En Moman Avek Prezidan-New law to spur interests in clean energy projects


President Michel speaking during the En Moman Avek Prezidan programmePresident James Michel made this announcement in the En Moman Avek Prezidan interview on SBC TV yesterday evening.

Mr Michel said the law is expected to encourage more investment from Seychellois and other businesses in projects geared towards renewable energy development.

“The government has already removed all taxes on equipment for renewable energy development but this is only one component of the development process and we have to look at other incentives to encourage businesses to direct their investments in that area,” the President said.

Mr Michel noted that there will be various areas to explore for business investments related to renewable energy development and one such possibility is in a wind turbine maintenance business for instance with many other possibilities to come.

It is to be recalled that once the wind turbines will be in place and the project is fully operational it will contribute around 11% of electricity to PUC’s grid system.

Asked if consumers will see a reduction in their electricity tariffs, Mr Michel pointed out that this in itself will not bring about any difference as its savings will be minimal compared to what PUC is spending to generate electricity.

He also pointed out that with the rate of development PUC will have to invest in more generators to produce electricity to meet the country’s increasing demand.

But he noted that as we continue to develop renewable energy which would gradually replace energy produced by fossil fuel and the cost of producing renewable energy becomes less expensive, this will be possible in the long term.

With the installation of the first wind turbine earlier this month thus getting the wind energy project started on Mahe, with a similar one being planned for La Digue, Mr Michel said: “I believe we should all be happy and proud that we are heading in the right direction to develop renewable and clean energy which will be very beneficial for our country.”

He pointed out that the project underway is very close to his heart and for which he has personally pushed for because “I believe in renewable and clean energy and that Seychelles can become an example for the world”.

Mr Michel noted that the donation of the turbines and their installation – all free of charge – is an exceptionally great opportunity to get the project started but added that this is only the beginning because already talks have started with other countries and organisations to explore ways to together develop solar energy which could help meet our energy needs so as to further reduce our dependency on fossil fuel and cut down on the country’s expenses.

“I believe the project is a very good one which has been well planned as it has been under study for some two years and it has received the approval and green light of local partners and stakeholders and today I am really satisfied and proud that it is off the ground,” said the President.

Mr Michel said we should always focus on the future and find ways to remain relevant with time and the development taking place in the world.

“The United Nations is stressing  on the need for the world to focus its attention on developing renewable energy which would help mitigate some of the negative effects of climate change,” added the President .

He also pointed out that with the continued volatility in the price of oil which is affecting many world economies, the possibility of stocks running out, it is therefore best that we start focusing on using a renewable and clean energy which will always be available at no cost.

“The only thing we need is the necessary equipment to tap this energy,” said Mr Michel, adding that Seychelles as a small island state is doing its part to advance the idea of developing the use of clean energy and thus making its contribution to help stop the further deterioration of the ozone layer leading to climate change which affects small islands first, the coasts and the planet itself as a whole.

Mr Michel noted that the principal obstacle to the development of renewable energy is the high cost to install the necessary equipment.

He noted that the project underway here is costing around US $28 million for the wind turbines.

The President added that solar panels, which are also energy solutions for the future, are also very expensive. But he expressed optimism that the prices will gradually go down as more companies invest in developing these equipments as demand for them will increase.

He noted that we should watch out for and seize the opportunities to invest in and develop the use of this energy here.

“I believe if today we think of what it will cost to invest in developing this form of energy, we will forget the future. But as a nation we have planned and are always planning for the future,” he stressed.

With regard to developing a similar project on La Digue, Mr Michel said a lot of work has been carried out and is still ongoing in that various partners will be involved in developing  different components of the project.