Cooling system for Victoria under discussion |27 April 2017
Promoting energy efficiency
A six-month feasibility study to assess the potential of having a centralised cooling system for Victoria has been conducted and the preliminary findings were discussed during a workshop yesterday morning.
The ‘Victoria District Cooling Feasibility Study’ was carried out by the GOS-UNDP-GEF Resource Efficiency project through consultancy with Atoll Energy, a French engineering construction and procurement company, to assess the potential of district cooling in Victoria using absorption technologies and waste-heat from the PUC generators.
“District Cooling” is a network for cooling distribution within a city with a central facility for cooling production. One of the advantages of district cooling is that it can be fuelled by waste-heat from power generation or industrial processes, using absorption chillers.
In Victoria, the cooling demand for air-conditioning and conservation is high, and heat resources are available from the PUC Roche Caiman power station and other industrial activities.
Addressing stakeholders present to listen and discuss the findings, the chief executive of Seychelles Energy Commission (SEC) Tony Imaduwa said the aim of exploring such a new and innovative technology is to support the government’s effort to adopt energy efficient technologies to reduce dependency on fossil fuel.
“Seychelles relies heavily on imported fossil fuel for its primary energy supply which is precarious and not sustainable especially with our rapid economic growth and the increasingly volatile nature of the price of fossil fuel on the world market,” Mr Imaduwa pointed out.
He said as the demand for energy continues to grow so does the burden on our economy and thus the reason among others Seychelles is looking to develop its energy efficiency sector as it is doing for its renewable energy sector.
“Energy efficiency can have multiple benefits nationally and globally. At the global level energy efficiency is widely recognised as the most cost effective solution in reducing rapid growth in energy demand and subsequently reducing energy consumption from fossil fuel therefore reducing global greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change. While nationally energy efficiency has the potential of reducing the country’s energy consumption which will in turn improve its energy security and subsequently reduce our demand of fossil fuel which will be a benefit to our economy,” Mr Imaduwa explained.
He noted that with a mandate to promote energy efficiency, the SEC is not only committed to developing the sector but also to explore new ways and means for Seychelles to become more resource efficient.
He said increasing our energy efficiency compliments our commitment to renewable energy.
Two consultants from Atoll Energy, Elena Barbizet and Thibault Loschetter, made different presentations on the “District Cooling” technologies and showed different videos of how it is set, its different benefits, the opportunities and challenges when moving towards adopting such a technology, among other related issues.
Mr Loschetter said Middle East countries have adopted the technology with Dubai being the world’s biggest example with a booming market for District Cooling technology while Mauritius is in the process of adopting the technology for its capital and in the Maldives a feasibility study has already been carried out.
Ms Barbizet said such an investment for Victoria will amount to an investment of some €20 million.
Mr Imaduwa said the study is only the first step and more profound studies and discussions are required before everything is finalised and validated.
But he stressed that at this stage whether adopting such a system is feasible or not is not the question but what is clear is that as a country we need to be more efficient in the way we use energy.
He went on to point out that it is important for Seychelles to consider and integrate, for the future, such a system in the plan to redevelop Victoria.
Mr Imaduwa added that once validated the findings will be presented to stakeholders for their inputs and further discussions.