Gov’t working to increase solar power generation to 68MW

Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Technology Aminath Shauna has stated the Maldives will be generating 68MW of solar power by the end of the current term.

Speaking at the Viavethi Raajje conference, Minister Shauna said that solar energy systems in the Maldives were generating a total of 16MW of electricity when the current administration took office. The minister said the government has since installed solar energy systems to expand electricity generation to 36MW and that it will be further developed to 41MW to allow solar energy systems to contribute to 26% of electricity generation during peak demand.

Furthermore, Minister Shauna highlighted the importance of investing in renewable energy by highlighting that 10% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) goes to oil imports. She said that investing in renewable energy will reduce the expenditure and allow the country to retain much of its state income. She also said that renewable energy will reduce the electricity costs for households and that local councils have the opportunity to conduct their own projects to install solar energy systems on their islands.

In March, the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology signed the largest ever contract to develop solar energy systems in the country to build 11MW solar energy systems on six islands. The ministry contracted Malaysia-based Mega First Power Industries and Powerchina Huadong Engineering Corporation Limited to build solar energy systems on the islands.

Minister Shauna said it is the largest contract to establish solar energy systems in the country’s history under the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and the lowest rate ever received for such a model. She said the PPA rate has gone down from USD0.25 per kWh in 2011 to just USD0.98 per kWh and that estimated savings from this contract is expected to be around USD3 million per year.