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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Renewable Energy: Training Workshop On Project Financing And Facilitation In AIS Region

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A training workshop focusing on renewable energy project financing and facilitation in the Atlantic, Indian Ocean and South China Seas (AIS) region, was held, on Monday, at the Intercontinental Hotel in Balaclava. The Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mr Georges Pierre Lesjongard, delivered his address at the opening ceremony.

The workshop, organised by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), will contribute to enhancing the capacities of local players in the AIS region as well as Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in structuring renewable energy project financing deals while increasing the number of projects.

In his keynote address, Minister Lesjongard expressed appreciation to the IRENA for the assistance provided for the materialisation of the workshop while emphasising that it is playing a leading role in energy transformation as a centre of excellence for knowledge and innovation. With its 168 members, including Mauritius and the European Union, he stated, the IRENA is a global voice for renewable energy, a network hub and a source of advice and support for countries.

Speaking on the high vulnerability of SIDS and similar countries to the effects of climate change and its adverse impacts on socio-economic development, the Minister noted that they are the ones which are mainly hit. On this score, the Energy Minister elaborated that Mauritius is implementing a series of measures and projects to meet its Nationally Determined Contribution pledges made at the COP 26.

Training Workshop On Project Financing And Facilitation In AIS Region

He reiterated the objective of Government in accelerating the green energy transition by reducing the country’s green house gas emissions by 40% by 2030. “As such, we are committed to move away from fossil fuels, by phasing out the use of coal by 2030 and increasing the contribution of renewable energy in its electricity mix to 60% by 2030”, he said.

Government, added the Minister, has been closely collaborating with the IRENA to achieve these targets through three projects, namely the implementation of a roadmap for marine resource development in the country prepared by IRENA in 2015; the implementation of the home solar project on 10 000 houses in 2017 involving 1kw rooftop photovoltaic systems, on houses under the social tariff whereby the customers monthly benefit from 50kwh electricity free of charge over a period of 20 years; and the setting up of a solarcity simulator to assist homes, businesses and local authorities in evaluating the prospects for electricity generation using rooftop-mounted solar photovoltaic.

Minister Lesjongard also indicated that the IRENA has developed the solarcity simulator for the region of Port Louis and training has been provided in February 2022 to various stakeholders including staff of the Ministry, MARENA, Central Electricity Board, University of Mauritius and participants from the private sector.

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