Mauritius pushing for 35% renewable energy by 2025
Spurred by substantial private sector investment and backed by additional government spending, Mauritius is hoping to generate 35% of its energy needs through renewable sources by 2025. The country has already made significant inroads in this direction, with various wind farms, waste-to-energy plants, and solar photovoltaic farms already in play. Other avenues of renewable energy identified by the authorities for development include bagasse (sugar can fibrous residue) and cold deep sea water for air conditioning.
Executive Chairman of the Maurice Ile Durable (MID) Fund Osman Mahomed says that under the MID Policy Strategy Action Plan (MIDPSAP) Mauritius will see more than US$170 million gross in investment into renewable energy by the private sector. He also says that the Government has committed itself to adding US$8 million annually to this sum for the next 20 years.
Focus on schools and education
According to Mohamed the MID Fund has been financially backing the establishment of solar photovoltaic projects in schools around the country, having already assisted 52 schools in this way. He adds that currently the fund is engaged in photovoltaic projects in three secondary schools.
“Sustainability begins with education,” says the executive. “Investing in school does not only lead to environmental and economic benefits but also teaches students at a young age how to produce electricity and how to use it optimally.”
Mandate of the MID Fund
The primary objective of the MID Fund is to implement the MIDSAP, a plan that aims to transition the country to renewable energy sources and promote energy conservation.
“The transition will be achieved through a four-pronged approach, that is, increasing focus on energy efficiency and renewable, new energy systems, democratisation and decentralisation”, says Mohamed.
Wind turbines and solar water heaters
Other projects backed by the MID Fund have been the installation of wind turbines on the island of Rodrigues. Mohamed says these now supply 10% of the island’s electricity needs.
The fund has also provided finances for 18% of Mauritian families to buy solar water heaters for their homes. Mauritius has a population of over 1.3 million.