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SWIO energy autonomy project

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SWIO energy autonomy project

SWIO: The SOOI region in quest for energy independence

The SWIO project, or Solar and Wind Energy in the Indian Ocean, studies the energy potential of the SOOI (Southwest Indian Ocean) region.

Co-funded by the European Union, France, and the Réunion region, SWIO is initiated as part of regional cooperation: by the ENERGY-lab / LE2P laboratory in Réunion, the Physics Department at the University of Mauritius, and the Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency laboratory at the University of Mascareignes Mauritius. This ambitious and timely project aims to address the challenges of climate change by thoroughly examining the energy potential of the region, primarily the solar and wind potential of the Southeast Indian Ocean. More specifically, the 36-month project « proposes to implement an innovative analytical approach to conduct climate analyses on the variability of solar and wind resources in the SOOI area, particularly on the islands of Réunion and Mauritius at different time scales: intra-daily, intra-seasonal, interannual », according to the Energy-lab laboratory.

SWIO revolutionizes scientific research methods as it anticipates future impacts of climate change, those of mid and end of the century, and aims to transform this threat into an opportunity, all with the ultimate goal of contributing to the region’s energy transition and energy independence, mainly Mauritius and Réunion.

The SOOI region indeed has considerable energy potential. Regarding solar energy, Madagascar enjoys sunlight for 2 800 hours per year. As for Mauritius, it has 2 400 hours of sunshine and Réunion about 2 550 hours per year. Not to mention Seychelles and Mayotte. Several investors are looking at the region for this reason. In particular, NEA, AXIAN, GreenYellow, GuarantCo, African Guarantee Fund, and Société Générale, which concluded at the beginning of the year financing of 10 million EUR to support the extension of the largest solar power plant in Madagascar and the Indian Ocean, in Ambatolampy; Qair, which won four hybrid solar and storage projects in Mauritius at the end of the first quarter. In any case, the SWIO project could bring together the entire region and exploit this immense capacity accurately and calculatedly, considering variations due to climate change.

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