A two-day validation workshop on Market Assessment of Solar PV Small-Scale Distributed Generation (SSDG) under the Global Environment Facility project entitled "Removal of Barriers to Solar PV Power Generation" in Mauritius, Rodrigues and Outer Islands, opened yesterday at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel in Baie aux Tortues, Balaclava.
The Minister of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms, Mr Eddy Boissézon, the Acting General Manager of the Central Electricity Board (CEB), Mr M. Shamshir Mukoon, and other personalities were present on that occasion.
In his address, Minister Boissézon highlighted that a detailed assessment of the status and impacts of PV penetration, to-date, in Mauritius and Outer Islands, is a crucial step prior towards designing and launching new schemes in the future as well as to ensure a sound, logical, planned and sustainable development of the sector. He expressed optimism that the workshop will help in revealing ways to better unlock the potential of using PV to achieve the goal of producing clean renewable energy in the country.
The Minister also pointed out that electricity consumption in Mauritius has been increasing with the advent of technology and rapid economic growth. It is fundamental for the country to increase its electricity production through sustainable methods so as to keep pace with the new economic challenges and sustainable development, he said. Mauritius needs to make use of efficient and low cost production energy and decrease the use of non renewable energy so as to increase the renewable energy proportion of the country's production mix to 35% by 2025, he indicated.
Furthermore, Minister Boissézon emphasised Government's commitment in seeking new ways to change the energy production and utilisation model, thus contributing to modern energy systems for the promotion of harmonious development of energy, the economy and sustainable environment.
For his part, CEB's Acting General Manager, Mr Mukoon, recalled that following the launch, in 2009, of the Long Term Energy Strategy 2009-2025, Government in 2010, with the support of United Nations Development Programme, initiated the SSDG Scheme with a view to help Mauritius achieve the target 2% of electricity generation from on-grid PV by 2025.
The Scheme, Mr Mukoon underlined, has assisted some 250 households, schools and public institutions in the installation of small-scale (<50kW) PV systems and wind turbines through the provision of attractive feed-in tariffs. Subsequently, the CEB launched several other schemes such as Net Metering Phase I and Net Metering Phase II, Rooftop PV SSDG, and large scale PV Farm amongst others, he added.
About the Workshop
The objectives are to present the results of studies, analyses and surveys conducted by the Consultant Deloitte (Mauritius & India) to local stakeholders. The Consultant was hired to carry out a series of in-depth studies on the local PV market segment, its current status, the numerous gaps and obstacles (legal, financial, environmental), its potential for development and the concrete, evidence-based measures that would need to be implemented in order to enable this new sub-sector to launch in the most favourable and sustainable conditions.
The participants are taking stock of the progress made in this sector and the numerous challenges which need to be addressed. A brainstorming session will also be held which will enable the Consultant to finalise the reports; and, receive comments and inputs with respect to further studies, surveys and assessments which will be required in the future to obtain a fuller picture of the local PV market scenery.
Discussions are focusing on the following: survey of Solar PV Market; assessment of regulations applicable to Distributed Generation; design of Solar PV ownership model for different market segments; financial mechanisms and investment frameworks for Solar PV market development; and effective disposal of Solar PV wastes.