 OxReGen project. The project builds on patented electronics from the University of Oxford, alongside cutting-edge materials technology from EireComposites to provide Somalia with affordable, reliable, low-carbon energy. Save the Children International will leverage its vast in-country experience to ensure successful deployment and commissioning of the turbine.

85% of Somalians do not have access to electricity, and yet the country has the highest potential for onshore wind in all of Africa. With sustainability and simplicity at its core, the OxReGen project will produce a low-maintenance wind turbine mini-grid system, using locally sourced, off-the-shelf components. This system will be used to increase energy access by generating clean, reliable electricity for a community in Somalia.

The advantages of OxReGen’s solution include:

  • Minimal and simple maintenance
  • Robust, recyclable blades
  • A small footprint and almost noiseless operation
  • Locally sourced and mass-produced components

These design features set the OxReGen solution apart from its competitors. The focus on locally sourced materials aims to lower emissions associated with shipping and transportation and increase the economic impact of the technology in Somalia.

Longtermism is also at the forefront of project plans, with aims to increase access to affordable and clean energy in Somalia and Africa. This will hopefully improve the lives of generations to come and work towards achieving the UN’s Sustainability Goals.

The project technology has the potential to not only transform lives, but also save them. The power generated by the technology could be used in multiple ways: refrigerate vaccines; power internet access; pump groundwater; provide lighting; and/or charge mobile phones. The applications of the technology are numerous and could be beneficial to healthcare facilities, schools and refugee camps.

Tomas Flanagan, CEO of EireComposites said: “ÉireComposites’ mission is to improve society by commercialising its cutting-edge research on composite materials. It is hard to image a project that more closely aligned to what we are trying to do as a company.  We are super-excited to work with Oxford and SCI to bring clean, renewable energy to Somalia”.

For more information, please visit: https://www.eirecomposites.com

About ÉireComposites:

Established in 1998, ÉireComposites is an innovative design, manufacturing and testing company, involved in lightweight, high-performance, fibre-reinforced composite materials, with an international blue-chip customer base of over 70 companies in aerospace, renewable energy, marine, Formula 1 racing and general automotive sectors.

As a leader in designing and manufacturing composite materials ÉireComposites have extensive experience, state-of-the-art facilities and advanced design capabilities as a one stop shop for composites process and product development. The company is based in Galway, Ireland and employs over 60 people.

About University of Oxford:

Oxford is a world-leading centre of learning, teaching and research. This project started life as the result of an invention by an Oxford academic and one of his research network colleagues; and it was developed and refined by one of the University’s highly skilled toolmakers as a retirement activity. The Electricity Generator technology underlying this innovation was patented by Oxford University Innovation, the technology transfer arm of the University of Oxford. Oxford University Innovation contributes to the University’s societal benefit by working with staff and students to apply their expertise and research.

About Save the Children International:

SCI is a non-governmental organisation, committed to improving the lives of children. For 70 years SCI has been a national and international leader in humanitarian and development programming, with programmes in health and nutrition, education, child protection and child rights governance. It has been active in Somalia since 1951.


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