The Minister responsible for Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment attends the 7th International Conference on Renewable Energy Sources and Energy Efficiency (RESEE2023)
The 7th International Conference on Renewable Energy Sources and Energy Efficiency (RESEE2023) organized by Ministry of Energy, Commerce, and Industry (MECI) of Cyprus, Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) took take place in Nicosia, Cyprus from 12th to 14th October 2023. It was attended mostly by Mediterranean and middle east countries, and island states like Seychelles, Comoros and Maldives were invited. The Minister for Agriculture Climate Change and Environment Mr Flavien Joubert represented Seychelles at the meeting.
Seychelles has been a member of IRENA since 2012 the organization provided support to the Seychelles delegate under its SIDS lighthouse initiative.
RESEE2023’s objective is to convene all relevant stakeholders in renewable energy and energy efficiency such as governments, policymakers, researchers, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), development partners, financing institutions, and private sectors to discuss strategies and foster partnerships to accelerate energy transition efforts in Cyprus and similar island economies. The
event also provides an opportunity for Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) like Seychelles to share best practices, lessons learned and opportunities to advance the deployment of renewables. Additionally, the event included discussions on decarbonizing the energy supply and reducing the environmental footprint of the United Nations Peacekeeping Missions as well as a competition to highlight the work of young researchers in sustainability and energy security.
Amongst the presentations made at the meeting, two topics are of immediate importance to Seychelles, these are Long Term Energy Scenarios (LTES) and also energy efficiency in buildings. LTES is a subject that is directly relevant to implementation of the Seychelles nationally determined contribution (NDC) under the UNFCCC Paris climate agreement. A tool that provides guidance on the best policy options for national energy planning, LTES is of his relevance at the current stage of development, where the conditions are being set for boosting renewable supply, improving conventional supply and transformation of transport sector. To design the right package to keep this momentum, Seychelles as need to have familiarity with LTES and the right human capacity. Already Seychelles has received some support for energy planning through the NDC partnership, but there is a notable capacity gap in locally available capacity. Following to this meeting, the ministry will engage with willing partners for capacity building this area, and also scenario planning. IRENA and entities such as the Cyprus institute have indicated their willingness to accompany the country in this effort.
Of equal importance to Seychelles is the issue of energy efficiency in building, a topic that all partners involved in climate and energy agree should feature more
prominently in the conversation as it has the potential to significantly bring down greenhouse gas emissions. Seychelles now is in need of better building codes as well as trained professionals in both government and the private sector who can work with local builders, property developers to apply measures necessary for improved energy efficiency. The ministry, through its program at mainstreaming climate in all economic sectors, is assisting the MLH to address these issues and seeking the right technical support. This RESEE meeting was one additional opportunity for contact with partners. We expect that with the support of IRENA and NDC partnership, Seychelles would be in a position very soon to confirm on the ground technical support for developing a roadmap as well as capacity building in this area.
In addition to the meeting, participants were able to visit the PROTEAS renewable energy and Poly Generation Facility in Limassol. This is a one of several European facilities researching measures to combine electricity and heat energy obtained from renewable sources. Novel reduced energy desalination plants are being trialed at the facility, as well as concentrated solar power for electricity and heat applications. An upcoming research topic under consideration is the application of floating solar PV in Cyprus and neighbouring countries. Seychelles will launch such a system in an island environment very soon and we intend to share with such partners our experience on its operation and its challenges.