Renewable Energy

Ever since the oil crises of the 1970’s and 1980’s, security of supply has been an important issue in the formulation of National Energy Policies across the world. Climate change has also been high on the Global agenda, since the Rio Summit of 1992. 

Although Seychelles has no significant impact on global CO2 emissions and no obligation to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, its 100% reliance on imported fossil fuels was brought to question during the 2008 oil price surge which showed that dependence on one type of fuel is risky and can shake the economy. Being a small island developing state (SIDS), Seychelles does not have much influence on the development of oil prices but Seychelles can decrease its dependence on oil. With this in mind, Seychelles has since diversified into wind and solar energy and is looking at other ways to generate electricity from renewable energy sources. 

For more information on the renewable energy sector.

 Wind power 

On 18th June 2013, Seychelles commissioned its first wind farm, a first for a small Indian Ocean Island State. The US$28 million project was financed through a grant from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and implemented by MASDAR in collaboration with the Seychelles Public Utilities Company (PUC) and Seychelles Energy Commission (SEC).

The plant consists of 8 wind turbines covering a land area of 27.2 hectares across 2 reclaimed islands off the East coast of Mahé – 5 turbines on Ile Romainville and 3 on Ile du Port. The 750kW wind turbines are supplied by Unison Company, a South Korean turbine manufacturer and contractor. Before the wind farm began operations, the Seychelles was entirely dependent on imported fossil fuels for its energy generation. The integration of clean, sustainable wind energy is helping Seychelles decrease its power outages, address its long-term energy security and reduce its carbon footprint. The project should produce nearly 7GWh of clean energy per year, displacing approximately 10,000 tonnes of CO2 annually and powers more than 2,100 homes.

The Port Victoria Wind Power Project is a major step toward meeting the targets of the Seychelles energy policy, namely to produce 15% of electricity generation from renewable energy sources by 2030. The 6MW wind farm represents over 8% of Mahé Island’s grid capacity, supplying approximately 3% of total energy which translate to a reduction of about 1.5 million litres of imported fuel per year.

 Total energy output (kW) from the Port Victoria Wind Farm

Solar power

In 2009, the Government of Seychelles launched its “Zero Carbon Emission” concept and piloted a project together with the German Energy Agency GmbH (DENA) www.renewables-made-in-germany.com to demonstrate the viability of roof top solar photovoltaic (PV) installation in Seychelles. A total of 10kWp was installed by Sea & Sun Technology GmbH www.sea-sun-tech.com/energy/dena.html on 5 households, 1 Government Institution and a private business. 

The 2012 Energy Act opened the market for the sale of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in Seychelles and to date there are at least 6 suppliers/installers in Seychelles offering a range of panels and inverters ( PV supplier). 

By 2013, the Government of Seychelles began to implement a GEF funded Project “Promoting Grid Connected Rooftop Photovoltaic systems in Seychelles” (aka the PV project). The objective of this PV Project is to increase

the use of grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems as a sustainable means of generating electricity in selected main islands and smaller islands of the Seychelles, with a focus on small-scale producers who are already connected to the national electricity grid. The project target is to install 1.3 MW of grid-connected rooftop PV by the end of 2016.

By the end of 2014, there were 62 solar photovoltaic installations connected to the National Grid on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue amounting to 904kW capacity. An additional 68kW of power is generated from 13 known grid-independent systems including 25kW at the Aldabra Atoll Research Station, 7.5kW in the Aride Nature Reserve, 2kW in the Curieuse National Marine Park and 5Kw on Cerf Island.

 Annual trend in PV  installation capacity (kW)

 

Waste-to-Energy

According to the Seychelles Sustainable Development Strategy (2012-2020), Seychelles generates on average 48,000 tons of waste per year. This is expected to increase by 40% in the next 10 years which is of great concern given the limited availability of land and lack of capacity to deal with waste, particularly hazardous waste.

One proposal being considered is that of waste-to-energy plant as part of an Integrated Waste Recovery System. This project is expected to launch for tender in 2015.