UNDP assists Mauritius to improve Energy Efficiency, Conservation and the production of Renewable Energy

photovoltaic renewable energy sources

UNDP’s ‘Removal of Barriers to Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservation in Buildings in Mauritius’ project commenced implementation in 2008. The aim of this project, funded under the ‘Climate Change Mitigation’ focal area of the GEF is to reduce GHG emissions sustainably through a transformation of the building energy efficiency market for existing and new buildings. The project, which focuses on market barriers in all three areas of a building’s energy use; building fabric, equipment, and consumer behaviour is executed by the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities with technical support from UNDP.

Highlights

  • A new Energy Efficiency Bill prepared
  • A new Building Control Act co financed and technically supported by Agence Francaise de Developpement
  • In 2011, 40 engineers from public and private sector were trained in the Mauritius Building Energy Audit Tools (MBEAT)

The Environment Analyst states “Over the past decade, energy prices have soared worldwide, leading to an increased awareness of the importance of energy efficiency measures, products and services, particularly in relation to buildings (which arguably are responsible for two-thirds of the electricity demand). Barriers existed in a number of interrelated market sectors such as; policy, finance, business management, information and awareness and Technology.

A new ‘Energy Efficiency Bill’, prepared by UNDP was promulgated in 2011 and the Energy Efficiency Management Office was set up under the aegis of the parent Ministry as an Enforcing Agency. The functions of the Office include developing and implementing strategies, programmes and action plans, for efficient use of energy, establishing energy consumption standards, and formulating and recommending innovative financing schemes for energy efficiency projects.

In addition, a new Building Control Act was prepared under the project, co-financed and technically supported by the Agence Francaise de Developpement and was promulgated in 2012. This exciting new piece of legislation replaces an outdated Buildings Act which was developed in 1919 and consolidates the project’s goal of reducing GHG emissions by reinforcing the legal, regulatory and market environment and strengthening institutional, administrative and technical capacities to promote the utilization of energy-efficient technologies in buildings and in industry. The legislation was also accompanied by a ‘Building Code for Energy Efficiency’ further promoting ‘Green Building’ in Mauritus. In addition, an Energy Audit Management Scheme (EAMS) was been developed together with ‘Energy Efficient Design’ guidebooks to guide the construction of residential and non-residential buildings.

In 2011, 40 engineers from public and private sector were trained in the Mauritius Building Energy Audit Tool (MBEAT); a software which analyses energy consumption based on the parameters of a non-industrial building and further gives you recommendations for improving the efficiency of the building. Based on the success of this activity, UNDP assisted Mauritius in seeking and obtaining funding from the SIDS DOCK mechanism in 2012 to train a further 50 engineers from public and private sector as energy auditors for industrial processes and machinery.

A new software has been developed which allows industries to not only generate information on their energy savings but also cost savings and Greenhouse Gas savings for their proposed energy efficiency measures. The collaboration and engagement of the private sector contributed to the success of this project and the trained auditors have already used their unique skills to benefit their participating companies.

Small Independent Power Producers has expressed their satisfaction in the sense that the project success was overwhelming with the initial allocation of 2MW used up much before the anticipated period. In late 2011, the Government extended the allocation to 5MW.

With the collaboration of the Danish Energy Regulatory Authority, a Grid Code and Feed-in Tarrifs were developed with individuals and companies now producing and contributing towards renewable energy (mainly photovoltaic and wind) on the island. UNDP has since supported the Government of Mauritius in developing a follow-on project related to Photovoltaic energy.