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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P028829/1
Title: Geothermally Sourced Combined Power and Freshwater Generation for Eastern Africa (Combi-Gen)
Principal Investigator: Yu, Professor Z
Other Investigators:
Burnside, Dr N He, Professor L Teklemariam, Dr E
Perry, Professor M Boyce, Professor AJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
ARANZ Geo Limited Cluff Geothermal Ltd Planet Earth Institute
Department: School of Engineering
Organisation: University of Glasgow
Scheme: GCRF (EPSRC)
Starts: 01 May 2017 Ends: 31 July 2021 Value (£): 1,341,748
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy - Conventional Heat & Mass Transfer
Water Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy Water
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
17 Mar 2017 EPSRC GCRF 1 Meeting C - 17 March 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Lack of safe and clean water is a long-standing challenges in much of Africa, and especially in Ethiopia and Kenya. Around 50 million people in Ethiopia lack access to safe water, and the country is currently suffering from its worst drought for 50 years, leaving some 18 million people in need of urgent aid. Similarly, only 41% out of the Kenyan population of ~ 47 million have access to safe water.

Despite substantial undeveloped renewable resources, both Ethiopia and Kenya are energy poor. Ethiopia has around 2 GW of electricity generation capacity, meeting only 10% of national electricity demand, and reaching only 12% of the population. Kenya, with an installed electricity capacity around only 2.2 GW, has better grid connectivity, reaching about 55% of its households, but is still plagued by frequent, lengthy outages. In both countries, geothermal energy is vastly under-utilised and represents an exciting opportunity of addressing energy challenges, alleviating poverty, and promoting economic development.

The Combi-Gen project aims to develop a novel geothermally sourced-combined power and freshwater generation technology, which promises to initiate a genuinely innovative shift in the engineering response to the twin challenges of energy shortage and water-scarcity in Ethiopia and Kenya. The research will provide a novel technology that can significantly improve the utilisation of the precious geothermal resources in Ethiopia and Kenya, and can produce both power and freshwater simultaneous to address the long-standing twin challenge of water and energy shortage in both countries and others of this kind. Once the developed Combi-Gen system is widely installed, it will contribute to sustainable development through reliable renewable energy and freshwater generation, and a reduction in poverty through promoting economic development and employment growth.

Combi-Gen tackles a number of key priorities for development identified by the GRCF that relate to challenges of health, clean energy, safe water, sustainable agriculture, and foundations for inclusive growth. The core of the project is to tackle challenges associated with 'Sustainable infrastructure development'. The geothermal focus is strategically aligned with the government energy policy priorities on developing renewable and sustainable energy to meet power demand in both countries.

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Organisation Website: http://www.gla.ac.uk