Minister Joubert attends the International Solar Alliance Third Regional Ministerial Meeting for Africa Region virtually |27 August 2021
The International Solar Alliance (ISA) Third Regional Ministerial Meeting for Africa Region was held yesterday virtually and organised by the government of India.
Seychelles was represented by the Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change and Energy, Flavien Joubert, and the ISA National Focal Point for Seychelles, Wills Agricole.
The ISA is a treaty-based inter-governmental organisation working to create a global market system to tap the benefits of solar power and promote clean energy applications.
The primary objective of the alliance is to work for efficient consumption of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
The ISA was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former French president François Hollande in November 2015 to promote solar energy in 121 tropical countries.
Seychelles, being one of the senior-most in terms of ISA membership, takes great pride in being a founding member of ISA, which became a legal entity on December 6, 2017.
In the meeting, Seychelles reaffirmed its full support of the vision and mission of ISA: making solar energy available at an affordable rate, facilitating financing for solar energy, and promoting solar mini-grids.
Seychelles also strongly supports the ISA Strategic Plan for the next five years, the ISA Country Partnership Framework and the ‘One Sun, One World, One Grid’ initiative having a long-term vision and roadmap for interconnected solar energy infrastructure at global scale.
Minister Joubert informed the meeting that as a small island developing state, Seychelles has limited land resources but remain committed to finding innovative methods of sustainable development, for the benefit of the country and its people. Therefore, we are weighing up all the resources available to us in our ocean, and take informed choices on how to develop them for the benefits of the country.
He also said that Seychelles is fully aware that, despite having the technologies, the integration of renewable energy to the grid, in particular variable sources, is very challenging, even more so for isolated system such as those in small island countries, like Seychelles.
Renewable energy projects and targets
He continued by saying that we must explore the golden opportunity renewable energy presents for not only strengthening energy security but also for the provision of clean, affordable and sustainable energy to combat climate change. Therefore, Seychelles has endeavoured to clean its energy sector by accelerating the deployment of renewable energy and adoption of energy efficiency measures. In the last five years, Seychelles has installed a combined solar and wind installations of 15MW capacity. This has enabled us to achieve our renewable energy penetration target of 5% by 2021. Efforts will continue to strengthen our energy security by implementation of further energy efficiency measures and renewable energy installations to meet our 15% target by 2030 with the support of ISA.
Furthermore, he said that a contract has already been awarded for a Seychelles’ Marine Floating Solar PV project of 5 MW capacity which will be the first IPP project for Seychelles and on track to be the first utility-scale floating PV plant on marine environment in Africa. We are in the negotiation phase of the project agreements and we envisage commissioning in 2022.
ISA support and resources
He concluded by saying that Seychelles will need ISA’s assistance and resources in advocacy and analysis, capacity enhancement and technical support in exploring renewable energy programme assistance.
He mentioned that some of Seychelles’ immediate needs are scaling solar application for agricultural use which focuses on providing greater energy access and a sustainable irrigation solution to farmers through deployment of solar water pumping systems. Seychelles envisages to have increased use of off-grid solar technology across some of our outer islands which are essential to harness clean and affordable energy and transform the lives of hundreds of our people.