Renewable energy: Make products more accessible to public, says Seychelles Energy Commission
The Seychelles Energy Commission is encouraging more businesses to provide the public with better opportunities to invest in renewable energy products, a top official said on Wednesday.
Currently, the Mauritius Commercial Bank is offering a green loan to improve energy consumption at home or for businesses to invest in sustainable practices.
Tony Imaduwa, CEO of the Commission, told SNA, “We need people involved in providing the public with renewable energy drive to be more proactive in making them accessible to potential clients.”
Imaduwa said that “this is what we wanted to happen from the beginning of setting up SEEREP. We are happy that commercial banks are finally coming on board in the venture. This shows there is a market for this type of products,” he added.
The Seychelles Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programme (SEEREP) was launched in 2014 to address financing barriers by allowing consumers to secure loans at 5 percent interest rate.
Through these loans, consumers would be able to appliances that are energy efficient, as well as receive financing to install photovoltaic equipment to produce their own energy under a financial rebate scheme.
Imadwua said that in spite of all the measures and facilities being made available “unfortunately, people are still slow on the uptake of the programme.”
He said that there are customers who prefer saving their own money to purchase these appliances instead of taking out the low interest loans but “I would say even though the programme has been slow, the idea behind is a good one.”
Imaduwa told SNA that work had begun to review the programme and determine the way forward and that a report has been submitted to the Ministry of Finance on their findings.
He said that finding alternative ways to make the funding available to customers are among the topics discussed.
“It would cost someone around SCR 80,000 ($6,085) to SCR 100,000 ($7,606) to install a basic PV system on an average house,” explained Imaduwa.
As renewable energy technologies become more affordable, they are increasingly becoming an economically viable way for island nations like the Seychelles to meet their energy production requirements and decrease the rising cost of imported fossil fuels.
The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and the government of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, have created a fund of $1.4 million to be used under this component of the project.