Renewable energy is and has been a growing topic throughout the past few years. We all know by now that it is important that Seychelles works hard towards achieving its goal of increasing its production of energy through renewable resources by a considerable amount in the near future.
It is likely that you have heard about the solar energy project being implemented in Seychelles. You may have overheard conversations about it or seen it on TV. You may know somebody who has a PV panel on their roof or even be in possession of one yourself. My point is that it’s all about energy from the sun! Few know that there are other resources out there, the earth is full of potential renewables just waiting to be put to good use.
Other forms of renewable energy include; wind, tidal, wave, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass and others. So all we have to do is pick the most suitable one available to Seychelles and start using it. Right? Well not exactly. It is a great deal more complicated than that but we are trying. Bear in mind that we wouldn’t put so much effort into it if it was not that important (so help save energy). Obviously tidal and wave energy would be our best choices apart from solar and wind considering our environment offers abundant establishment opportunities.
Despite its benefits, renewable energy development and installation is not cheap. Maintenance as well adds up onto the cost creating a barrier. But let’s say we had the funding and could afford to invest in this new technology. Would we?
We want to make sure that we’re investing in what needs to be a successful project. At the moment the idea is still too new to consider. Marine renewables technology is still being tested and we cannot afford to put money into something that may fall apart along the way or may just not be cost effective or efficient. Furthermore it must also be reliable in withstanding the environment. For example, rough seas, salinity, ocean current, depth pressure, biological growth and floating debris are all threats to the prosperity of such a project.
For these reasons we haven’t really adopted tides or waves as a source of energy (yet). We are just as concerned with the good state of our ocean as we are with clean energy. However, don’t think that Seychelles doesn’t get any energy from the sea.
The eight wind turbines located near Mahe supply an input of 8 percent of Mahe’s electricity demand reducing fossil fuel dependency. The wind powering the turbines is offshore wind that comes from the sea, in terms that land reclamation is also part of the Blue Economy concept. Therefore even without direct contact the sea, the Blue Economy proves to have a diverse range of benefits to the population of the Seychelles’ islands.
Written by Nikita Rennie