Seychelles: Innovating for energy independence

As the country seeks to shed dependence on imported oil products, a key challenge for the Seychelles is to develop its renewable energy potential in a sustainable way. Energy and electricity master plans are being proposed.

Despite an almost universal access to electricity, the island-state of the Seychelles relies almost entirely on fossil fuels to meet its energy needs, with some 4% of the GDP used entirely for the generation of electricity.

There is also a suppressed electricity demand: large individual loads that have been waiting for their connection until the new 33 kV network is built. Such are the hotels in the south of the island of Mahé, which run off-grid on diesel generators as auto-producers.

An energy roadmap will allow Government to institute changes in energy management

The Seychelles Energy Commission has called upon the TAF team to assist in laying the foundations for an energy and electricity masterplan, with a view to attain the target to increase the proportion of renewable energy supply to 15% of the national energy mix by 2030. HCL’s SE4All TAF experts have produced the outline of an energy roadmap with given timeframes and activities aiming to institute the necessary changes to energy management, and keep up with developments on the ground.

Innovative solutions are being explored to address the islands’ specificities

The effort is to integrate fast-developing changes of the energy landscape into the islands’ energy management -geography being in itself a challenge.
From a macroeconomic level, there is an interesting prospect for renewables, as all electricity in the country is generated by diesel, which impacts on the price. Cross-subsidies between high and low users and between electricity and water and sewage further complicate the situation.
Interesting technical solutions are being sought in floating solar and battery storage for grid stabilisation purposes.

The Seychelles Government is promoting sustainable development of the energy sector, focusing on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and thereby reducing dependence on oil to increase energy security.

Photo credit: Seychelles Energy Commission (SEC)

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