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04 March 2011
Cardiff University officially launched SEREN this week, a new £8.3M green energy project aiming to help businesses in West Wales and the Valleys lead the way in developing new technologies and products, creating up to 150 jobs in the low carbon economy.
Renewable energy company WDS Environmental is one of the first to benefit from the programme. The company, which has offices in Swansea, Brecon and Cardiff, designs, supplies, installs and maintains heating pumps, which extract and utilise low temperature heat from the ground.
Through SEREN collaborative research is underway into ground source heating, which uses geothermal energy from the ground to provide heating and hot water for domestic and commercial purposes.
Director Dr Aled Davies says SEREN’s support is invaluable in helping WDS carry out research which will develop its place in the renewable energy marketplace as well as advance the industry as a whole.
Dr Davies said: "We can gather data and develop a better informed design for ground source heating systems.
"It will provide us with a far better insight into the mechanics and saleability of this kind of energy. The experimental and monitoring work will give us quite a leap forward in how we design these systems.
"This will result in an increased market place which we hope will increase turnover and profitability."
WDS currently employs 11 staff from across South and West Wales, but Dr Davies said SEREN’s involvement could help increase his workforce by almost 50 per cent.
He said: "For us, directly, it could mean creating anything between two and five new posts. We would hope turnover will increase by about 20 per cent.
"A good level of expertise will be generated from this project and indirectly there is already the possibility of one or two spin-off companies being created in the Convergence area, which could generate another 20 or so jobs.
"It has been valuable to us as a company, but this work will be valuable to Welsh industry as a whole in the long term."
For more information on SEREN contact: 029 2087 4004 or email: Seren@cardiff.ac.uk.
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