Panafrican News Agency

Mauritius launches “Renewable Energy Roadmap 2030” for its electricity sector

Ebene, Mauritius (PANA) – ene, Mauritius (PANA) – Mauritian Energy and Public Utilities minister Ivan Collendavelloo on Tuesday launched the “Renewable Energy Roadmap 2030” for the electricity sector aiming to enable the optimum production of energy from renewable resources and ensuring a transition to greener and cleaner energy.
The launch of the renewable energy programme demonstrates “the Mauritian government’s firm determination to encourage the development of green energy”,  he said, recalling the government’s pledge at the COP 21 in 2015  to reduce the island’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 said.

Over the last four and half years, “Mauritius has made significant advances in the development of green energy,” Mr.Collendavelloo said. “Overall, the energy sector has undergone a remarkable transition over the last few years.”

According to the minister, the installed capacity for solar energy has progressed from 18 MW in 2014 to 95 MW, and this is set to increase to about 160 MW by 2020 while solar energy is expected to account for about 8 % contribution to the electricity mix by 2020.

Mr Collendavelloo said Mauritius also plays a key role in the International Renewable Energy Agency, which has provided assistance in elaboration of the Roadmap and on strategies related to renewable energies.

He recalled the numerous measures implemented by the Mauritian government to promote green energy. These 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 US$28 million.  

The Minister said 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.

He indicated that 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, 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 1,000 have been installed) under the Home Solar Projects introduced in 2017, on houses of low-income families, which will benefit from 50 kWh per month of free electricity for a period of 20 years.

Regarding other projects that are in the pipeline, he mentioned, a Waste to Energy plant project with 1 000 tons of waste daily; upgrading of a dam to increase power generation by 3 Gwh; setting up of a 1 MW Solar PV Park in Rodrigues; and, utilisation of cane trash together with bagasse for electricity production.

One government official said that 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.

-0- PANA NA/AR 21Aug2019