The Carbon Neutral Industrial Sector Renewable Energy (CNIS RE) Scheme was launched, yesterday in EBENE, by the Central Electricity Board (CEB) with the aim to provide a viable option for industrial companies to invest in renewable energy power generation, especially solar and wind, for their own consumption.
The Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mr Georges Pierre Lesjongard, the Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, the Officer-In-Charge of the CEB, Mr Rajden Chowdharry, the Chairman of the Mauritius Export Association (MEXA), Mr Arif Currimjee, and other personalities were present at the launching ceremony.
In his address, Minister Lesjongard highlighted that the CNIS RE scheme represents a landmark achievement in the renewable energy sector. He expressed appreciation as regards the collaboration between his Ministry, the CEB, the MEXA and the Association of Mauritian Manufacturers for the formulation of the scheme. This scheme, he reminded, is aligned with Government’s green energy transition and the objective of attaining 60% of renewables in the local electricity mix by 2030.
Speaking about the features of the CNIS RE scheme, the Minister indicated that it will provide industrial customers with a viable option to mitigate the impact of electricity tariff increases not only in the present but also in the future. According to him, it will also allow industries to switch to the use of sustainable and clean energy enabling them to improve their carbon footprint and enhancing the marketing of their respective products. Under the present phase of the scheme, he pointed out, the CEB plans to integrate a total cumulated capacity of 100 megawatt of renewable energy facilities into the national grid.
Furthermore, Minister Lesjongard informed that in case of any review in tariff, the typical structure of the unbundled time-of-use tariff will as far as possible be maintained to preserve the differentials of the running charge rates. He added that companies will be able to generate renewable energy up to 150% of their annual electricity requirements, while excess energy production will be purchased by the CEB at a rate of Rs 1.86 per kilowatt-hour during the four initial years of the operation of the facility. Minister Lesjongard also called upon industries to benefit from these reliefs and incentives offered in order to initiate their projects before June 2023.
As for Minister Bholah, he observed that the scheme will help manufacturers produce their own electricity as well as feed the surplus, at an attractive rate, to the national electricity grid, thereby increasing their profit margin. He emphasised that the industrial sector, being amongst the main energy consumers by accounting for around 28 % of the total energy consumed, will benefit from the scheme as it will pave the way for an accelerated uptake of clean and renewable energy on a larger scale.
He reaffirmed that his Ministry, motivated by the imperative to strike the right equilibrium between the economic, environmental and social needs of the country is leaving no stone unturned to build a solid foundation for sustainable and green industrial development in Mauritius.
The Officer-In-Charge of the CEB expressed optimism as regards this new scheme which is aligned with Government’s objective of attaining carbon neutrality, while MEXA’s Chairman commended the public-private collaboration for the conceptualisation of the scheme.