Friday, May 25, 2007

Mauritius’ Renewable Energy Future

Mauritius’ policy of increasing renewable energy utilization should serve as an initiative that can be passed on to other countries that are poor in petrochemicals but rich in biodiversity.

By: Vanessa Uy

The Mauritius government program of promoting the increased utilization of renewable energy sources like solar power and biomass was driven in part by the constant rise of petrol prices over the past few years. Also, government revenue that can be saved from reduced dependence on imported petrol could be put to better use in improving the social development programs in Mauritius. As opposed to just using the said funds to allow Middle-Eastern despots to continually build-up their own military might. Contributing further to the instability in the region.

Parts of the sugarcane that’s left over after sugar production is a good source of biomass that Mauritius has in abundance. By using this biomass as a “feed” for biogas digesters can provide 25% more energy than by burning the same biomass directly in an incinerator-type power plant. Currently, 20% of Mauritius’ electricity is generated from renewable biomass systems. Also the Mauritius government are finding ways to make photovoltaic/solar powered electricity production fiscally viable whether in large industrial installations or just small domestic set-ups used to meet typical household needs. A lot is riding on the success on this program because Mauritius doesn’t have local petrol, and a 100% renewable energy source could allow the nation to develop without increasing the effects of global warming.

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