Mon, 23rd October 2017 | Updated Thursday 27 July 2017, 09:18:58    

Tackling climate change through energy efficient technologies

Seychelles Nation 01. 08. 2016 - In Seychelles, the environment is forefront in Seychellois mind. The Seychellois people take pride in keeping the green landscapes clean and minimum to no littering. We are proud of our seas and try our utmost to respect it.

However, minimum thought has been given to the Seychelles blue skies. One has minimum concern for the ozone layer; the carbon emissions being emitted by the people's daily usage of electricity at the office and at their homes.

Energy efficiency is a new way of life that embraces new technologies and requires behavioural change in the use of energy. It is seen as a keystone in reducing greenhouse gas emission and curbing climate change.

The yields from using energy efficiency technologies does not necessarily ripen as fast as that of renewable energy technologies – but it is just as important and rewarding.

To help increase the market penetration of energy-efficient technologies, products and services, and generate public-awareness on the benefits of energy efficiency, the government of Seychelles with the support of the UNDP-GEF in 2014 launched an ambitious project titled the 'Promotion and Up-scaling of climate-resilient, resource efficient technologies in a Tropical Island Context', known in short as the Resource Efficiency project . Not only is the project raising awareness on the need to adopt energy efficient technologies to mitigate climate change effect, but also allow for end users to cut cost on their utility bills, hence doubling the reward.

The project aims to allow for climate mitigation by paving the way for institutional frameworks, establishing energy efficiency policies and regulatory frameworks. In such an environmental focus country, the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (MEECC) has high interest and with the support of the project implementing partner Seychelles Energy Commission, initiated changes in energy policies and most importantly changed mind-set in people.

The Resource Efficiency project is financed with 1.7 million dollars by the Global Environment Fund. The fund is well budgeted for different outcomes including most importantly awareness and capacity building. These are crucial, as energy efficiency and renewable energy only became an entity of its own through the Energy Act 2012, and hence it is a new field of operation for electrical retailers and importers, service providers and technical, vocational trainings. The support to such will stem from the national policy action plan and key working partnerships from the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC), Seychelles Institute of Technology (Sit), Seychelles Bureau of Standards (SBS) and Customs. The project held four free workshops, introducing National Energy Management plans, and the attendees where well represented by both male and female.

One of the main barriers for home owners and even small businesses in investing in energy efficiency technologies is the high cost. The energy efficiency yields are difficult to document for many, compared to a wind farm and solar panel which a person may even get monetary return of investments from. This is an apt opportunity for banks, as they realise the opportunity in investment.

As such, the project has set the pace for financial support like the SEEREP. A subsidised loan made available by the Ministry of Finance, Trade and Blue Economy through a signed memorandum of understanding with all commercial banks of Seychelles for a low interest and flexible loan scheme known, which is available for both residents and small businesses operating in Seychelles, additional to the enabling financial incentive, the project has established VAT exemption for air condition units, refrigeration and washing machines hence lowering the price of energy efficient technologies in the country allowing the community to have more purchase power.

The advantages of promoting energy efficiency technologies in the country is that Seychellois people will minimise their utility burden but also reduce their carbon footprint, and strategically the cumulative total of all the energy conservation practices and efficient uses of energy may very well lead Seychelles towards minimising its 90% reliance on fossil fuels.

Accompanying the article are energy tips in the form of illustrations to help you reduce your energy usage at your home.

REfixed1

Source: Seychelles Nation @ http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=250418

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