IT Sligo Research Project CEANGAL gets Funding to Confront Societal Challenges

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CEANGAL, meaning ‘Connect in Irish’, is set to connect targeted under-served poorer communities to sustainable electricity by connecting such target groups to mechanisms and tools to ensure ownership and sustained operation of renewable energy systems.

CEANGAL (Community Based Decentralised Renewable Energy Systems and Supporting Structures for Improving Electricity Access in Low-Income Countries) is a research project led by Dr Ehiaze Ehimen, of the Institute of Technology Sligo, in collaboration with Malawian researchers and stakeholders.

It is one of the five projects funded by the Irish Research Council as part of the COALESCE (Collaborative Alliances for Societal Challenges) 2021 programme. Dr Ehiaze Ehimen

The CEANGAL project puts forward an ambitious adaptable and replicable model to support activities and procurement, installation and ownership of renewable energy systems (RES), and provide support structures to ensure their continuous local operation and maintenance in low-income communities in Sub Saharan countries.

Dr Ehiaze Ehimen, the coordinator and the lead investigator of the CEANGAL project, says:

“The success of the CEANGAL project will play an important role in establishing how developed countries can support low-income communities in achieving improved electricity accessibility while supporting their green transition goals by enhancing local capacity and implementation structures”.

Through research partnerships with Malawian researchers, the project concept and outcomes will be developed, demonstrated, and validated in four pilot case sites located in the currently underserved rural areas of Malawi, a country with one of the lowest access to electricity globally with 82% of the population having no electricity access.

The CEANGAL outcomes directly contribute to the Global Ireland plan (Footprint to 2025) and address two of the four policy priorities of the Irish “A Better World” policy for international development (climate action and reduced humanitarian need), thus greatly highlighting Ireland’s leadership role in creating a more equal and sustainable world.

The Irish Research Council has allocated €5.3 million to several research projects in Ireland under the COALESCE programme – with an investment of €2.1m from the Department of Foreign Affairs in this year’s awards.