An exciting people-centred energy transition is underway in Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands off East Africa in the Indian Ocean. Spearheaded by the Seychelles Energy Commission, the PV democratisation 2.0 project is the recipient of the Climate Investment Platform's Thomas Jensen Energy Transition Award. The project will support households in Seychelles access clean, emission-free solar energy through a socially innovative communal approach.
Like many other small island developing states (SIDS), Seychelles faces extremely high and fluctuating power costs resulting from dependency on mineral oil products for power generation and fuel for transportation. The current record high surges in power prices, driven by shortages in Asia and Europe, leave small islands like Seychelles extremely vulnerable to price volatility. Any fluctuation in crude oil prices poses a significant threat to economic development. High fuels costs have often led to a massive drain of hard currency from the economy and made electricity unaffordable for households and businesses.
Ambitious Climate Targets
According to the World Bank, Seychelles has a 100% electrification rate. The current electricity system is supplying power reliably to the population; however, it is oil-dependent, thus making it incompatible with future sustainable economic development. With this in mind, the Government of Seychelles is accelerating progress towards energy transition through Seychelles' 100% Renewable Energy Strategy (SeyRES 100), which furthers the recently updated NDC submitted by the country ahead of COP26. The updated NDC makes a 2030 commitment to modernize the entire electricity sector through increased electricity generation from renewable sources.
The PV democratisation 2.0 project aims to increase access to solar PV to households who cannot afford a rooftop PV system, access a low-cost loan, or have a roof that is not conducive to installing a PV system. The project will create a financial vehicle for these consumers to own PV systems through a communal approach. The Government of Seychelles will identify large rooftops suitable for PV installation. Consumers can then buy a share of the system and pay it back by monthly installments through electricity bills or other mechanisms.
Meeting the ambitious 2030 agenda requires a paradigm shift from the traditional way of doing things. UNDP is committed to help countries achieve a fair and fast energy transition by investing in technologies that allow countries to substitute fossil fuels. Through the Climate Investment Platform, UNDP is supporting the Seychelles Energy Commission's initiative to make the adoption of renewable energy accessible to the population that would otherwise not be able to afford to do so. The technical assistance received through the Climate Investment Platform's SIDS Call for Proposals will support elements such as pre-feasibility studies, assessment of business models, and financial structure. The project from Seychelles is one of ten projects selected by the Climate Investment Platform.