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Seychelles seeing German companies promoting solar energy

Seychelles seeing German companies promoting solar energy ( Two German companies, e3plan GmbH (Kiel) and Sea&Sun Technology (Trappenkamp), have started the construction of solar power plants in the Republic of the Seychelles, adding to the country's growing use of renewable energy. The photovoltaic systems have already been delivered to seven locations on two islands, with five systems being installed successfully.

The latest installation was unveiled at the L’Habitation hotel on Cerf Island on Monday, December 10, 2012 at a ceremony attended by the Principal Secretary for Finance, Trade and Investment, Steve Fanny; Alain de Commarmond deputizing for Environment and Energy Principal Secretary Wills Agricole; the Chief Executive of the Seychelles Energy Commission, Andrew Jean-Louis; Germany's Honorary Consul in Seychelles, Kerstin Henri; and several businessmen from Mahe and Praslin.

The ceremony marked the last phase of the Solar Roofs Project Seychelles, part of a worldwide Solar Roofs Program coordinated by the German Energy Agency (Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH - DENA). Within the framework of the program, demonstration projects have started in different countries around the world.

The program is co-financed by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, under an initiative called “Renewables – Made in Germany,” which was launched by the German Parliament in 2002 to contribute to climate protection by stimulating the acceptance and use of renewable energy around the world.
Speaking at the ceremony, Ms. Henri hailed the new avenue of cooperation between the two countries. She noted that in his budget address in December, Finance, Trade, and Investment Minister Pierre Laporte said that renewable energy is no longer an option, but a “must” for Seychelles.

Mr. Fanny welcomed the German company's pioneering role in promoting the use of solar energy in Seychelles. The use of clean energy will mean less carbon footprints, he said.

Seychelles depends heavily on imported fossil fuels which supply almost 100 percent of domestic energy use. It is estimated that if all 21,000 households in Seychelles are equipped with energy efficiency solutions, this would cut use of oil by 15%.

The sun, abundant all year round, has great potential as a renewable energy. The Seychelles can offer solar plant operations an average of 7 hours of sunshine a day, the companies said.

The 14 room L'Habitation Hotel received an installation of a 5 Kw system, as did another facility, the Seychelles Institute of Technology (SIT). Five households received installations that will each produce 2 Kw of electricity.

“I have been waiting for such an opportunity," Dennis Wardhorner, owner of the Hotel L'Habitation on Cerf Island, said of the project, which allows him to test the benefits and returns of a photovoltaic system for one year with no costs.

Jean Rassool, Headmaster of the SIT, said the project provided an opportunity “to convince our youth of the need to exploit solar energy in the Seychelles.”

Two companies from Schleswig-Holstein in Germany are expected to continue the project under the brand “" and will continue to develop the market for renewable energies for small island states.


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