GIS– 21 August, 2019: The Renewable Energy Roadmap 2030 for the electricity sector was launched, yesterday, by the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mr Ivan Collendavelloo, during a ceremony held at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Tower in Ebène. The Minister Mentor, Minister of Defence, Minister for Rodrigues, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands, Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, and other personalities were also present.
In his keynote speech, the Deputy Prime Minister underpinned the objectives of the Roadmap which are essentially geared towards enabling the optimum production of energy from renewable resources and ensuring a transition towards greener and cleaner energy. The launching of the renewable energy programme demonstrates Government’s firm determination to encourage the development of green energy, he added.
Government, Mr Collendavelloo recalled, had reiterated its pledge at the COP 21 in 2015 which pertains to reducing the country’s emissions by 30% by 2030 in its Nationally Determined Contribution. One of the key mitigation actions that was proposed was the expansion in solar, wind and biomass energy production and other renewable energy, he stated.
Over the last four and half years, the Deputy Prime Minister indicated, Mauritius has made significant advances following Government’s strong strategic decisions to encourage the development of green energy. Overall, he said, the energy sector has undergone a remarkable transition over the last few years. In fact, the installed capacity for solar energy has progressed from 18 MW in 2014 to 95 MW and is set to increase to about 160 MW by 2020, and solar energy is expected to account for about 8 % contribution to the electricity mix by 2020, he remarked.
In addition, Mr Collendavelloo pointed out that the most momentous development in the renewable energy sector was the creation of the International Solar Alliance at COP 21 regrouping solar resource countries between the tropic of cancer and the tropic of Capricorn, for the production of energy and electricity, in which Mauritius is an active participant. Mauritius also plays a key role in the International Renewable Energy Agency, which has provided assistance in the elaboration of the Roadmap and on strategies related to renewable energies, he said.
Measures implemented by Government to promote green energy include: the introduction of fiscal incentives with simplified procedures for approval of renewal energies projects; the setting up of the Mauritius Renewable Energy agency; and, the elaboration of the project ‘Accelerating the Transformational Shift to a Low-Carbon Economy’ to the Green Climate Fund in 2015, earning Mauritius a grant of USD 28 million. The grant will finance the installation of battery energy storage system to absorb up to 185 MW of renewable energy, a smart grid, installation of 300 V mini-grids at Agalega and a total of 25 MW rooftop solar PV for households, buildings of public institutions and the preparation of a National Grid Code.
Moreover, the Deputy Prime Minister pointed out that now one wind farm has been set up in Mauritius and eight new solar farms are operational and two others due to be completed by next year. Additionally, he stated, over 2 500 rooftop solar systems have been installed in large commercial and residential buildings as well as cooperatives and SMEs. Other key initiatives include the installation of four MW battery storage that will be increased to 18 MW by 2020 in order to increase integration of renewable energy in the grid and the installation of 10 000 solar panels (among which 1000 have been installed) under the Home Solar Projects introduced in 2017, on houses of low-income families, who will benefit from 50 kWh per month of free electricity for a period of 20 years.
The Deputy Prime Minister also spoke of other projects in the pipeline namely: a Waste to Energy plant project with 1 000 tons of waste daily; upgrading of Sans Soucis dam to increase power generation by 3 Gwh; setting up of a 1 MW Solar PV Park at Grenade in Rodrigues; and, utilisation of cane trash together with bagasse for electricity production.
The Renewable Energy Roadmap 2030 charts the way for the development of Renewable Energies technologies, diversifying the electricity mix of Mauritius and adopting cleaner sources of energy. It provides significant information on short and long-term investment opportunities in renewable energy namely solar, biomass, waste-to-energy, onshore wind, hydro, offshore wind and wave.
The Roadmap has been prepared after consultations with a large number of stakeholders from public institutions, the private sector and NGOs, along with the assistance of the International Renewable Energy Agency, the United Nations Development Programme, and l’Agence Francaise de Developpement, amongst others.
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