CDM Opportunities and Challenges in Mauritius
These developments offer opportunities for Mauritius to leverage carbon finance for promoting sustainable development through the deployment of environmentally sound technologies.
For instance, because of the high dependence on imported fossil fuel, the grid in Mauritius is quite ‘dirty’, with an emission factor of approximately 0.95 tCO2e/MWh. This suggests that there is much scope for renewable energy technologies such as solar power and wind. There is also scope for energy efficiency measures that will reduce the use of electricity. More efficient capture of methane gas at landfill for continued flaring or the generation of electricity also represents a viable carbon project. More specific project concepts are outlined below.
However, a small nation like Mauritius is constrained by economies of scale (i.e. the size of carbon projects), and the current low capacity to engage with carbon markets, especially the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The transport sector also remains a big challenge, especially since there are currently no CDM approved methodologies for fuel switching using processed biofuels: Mauritius has, in principle, the capacity to replace 25% of its gasoline with bioethanol. The small land area of Mauritius also limits the potential for forestry projects.
The CDM Context in Mauritius
To date, there are no registered CDM projects in Mauritius. We may expect this situation to change in the near future. The following projects are being developed:
- Deployment of one million CFLs by the Central Electricity Board (http://cebweb.intnet.mu/ceb/save_energy/se.asp);
- Improved capture of methane gas at landfill for use in electricity generation
Several projects that could also benefit from carbon finance have been recently announced:
- In its recent 2008/2009 Budget Speech, the government of Mauritius has announced the following projects that could leverage carbon finance: (i) deployment of approximately 20,000 solar hot water units by Dec 2009; (ii) Bus Modernization Programme; (iii) a 25-40 MW wind farm at Bigara; (iv) street lighting with energy efficient lamps; and (v) building the Highlands World Class City using energy efficiency measures and renewable energy (http://www.gov.mu/portal/site/MOFSite/menuitem.5b1d751c6156d7f4e0aad110a7b521ca/);
- A 25 MW wind farm in the South of Mauritius by Société Usinière Du Sud (SUDS);
There are also a host of small-scale projects that could claim carbon credits under the voluntary market.