Multi-million pound FLEXIS energy project gets underway in Wales

Consortium of Welsh universities, including Swansea, begin £24m project aimed at transforming the UK energy sector and achieving a low carbon future.

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A multi-million project set to transform the UK energy sector and tackle some of the biggest challenges currently facing society is underway in Wales, after its launch this week (Thursday, February 2).

The £24m Flexible Integrated Energy Systems, or FLEXIS, project is led by Cardiff University with Swansea University and the University of South Wales as principal sponsors.  

Aberystwyth and Bangor Universities and the British Geological Survey are also participating in the project, which is bringing together the world-class expertise in Welsh universities to facilitate an affordable, sustainable, and socially acceptable transition to a low carbon future.

FLEXIS2The project is led at Swansea University by Professor Andrew Barron, Sêr Cymru Chair of Low Carbon Energy and Environment, and founder and director of the Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI), and Dr Petar Igic, Head/Director of the Electronic System Design Centre and Director of EEE Board of Studies, both of the University’s College of Engineering.

The five-year EU-backed project will look to solve a diverse, complex and inter-dependent set of challenges, ranging from energy storage, to decarbonisation and fuel poverty.

The project will specifically look at how new, low-carbon energy sources can be integrated into the energy grid, and how the grid itself can cope with extreme flows of energy into the system in numerous places and at random times.

As part of the project a demonstration site has been identified in the Swansea Bay area, centred at the TATA Steel Works in Port Talbot, to act as a test bed for new ideas and to showcase the new technology and energy solutions being developed. Partners include TATA Steel, Swansea City Region and Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council.

By 2020, over £20m of additional competitive research income is expected to be secured in Wales as a result of FLEXIS.

FLEXIS3Welsh Government Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford said: “FLEXIS is a good example of how EU funds are being invested in research and development collaborations involving Welsh universities and industry.

“These projects are helping to create new businesses and jobs in Wales at the forefront of innovation, which is why it’s vital we secure replacement funding from UK sources after 2020 and our universities retain access to European research and innovation programmes.

“FLEXIS will also tackle some very important global challenges around energy efficiency so I’m delighted Wales will be playing a leading role in this area.”

Visit http://flexis.wales/