March 5 is International Energy Efficiency day! | 06 March 2017
What exactly is energy efficiency and why is Seychelles pushing for it?
Most of the Small Island Developing States (Sids) are heavily reliant on fossil fuels for generation of electricity. Seychelles is no exception.
The government of Seychelles has taken several initiatives in the past few years through the Department of Energy and Seychelles Energy Commission (Sec) to introduce various guidelines and actions to implement the energy policy. This will allow Seychelles to put concrete measures and initiatives in terms of promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency in the country as a national priority.
Seychelles aims to diversify its energy supply, reaching a target of 5% and 15% share of renewable energy in the electricity generation mix by 2020 and 2030 respectively. The energy policy is based on historical, existing and projected energy demand and supply, and proposes key changes to the institutional and regulatory framework for the energy sector in the country. Renewable energy and energy efficiency are the twin pillars for sustainable energy development. In November 2015, the Sec with the support of GOS-UNDP-GEF Resource Efficiency project recommended new policy measures exclusively for Energy Efficiency to the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (MEECC).
What is energy efficiency?
Energy efficiency is an approach to manage the energy consumption. It is “using less energy to do same work”. For example, a LED bulb of 6 -8 W can give the same luminance as a 60 W Incandescent bulb by using less energy (electricity) for the same work and hence LED bulb is considered more energy efficient.
So when you replace an appliance or choose to buy an energy efficient appliance, such as refrigerator, washing machine, or air conditioner or even your gadgets for computer or music system, the new appliance will provide the same service but uses less energy.
This results in you saving money on your energy bill, and reduces the amount of greenhouse gases going into atmosphere. According to the initial baseline survey (2016), households account for 30% of electricity consumption in Seychelles, the key results of the baseline study are as follows:
10% of the households surveyed have plans to increase their AC capacity, and another 9% will adopt AC, within the next five years (which leads to significant increase in electricity consumption. Almost 61% of households uses electric water heaters which account for 20% of the electricity used; whereas the penetration rate of solar water heaters is only 4.5% (although these are far more energy efficient and use renewable source, the sun which is totally free!)
With regards to electricity consumption by lights, incandescent lights account for 46% and fluorescent lights for 49%. LEDs (the most efficient lights) account for only 0.87% out of total lights used by households.
As seen from the results of the baseline survey, it is evident that there is an immediate need to adopt energy efficiency practices to reduce consumption of electricity. Becoming energy efficient is simple, but investing in energy efficiency appliances has a high cost which acts as a main barrier. To limit this barrier the Ministry of Finance, Trade and Economic Planning (MoFTEP), in partnership with the MEECC and SEC (Seychelles Energy Commission), is offering the SEEREP loan, a financial incentive scheme to support households and SMEs. The loan has a very low interest rate of 5% which allows for a higher return of investment and aims to support a rapid adoption of energy efficient and renewable technologies.
Why do I need to become energy efficient?
Energy efficiency allows you to SAVE the planet while saving your money! When you are taking proactive energy efficiency actions you are directly helping Seychelles in improving energy security and reducing the demand for imported fossil fuels.
Energy efficiency also creates jobs and training opportunities for the population. According to figures documented by IRENA (2016) worldwide employment in green energy grew by 5% in 2015 to 8.1 million jobs (See chart below). The slump in oil prices that began in the late 2015 eliminated an estimated 350,000 oil industry jobs across the planet. GOING GREEN is really the best approach for not only the economy of Seychelles but to our pockets as well.
Did you know?
In Seychelles, many jobs have already been created in the energy efficiency sector and soon there will be more. There are two energy efficient technology service providers, about 9 solar water heater suppliers in Seychelles at the moment and different level of skilled and semi-skilled labours would be required in the future as we go for more projects in new technologies which can include but not limited to installers of SWH system, welders, teachers, technicians and supervisors. There are also affiliated posts, in the field of policy making, project management, consultancy works and technical advisors. There has been an increase in the number of shops selling energy efficient technologies, as organisations set up energy related strategies and department to address issues related to it. There are opportunities for many more people to become involved in the jobs market as a participant or an entrepreneur.