Background: In order to minimize the vulnerability of energy supplies to external factors, the use of indigenously available renewable resources for energy generation is necessary. This will in turn reduce the pressure on the country's balance of payments. The Maldives has the potential for utilization of renewable resources such as solar, wind and biomass for energy needs. Pilot projects have been carried out and hybridized systems consisting of combinations of solar, wind, diesel and LPG have shown success in electricity generation that could be implemented nationwide. Commercial use of renewable energy is presently limited to solar photovoltaic panels in navigation lights and telecommunication systems. Solar thermal is used in some tourist resorts for water heating and lighting.
The renewable energy sector does face some barriers such as lack of capacities for development, design, implementation and management lack of financing available for renewable energy applications and renewable energy based livelihood projects, as well as lack of information on the options available in renewable energy technology, renewable energy statistics and research.
- Promote the use of economically viable, environment friendly, renewable energy resources.
- Seek concessionary external financing to improve the economic feasibility for renewable energy projects that are environmentally and socially sound.
Assist the development of the renewable energy sector in increasing its contribution to the energy supply through the introduction of incentives and/or access to green funding that will attract the participation of the private sector.
Strategies from related policies:
Introduce incentives to power sector developers by facilitating access to grants, concessional finance and duty concessions to ensure affordability of energy supply(Policy: Provide all citizens with access to affordable and reliable supply of electricity)
Achievement: In order to attract relatively large financing from the private sector, a number of enabling policy measures have already been implemented and others are being planned. These include the elimination of import duty for RE products. As a result, local and international private investors have developed interest in the energy sector of Maldives and are willing to invest in RE projects. We receive Expression of Interests from several parties for our call for proposals to invest in RE projects in the Maldives. Moreover, a large amount of unnecessary cost is avoided from the ongoing RE projects. Also, some private businesses such as resort operators are now moving to use RE technology for lighting purpose etc. It is clear that the duty exemption regulation is a great advantage for these local businesses as well as foreign investors. We hope to involve individual customers and households in RE business once the net metering scheme is implemented.
Stakeholders : The Ministry of Environment and Energy (MEE) and Maldives Energy Authority(MEA) as the policy and regulatory bodies for the energy sector had successfully put their effort to include RE products in the duty exemption list of the Export Import Regulation. The Ministry of Economic Development (MED) is the organisation responsible for managing the economic activities including foreign imports and exports. The Maldives Customs Service is the implementing body of the export and import regulation. Zero duty will be charged for RE products once the authorized letter from MEA is submitted to Maldives Customs Services, stating that the particular products are using RE.
Research and Development
- Facilitate and provide research opportunities for local and international parties through the establishment of a platform for information exchange on potential renewable energy resources and their application within the country.
- Facilitate research and development and technology transfer programs to aid the exchange of innovative ideas
Achievement: To carry out an RE project, research is done on the targeted RE resource. So far, detailed survey has been done on solar resources by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to carry out the "Project for Clean Energy Promotion in Male'", which involves the use of solar photovoltaic technology for power generation. Also a feasibility study has been done to carry out the demonstration project "deep sea water cooling" which will utilize sea water from a depth of 800 meters for cooling the buildings. Planned researches include:
- Renewable energy integration plan for Male' region
- Feasibility study for submarine interconnection in Male' region
- Renewable energy resource mapping and geo spatial planning
Demonstration Projects: Demonstration projects are being carried out. At present there are two projects whose feasibility studies are conducted and physical implementation will soon start. They are:-
- Deep sea water cooling project by HITACHI(Japan) and Male' Water and Sewarage Company Pvt Ltd (MWSC, Maldives)
- Solar grid connected system for small island-Includes installation of 40kW solar pv in a small island in greater Male' region.
Information and Education
strategies: 1. Promote renewable energy sources and their advantages to the public through mass media, workshops and through a renewable energy information centre
Achievement: In RE projects where the private sector is involved, the Ministry of Environment and Energy continues to give advice and guidance in implementation and other necessary support.
Information provision is going on continuously both to the public and to the private parties through conferences, workshops, TV programs and individual meetings.