GIS – 30 September 2014: The Commission on Maurice Ile Durable (MID), in collaboration with the MID Fund, is financially assisting to the tune of Rs 2.6 million solar photovoltaic projects in three secondary schools, namely Labourdonnais College, Bhujoharry College and Lycée des Mascareignes. A handing over of cheques ceremony to the three secondary schools was held yesterday afternoon in Port Louis.
In his address, the Executive Chairman of the Commission on MID, Mr. Osman Mahomed, underscored that sustainability begins with education. Investing in school, he said, does not only lead to environmental and economic benefits but also teaches students at a young age how to produce electricity and how to use it optimally. A total of 52 schools have already benefited from financial support from the MID Fund for solar photovoltaic projects.
He recalled that Government has approved the MID Policy Strategy Action Plan (MIDPSAP) in June 2013 and the Commission on MID has been entrusted the responsibility of coordinating and monitoring its implementation. Furthermore, the MID Fund now operates under the MID Commission, he said. New MID Fund regulations have been gazetted and Mrs. Jaya Bhandari has been appointed chairperson of the MID Fund.
According to Mr. Mahomed, the main objective of the MID Fund is to accompany the implementation of the MIDPSAP, which comprises energy conservation and a renewable energy transition programme. The transition, he pointed out, will be achieved through a four-pronged approach, that is, increasing focus on energy efficiency and renewable; new energy systems; democratisation; and decentralisation.
It is in the context of these policies that the MID Fund has approved funding worth Rs 46 million of solar photovoltaic systems and installation for 55 schools, NGOs and solar photovoltaic street lighting on Signal Mountain.
The aims of the MID Fund are to fund projects, schemes or programmes related to sustainable development. So far nearly Rs 800 million worth of projects and schemes have been funded. However, other schemes are being funded directly into the budget of Ministries. For example, as regards the Small Independent Power Producers scheme, the money goes directly to the Central Electricity Board.
Mr. Mahomed also listed out the different projects funded through the MID Fund, namely the installation of wind turbines in Rodrigues which generate about 10% of the electricity needs of the island. It has provided grants to almost 18% of families for the purchase of solar water heater. This has lead to annual savings of Rs 54 million and 786 tonnes of LP gas and as well as emission reduction of 5000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
We have a target to attain 35% of renewable energy by 2025, he said. Under the MIDPSAP, a gross investment of more than Rs 5 billion for projects by the private sector will be partly offset by a subsidy of Rs 235 million per year by Government over the next 20 years. Projects for renewable energy which are currently in the pipeline include the launch of two wind and five photovoltaic farms.
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