Mauritius (2012)

Degree of reliance on imported energy: 

<p>
Mauritius has no oil, natural gas or coal reserves and therefore exclusively depends on imported petroleum products to meet most of its energy requirement. In 2010, imported fossil fuels accounted for about 83.4% of total primary energy requirement.</p>

Main sources of Energy: 

<p>
Total installed electricity capacity (2009): 504 MW<br />
<br />
Power generation in the country is highly dependent on fossil fuels. In 2009, 79% of the electricity generation in Mauritius was from fuel oil (diesel and heavy fuel oil), kerosene (used exclusively at the 70 MW Nicolay gas turbine plant) and coal, with the rest of the energy mix provided by hydro (5%) and bagasse (pulpy residue left after the extraction of juice from sugar cane).<br />
<br />
For the same year, Mauritius Island had a nominal installed capacity of 442 MW with a total energy production of 2,274.1 GWh. While Rodrigues Island, on the other hand, had a nominal installed capacity of 11.5 MW that generated 31.5 GWh during 2009, with 95.9% of the electricity generated derived from fuel oil and the balance of 4.1% was provided by small wind farms.&nbsp; There is no electric utility on the Island of Agalega where the 300 inhabitants are supplied with electrical power using small diesel generators operating in three isolated mini-grids under the responsibility of the Outer Islands Development Corporation.<br />
<br />
Between 1999 and 2009, the renewable energy input has stagnated while the total energy requirement is steadily growing.<br />
<br />
Primary Energy Supply (2010)</p>
<ul>
<li>
Petroleum Products: 31.47%</li>
<li>
Coal: 29.2%</li>
<li>
Bagasse: 15.9%</li>
<li>
Kerosene: 9.3%</li>
<li>
Gasoline: 9%</li>
<li>
LPG: 4.5%</li>
<li>
Hydro: 0.63%</li>
</ul>

Country: 

Mauritius

Extent of the network: 

<p>
The main islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues, with a population of 37,774 in 2009, are fully connected to the Central Electricity Board electricity grid.</p>

Capacity concerns: 

<p>
As a fast-developing economy, Mauritius has to meet increasing energy demand, particularly in terms of peak electricity. In 2009, the peak demand attained 389 MW, representing an increase of 17% over the last 5 years. The peak occurs during summer with the difference in the maximum demands between summer and winter increasing from 25 MW in 2004 to 40 MW in 2008. This difference is due to the massive use of ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration during the summer months, particularly during the recent years that have been marked with high average temperatures and the construction boom in the residential, tourism and services sectors.<br />
<br />
Mauritius has the specificity of being an island state with fragile ecosystems. Its high population density and vulnerability to climate change add to the challenges facing it in terms of sustainability. The more so that it depends on imported fossil fuels and on a tourist industry with its main asset being the beauty of the island.</p>

Potential for Renewable Energy: 

<p>
The Government of Mauritius has been advocating a shift from conventional fossil fuels to renewable sources for a long time. The first ever power plant built in Mauritius was a small hydro power station at R&eacute;duit in 1906. Since then, despite the construction of 7 additional hydropower stations to date, ranging in installed capacities from 900 kW to 29 MW, the share of fossil fuels has been gradually increasing and has now become the major component in the energy mix for electricity generation. Production of electricity on a large scale from biomass (bagasse) started in the late 1950&rsquo;s when sugar factories came to the conclusion that rather than using bagasse for just producing process steam required for sugar crystallisation, they could first use high pressure steam to generate electricity and the resulting low pressure steam as process heat.<br />
<br />
With the continued increase in the prices of fossil fuels over the years, the Government decided to turn its attention to renewable energy sources (RES) (bagasse, hydro, solar and wind) with the adoption of the Bagasse Energy Development Plan in the 1990s. The implementation of this plan allowed for a significant increase in the share of bagasse in the generation of electricity. Consistent with this approach of promoting RES, the Government first installed wind turbines for electricity generation in the late 1980s. Unfortunately, those turbines rapidly fell prey to cyclones (hurricanes) and were destroyed. The Government has also renewed its interest in furthering the development of renewable energy and with 22% of its electricity already generated from RES (bagasse and hydro), Mauritius is an international leader in this field. However, most hydro resources have been tapped, while the potential increase in the use of bagasse and its generation efficiency are being pursued.<br />
<br />
<i><b>Biomass/biodiesel</b></i><br />
There is an annual technical potential of producing 1000 GWh of electricity from bagass, cane residues and other biomass by 2013 using current technology. With an ultimate technical annual potential of more than 3000 GWh in 20 years with new varieties of cane and Bagasse Integrated Gasification Combine Cycle turbines. Related ethanol production levels have to be determined according to the different scenarios.<br />
<br />
<i><b>Hydropower</b></i><br />
A technical potential of about 10MW of additional hydropower, particularly through micro-turbines and pico-turbines, is estimated.<br />
<br />
<i><b>Wind</b></i><br />
There is an inland wind power technical potential of between 60 and 140 MW. As well as a total technical potential, including offshore, of 250 MW by 2025, producing 550 GWh annually.<br />
<br />
<i><b>Solar</b></i><br />
According to available data from the Mauritius Meteorological Services (MMS), Mauritius, Rodrigues and Agalega enjoy a favourable solar climate with some 2,000 &ndash; 2,250 hours of sunshine annually and an average solar radiation of 5.4 kWh/m2/day. This very good solar potential was instrumental in establishing the rationale for the Government to initiate the solar water heater programme in 2008 under the Maurice Ile Durable (MID &ndash; The Mauritius Sustainable Island Fund, 2007). Encouraged by the positive response to date with solar water heaters, the next logical step has been for the Government to harness the country&rsquo;s solar potential for electricity generation from photovoltaics (PV). However, to date, the country has had only limited experience with grid-connected PV electricity generation.</p>

Potential for Energy Efficiency: 

<p>
The potential for energy efficiency improvement in different sectors is estimated broadly at between 20% and 40%. Over 3 years, at least one third of that potential can be apparently tapped with a pay-back of less than two years. A report has estimated investment in energy efficiency in the next 20 years at around USD 500 million with a net present value saving of around USD 670 million.</p>

Ownership: 

<p>
The Central Electricity Board (CEB), a parastatal body wholly owned by the Government and established in 1952, has responsibility under the Central Electricity Board Act of 25 January 1964 to &quot;prepare and carry out development schemes with the general object of promoting, coordinating and improving the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity&quot; in Mauritius. It presently generates approximately 46% of the country&#39;s total power requirements from its 4 thermal power stations and 9 hydroelectric plants, including the fully automated 350 kW hydropower station at La Nicoli&egrave;re that was recently commissioned. The remaining 54% is purchased from independent power producers (IPPs) using a combination of bagasse and imported coal for generation.</p>

Structure / extent of competition: 

<p>
CEB is a parastatal body owned by the Government and is the vertically integrated utility responsible for the generation,&nbsp; transmission, distribution and sale of electricity in Mauritius&nbsp; and Rodrigues island. It Operates 4 thermal power stations (medium and low speed diesel engines), Gas turbines and 9&nbsp; hydroelectric plants. In Rodrigues it operates 2 thermal power stations and two wind farms.</p>

Existence of an energy framework and programmes to promote sustainable energy: 

<p>
The Government adopted an &ldquo;Outline of the Energy Policy 2007-2025&rdquo; in April 2007 and followed it up in December 2008 with the adoption of a &ldquo;Long Term Energy Strategy 2009-2025&rdquo;. The strategy framework covers all sectors, including electricity generation, transportation, petroleum products, renewable energy and energy efficiency. In the renewable energy sector, the thrust is on the promotion of technologies, with a focus on distributed and decentralised systems, not only to increase access to modern energy services, but also to enhance energy security. In this context, the challenge under the &ldquo;Long Term Energy Strategy 2009-2025&rdquo; is now to increase the renewable energy share to 35% by 2025, with the application of technologies to harness the various renewable energy resources that the country is endowed with. To achieve this objective, the Government has determined grid-connected photovoltaics (PV) for electricity generation as one of the viable components that would enter into a renewable energy mix. Accordingly, the &ldquo;Long Term Energy Strategy 2009-2025&rdquo; establishes targets for PV electricity generation at 1% by 2015, and 2% by 2025.<br />
<br />
Prior to that, legislation to regulate the electricity sector was introduced in 2005 with the adoption of the Utility Regulatory Authority Act; the Regulatory Authority, as approved under the Act, is expected to be established soon. The Government hired a consultancy firm to formulate a Renewable Energy Master Plan in support of the Long Term Energy Strategy. Preliminary indications (in July 2010) from the consultants formulating the master plan were that solar PV had a role to play in the renewable energy mix of the country for on-grid electricity generation and that the forecasted contribution of 2% by 2025, as outlined in the Long Term Energy Strategy, can be met in the presence of a conducive environment for private sector investment.<br />
<br />
In addition, the Prime Minister of Mauritius enunciated, in 2007, the Maurice Ile Durable (MID &ndash; Mauritius Sustainable Island) vision with one of its objectives to make Mauritius less dependent on fossil fuels through increased utilization of renewable energy and the promotion of energy efficency. To date, in the energy sector, the associated MID fund (derived partially from a token levy on all imported sources of energy) has initiated and implemented a vast programme of targeted subsidies for energy efficient lighting, both in the private and public sectors, and household solar water heaters. [1] The introduction of subsidies on solar-water heaters and on Compact Fluorescent Lamps were landmark measures for the new MID venture. A Ministry of Renewable Energy and Public Utilities was instituted.</p>

Current energy debates or legislation: 

<p>
The Government is planning to proceed with the concept of &ldquo;eco-friendly&rdquo; buildings in order to maximise energy efficiency and promote the use of renewable energy.&nbsp;&nbsp; It is in this direction that the Government is reviewing the Building Act of 1919 to incorporate this concept.&nbsp; Moreover, the Danish Energy Management Consultants, in collaboration with UNDP/GEF and the French Development Agency (ADF) are currently working to prepare the New Building Control Bill as well as the Energy Efficiency Building Regulations and the Code for Energy Efficiency and Compliance Mechanisms.</p>

Major energy studies: 

<p>
Mauritius is an active member of AFREPREN/FWD, a registered Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) based in Nairobi, Kenya. They have vast expertise on energy in East and Southern Africa and some experience in West and North Africa. AFREPREN/FWD brings together African energy practitioners, professionals, researchers, investors and policy makers from 19 African countries, who have a long-term interest in the development of cleaner energy services for Africa as well as energy research/capacity building and the attendant policy-making process.</p>

Role of government: 

<p>
<i><b>Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities (MEPU)</b></i><br />
<br />
The MEPU is the central body responsible for formulating and implementing the Government&rsquo;s policy in the field of energy. In the specific area of renewable energy, the Ministry is entrusted with formulating policy, plans and programmes for the development and utilisation of renewable energy sources and to make proposals for appropriate legislation/regulations that would promote such activities.&nbsp; The Central Electricity Board (The CEB), responsible for generation (in conjunction with IPPs), transmission, distribution and sale of electricity, operates under the general purview of the MEPU. The ministry is also entrusted with the formulation and implementation of energy efficiency measures in the country and, as such, is directly responsible for implementing the on-going UNDP-GEF project entitled &ldquo;Removal of Barriers to Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservation in Buildings&rdquo;.</p>

Government agencies in sustainable energy: 

<p>
The Mauritius Research Council (MRC, http://www.mrc.org.mu/)&nbsp;&nbsp; is the apex body to promote and coordinate Government investment in research. Energy efficiency and renewable energy are current priority areas of research for the MRC.</p>

Energy planning procedures: 

<p>
<i><b>UNDP-GEF Project: Removal of Barriers to Solar PV Power Generation in Mauritius, Rodrigues and the Outer Islands.</b></i><br />
<br />
The project&rsquo;s goal is to reduce green house gas emissions by creating a favourable legal, regulatory and market environment. The project aims to build the countries institutional, administrative and technical capacities, while also providing complementary financial incentives to promote the utilisation of the favourable solar radiation potential for photovoltaic (PV) gridconnected electricity generation. This will assist the Government of Mauritius in addressing the various barriers stopping renewable energy development, with a view to achieving at least 2% of grid-connected electricity generation from PV by 2025, as outlined in the &ldquo;Long Term Energy Strategy 2009-2025&rdquo;. In the business as usual scenario, the share of PV grid-connected electricity generation within the same time-frame might remain negligible, similar to what it is at the present time.<br />
<br />
The 20MW Waste-to-Energy Project and the 25MW wind farm, originally expected to start operating in 2009, are behind schedule. In fact, the Waste-to-Energy Project has now been down-graded to 7MW only and its implementation is uncertain.</p>

Energy regulator Date of creation: 

<p>
The Utility Regulatory Authority Act was adopted in 2005 with the Regulatory Authority, as approved under the Act, expected to be established soon. The Regulatory Authority will include regulating third party access to the grid.<br />
<br />
However, currently the sector is regulated by The Central Electricity Board (CEB), a parastatal body wholly owned by the Government and established in 1952.</p>

Degree of independence: 

<p>
The CEB board is appointed by the Minister of Public Utilities.</p>

Regulatory framework for sustainable energy: 

<p>
<i><b>Grid Code</b></i><br />
To facilitate small-scale grid electricity generation and in order to &ldquo;democratise&rdquo; the electricity sector to enable the participation of small-scale independent power producers (IPPs), the Government, with the collaboration of UNDP and the Central Electricity Board, formulated in April 2009 a Grid Code aimed at simplifying regulations governing grid-connected distributed generation. The Grid Code allows for the integration of renewable energy generating technologies (limited to Hydro, PV and Wind) on the low voltage grid (230/410V). In addition, it puts in place a formal, transparent and non-discriminatory framework for the operation of the power sector. It also defines the rights and obligations of each party as regards to the planning, operation and management of the grid while establishing the standards of performance, safety and reliability required for the operation of the power system.<br />
<br />
The Grid Code for small IPPs&nbsp; generating up to 50 kW is now being implemented. There is yet no Grid Code formulated for capacities higher than 50 kW or for connection to the Medium Voltage grid (6.6 kV and 22 kV) and High Voltage grid (66 kV). However, Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) have been signed with private power producers on a case by case basis. With regard to the accompanying feed-in tariffs for small-scale distributed generation less than 50 kW, these also have been developed and are available to small IPPs.<br />
<br />
<i><b>Maurice Ile Durable (MID) Levy</b></i><br />
The MID levy is very close to being a tax on CO2 emission. This is a tax on fossil fuels established in July 2008 to finance clean energy projects, subsidising compact fluorescent lamps and solar water heaters. In 2011 the MID levy was doubled to Rs 0.30 (or US $0.01) per kg for coal and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), as well as Rs 0.30 per litre for other petroleum products. These taxes are essentially passed forward into the price of fuels.<br />
<br />
<i><b>Feed-in Tariffs</b></i><br />
Mauritius has, over a period of nearly two decades, developed a feed-in pricing policy on co-generated power, which has been the key driver for increased production of bagasse co-generated power. The development of a feed-in tariff in Mauritius was as a result of close collaboration between policy makers, the sugar industry and other stakeholders. The Government played a key role as the &ldquo;honest broker&rdquo; in the negotiation of power purchase agreements and the setting of feed-in tariff levels. This reduced the lengthy and sometimes acrimonious tariff negotiations between investors and the national utility. The development of tariffs and policies were funded by the Government of Mauritius. The Feed-in Tariffs specify the price at which the Central Electricity Board (CEB), the single buyer, should purchase electricity from Independent Power Producers in the sugar industry on various power modes.</p>

Regulatory roles: 

<p>
N/A</p>

Role of government department in energy regulation: 

<p>
In the specific area of renewable energy, MEPU is entrusted with formulating policy, plans and programmes for the development and utilisation of renewable energy sources and to make proposals for appropriate legislation/regulations that would promote such activities.</p>

Regulatory barriers: 

<p>
The Utility Regulation Act should be promulgated and an independent Regulator should be installed. Previous CEB contracts with IPPs should be renegotiated with due consideration given to the incentives and taxes related to sustainable energy and fossil fuels respectively. Thus far, CEB has been acting as judge and party, with the ability to sign contracts on unclear basis with unsolicited bidders, leaving little room for transparency. This practice should discontinue whilst ensuring that the CEB is not pushed into financial instability.<br />
<br />
An Energy Management Office (EMO), responsible for facilitating the implementation of the national energy policy, should be set up inorder to:</p>
<ul>
<li>
Separating policy-making from implementation;</li>
<li>
Definie distinct roles for the policy-maker, the CEB, the Regulator and the EMO;</li>
<li>
Create an action plan for the EMO to be funded, amongst others, from the tax imposed on unsustainable energy.</li>
</ul>

References: 

GEF (2011): Mauritius: Removal of Barriers to Solar PV Power Generation in Mauritius, Rodrigues and the Outer Islands. Available at: <a href="http://www.thegef.org/gef/node/4586">http://www.thegef.org/gef/node/4586... [Acessed 7th September 2013]<br />
<br />
Elahee, Khalil (2011) &lsquo;The challenges of the potential options to meet the peak electricity demand in Mauritius&rsquo;. Journal of Energy in Southern Africa, Volume 22, number 3, pg 8 - 15. Available at: <a href="http://www.erc.uct.ac.za/jesa/volume22/22-3elahee.pdf">http://www.erc.uc... 7th September 2013]<br />
<br />
Elahee, Mohammad Khalil (2011) &lsquo;Sustainable energy policy for small-island developing state: Mauritius&rsquo; Utilities Policy 19 71-79. Available at: <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0957178710000573">http... 7th September 2013]<br />
<br />
Parry, Ian (2011): Reforming the Tax System to Promote Environmental Objectives An Application to Mauritius, IMF Working Paper. Available at: <a href="http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2011/wp11124.pdf">http://www.imf.... 7th September 2013]<br />
<br />
Businessmega.mu (2011): Energy Efficiency Bill in Progress in Mauritius. Available at: <a href="http://business.mega.mu/2011/07/13/energy-efficiency-bill-progress-mauri... 7th September 2013]<br />
<br />
AFREPEN/FWD (2009): The Role of Feed-in Tariff Policy in Renewable Energy Development in Developing Countries. Available at: <a href="http://www.e-parl.net/eparliament/pdf/090911FITDevCountries.pdf">www.e-p... 7th September 2013]<br />
<br />
Mauritius Research Council (2011): National Trend Analysis &ndash; Energy. Available at: <a href="http://www.mrc.org.mu/Projects/NRFE/NRFE%20WP2%20wp3.pdf">http://www.mrc... 7th September 2013]<br />
<br />
CEB (2008): Power Generation in Mauritius. Available at: <a href="http://www.nrec.mn/data/uploads/Nom%20setguul%20xicheel/Water/badrakh%20... 7th September 2013]<br />
<br />
AFREPREN/FWD (2011) About Us. Available at: <a href="http://www.afrepren.org/about.htm">http://www.afrepren.org/about.htm</a>... 7th September 2013]