Mauritius has to meet the challenge of having 35% of renewable energy by 2025, as outlined by the prime minister. The call now comes from the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Dr Rashid Beebejaun, addressing a workshop on the Energy Action Plan 2011-2025 yesterday.
Dr Beebeejaun recalled that changes in the energy sector are being felt as regards affordability, security and price, especially in the wake of the turmoil in Arab and North African countries and the recent calamity in Japan.
As such, the renewable energy programme for Mauritius should be addressed as soon as possible and a road map set up, he said. He underlined the need to master the technology relating to renewable energy and to develop skilled manpower.
The DPM also called for a change in the lifestyle of the population by adopting energy-saving measures, such as the use of energy-efficient equipment.
The demand side of energy has to be reduced and on this score government last year spent about Rs250 million on energy-saving projects, he said. Workshop discussions centered on the energy sector and challenges for 2011-2025, the demand for electricity from 2011 to 2025 and the current supply, and various action plans.
In light of the discussions, the Energy Action Plan will be updated before it is submitted to the European Union by the end of June.
The submission of the document is the condition this year for the disbursement of the fixed tranche of Rs1.4 billion under the General Budget Support Programme. The Action Plan for Energy forms part of the Long Term Energy Strategy 2009-2025.
Progress has been achieved in projects such as setting up wind farms, a gas-to-energy plant at Mare Chicose landfill site, the feed-in tariff for small power producers, the enactment of the Energy Efficiency Act, the preparation of building codes and an energy audit management scheme, among others.
The Draft Action Plan for Energy 2011-2025 is available on the website of the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities.