Friday, June 21, 2013

Island states can lead in developing renewable energy

The Port Victoria wind farm was officially inaugurated by the President of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr. James Michel; H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State; and CEO of Masdar and Minister for Environment and Energy, Professor Rolph Payet this morning at Ile du Port. The Masdar Wind Energy Project was funded by the United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi government and was managed under the Abu Dhabi Fund.
Also present to witness the inauguration was the Vice President of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr. Danny Faure; Secretary General of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, among other dignitaries.
President Michel said that the project is an example to show that island states can take the lead in developing renewable energy and ensuring the mitigation of climate change as well as economically the expenditure of importing fuel for Seychelles.
“The inauguration of the Port Victoria wind farm showcases the excellent relations that exist between Abu Dhabi and Seychelles. It is a concrete example of what two countries that share common ideas, when they work together, they can bring about positive results. This project will launch Seychelles into the 21st century as far as renewable energy is concerned, because as I have always said in the past, we have to move forward into the future and the future is renewable energy. The future is where we can harness the forces of nature to be able to give us the energy that we need instead of using other energy resources that will have an effect on climate change,” President Michel said while being interviewed by local and international press after touring the turbines and a small exhibition set up for this occasion.
H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber expressed his satisfaction and joint Seychelles in celebrating this auspicious moment of success. One that he said reflects Seychelles’ long-term commitment and determination to use renewable energy. “Renewable energy will help the Seychelles insulate itself from volatile fuel prices support its economic growth and strengthen its energy infrastructure. Today wind energy is supplying 8 percent of Mahe Island’s grid capacity and powering more than 2,100 homes with sustainable, clean energy. I can say with confidence that this project is delivering tremendous impact. The commitment by the Seychelles government to integrate renewable energy … is a testament to the country’s ability to adapt to a changing global economy,” said Dr. Al Jaber in his remarks.
For the successful completion of the 6 MW wind farm project found both on Ile du Port and Ile de Romainville, Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development has worked in closed collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Energy, Public Utilities Corporation, and the Seychelles Energy Commission.
“The world today needs an energy transformation, and it has to happen now, today at the eve of the 21st century. The 8 wind turbines entrenches the beginning of a turning point in Seychelles development. Its innovation lies not only in its form and shape, but also in its aeronautically-designed blades, able to sniff even the weakest breezes. They are a new addition to our landscape, beautiful structures in their own right. As magnificent pieces of engineering, their beauty also resonates very well with our sustainable development vision. As they stand proudly on our East Coast, we want to tell the world that even the smallest of nations can engage in this energy transformation,” said Professor Payet in his speech.
Following the inauguration of the Victoria Wind farm, H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber paid a courtesy call on President James Michel in the afternoon at State House. They discussed lengthily the strong bilateral cooperation and true friendship that exists between Seychelles and UAE, possibilities for diversification of the energy portfolio, and expanding the relationship between the two countries as well as the blue economy concept.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) .