About 26 policy makers from 10 island-States, mostly from the Indian Ocean, are participating in a capacity development workshop on fossil fuel and renewable energy (FFRE) transition policies for the Indian Ocean and African Small Island Developing States (SIDS) at Domaine Les Pailles, near Port-Louis.
Speaking at the workshop which began on Monday, Mauritian Energy Minister Rashid Beebeejaun, stressed that Mauritius is a small island that relies on fossil fuel like all other SIDS.
“Fossil fuel will stay here for another 50 years because using less polluting alternatives are very costly,” he observed.
According to him, more research in the field of renewable energy is a must so as to make renewable energy more affordable and reliable.
Also speaking, the chairman of the Maurice Ile Durable (MID) Commission, Osman Mahomed, said Mauritius has worked hard to maintain its electricity consumption despite reliance on fossil fuel which has increased over the years.
He recalled that there is a MID Levy imposed of petroleum products and coal. “This measure has been applauded by the International Monetary Fund and the latter has qualified Mauritius as a pioneer in the use of green taxes.”
According to Statistics Mauritius, petroleum products and coal account for about 85 per cent of the total primary energy requirement of the island.
Locally available sources made up of bagasse, hydro, wind, landfill gas, photovoltaic and fuel-wood supplied the remaining 15 per cent.
The workshop runs until Friday.