World Energy Day 2021: Mauritius Aims To Decrease Greenhouse Gas Emissions By 40% By 2030

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World Energy Day 2021: Mauritius Aims To Decrease Greenhouse Gas Emissions By 40% By 2030
World Energy Day 2021: Mauritius Aims To Decrease Greenhouse Gas Emissions By 40% By 2030

Government’s energy policy is to encourage the use of renewable and clean energy so as to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels and decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, stated the Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mr Georges Pierre Lesjongard, today, at the launching of a workshop on the occasion of World Energy day 2021 held at Caudan Arts Centre, in Port-Louis.

On this occasion, two new schemes, namely the Central Electricity Board (CEB) Renewable Energy Scheme for Charging of Electric Vehicles, and the CEB Renewable Energy Scheme for Public Enterprises, were launched. An exhibition, depicting the evolution of energy in Mauritius, is also being held at the Caudan Arts Centre.

Minister Lesjongard recalled that budget 2021/2022 has also laid emphasis on the penetration of renewable energy adding that green energy would be a new pillar of the economy.  He pointed out that 60 % of our country’s energy needs will be produced from green sources by 2030 and that the use of coal will also be totally phased out by 2030.

Speaking about electricity access in Mauritius, he indicated that 99.6% of the population already has access to electricity and that the country is in the process of diversifying its sources of energy. In 2020, 76.1% of electricity was generated from non-renewable sources, while 23.9% was generated from renewable sources. It is foreseen that in the next 30 years, renewable power generation technologies will be capable to deliver reliable and affordable energy to meet the needs of users around the globe, he stated.

He underlined that several initiatives are being taken to bring about this transition to clean energy. Hence, the CEB had undertaken an exercise to gauge the market in terms of investment in renewable technologies. As regards private sector investment in the field of Renewable Energy, the CEB has launched two requests for proposal, namely for the setting up of a Wind Farm project of capacity 10 MW to 30 MW, and the setting up of three Solar Farms of 10 Mw each, he added.

Other projects which are being implemented for the generation of solar energy include a floating Photovoltaic (PV) at Tamarind Falls and an 8 MW Solar Farm at Henrietta. Furthermore, a dedicated Renewable Energy department has been created at the CEB and staffed with the relevant skills and competencies to allow for the achievement of the Renewable Energy objectives and targets.

CEB Renewable Schemes

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As regards the CEB Renewable Scheme for charging of electric vehicles, Minister Lesjongard underlined that Government had approved the implementation of a 10-year Roadmap for the integration of electric vehicles in Mauritius.  He indicated that it is expected that the number of electric cars would shoot up to 8,400 by 2025 and 26,000 by 2030 on a medium growth scenario.

Lauding the benefits of electric vehicles, he recalled that Government has provided several incentives to promote the uptake of electric vehicles.  Besides existing tax relief, practically no customs duty, the Development Bank of Mauritius will provide a loan, up to an amount of Rs 100,000 at a low rate of 2% for solar kits for domestic purposes, he said.

He highlighted that the CEB has also worked out a tariff whereby the customer would benefit from charging his car at specific times of the day and night during off peak times. The time-of-use tariff will enable the individual to charge his electric car in the night at a rate which will be 60% lower than the peak (evening) rate and thus by charging his car between 21 hours and four hours, the consumer is charged only Rs 4.00 per KWh as opposed to Rs 10.00 if he charges the car between 18 hours and 21 hours, he observed.

The second scheme launched, namely the CEB Renewable Scheme for public enterprises, has been devised following the measure announced in the budget 2021/22 regarding greenfield projects from public sector entities. This Scheme will allow Government entities to install PV installations and sell the electricity produced hence enabling them to contribute to the Renewable Energy movement in Mauritius and to the target of 60% of clean energy by 2030, he said.

Minister Lesjongard rejoiced that the two schemes will contribute towards the country’s strategy to decarbonise its energy sector and build the new pole of green energy industry.

World Energy Day 2021

World Energy Day 2021, observed on 22 October, is celebrated for the first time in Mauritius. It is linked with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7.

The objective of the Day is to ensure the affordability of a safe and sustainable energy for all by identifying the need for developing national policies to reflect on a shared energy perspective. The theme chosen this year is ‘Your efforts count. Act now’. The theme lays emphasis on the fact that energy users need to act responsibly and use energy judiciously and avoid any wastage.