$1.77 million project for reducing energy use in island homes
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles government environment agencies and conservation NGOs met today to discuss ways to implement policy and spend UNDP-GEF funding for programmes promoting climate-resilient and resource-efficient technologies.
The total amount earmarked for this project, Seychelles Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programme, is $1.77 million from the United Nations Development Programme and World Bank's Global Environment Facility. It is expected to start in the first half of 2014 following its validation.
If the programme succeeds, Seychelles will significantly reduce the rate of electricity consumption and water usage in homes around the island archipelago, where 90,000 people live.
Focus is concentrated on the application of energy efficiency technologies particularly in buildings as well as behavioral change for consumers.
“This project is essential in our quest for Seychelles to be among the most energy efficient economy in the south-west Indian Ocean region not because it is nice to have but because it is an essential part of how Seychelles is going to compete in this global race, in terms of rebuilding our industrial base on renewable energy and efficient energy. This is all about competition. This is all about growing efficiency to approach the wider and growing economy,” said Wills Agricole, principal secretary for environment and energy in a speech to launch the discussions this morning.
“It is important to reflect on the impact energy has on our daily lives and our country in general. Without energy we cannot have good homes, good communities and development. It is for this reason that Seychelles has decided to transform its economy from one that depends on petroleum to one benefiting from modern, efficient, clean and renewable sources of energy. This transformation will remain challenging as the costs of renewable and technical barriers still limit our ability to disseminate widely such technologies.”
Roger Toussaint, programme administrator for the Seychelles Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programme (SEEREP) said the main objective of SEEREP is to encourage the adoption of energy-efficient home appliances, lighting consumables and solar water heaters in the domestic residential sector, made accessible to the public through an affordable finance from the commercial banks.
SEEREP is set to run for the next three years and is an initiative of the government of Seychelles, supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector investment arm of the World Bank Group.
The project is expected to provide immense benefits which the country will stand to gain from saving an estimated USD 30-40 million the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC) used to purchase fossil fuels.
(With editing by Sharon Uranie)