Minister Didier Dogley during his opening address Credit: UNDP Seychelles
The training workshop, which had been designed in part as an information and education session on energy efficiency lending, took place on the 6th and 7th December, 2016, at the Savoy Resort.
Commercial banks and the financial institutions’ role are fundamental in supporting Seychelles achieve its goal of becoming energy efficient. Their active involvement that is mainly to provide loans to finance energy projects and programmes, is key to the long-term growth and development of the energy efficiency and renewable energy technology market in the country.
The training session was launched by the Principal Secretary of Energy and Climate Change, Mr Wills Agricole. It was attended by representatives of commercial banks, including the Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB), Barclays Bank of Seychelles, Bank of Baroda, Seychelles Commercial Bank, Bank of Ceylon and Nouvobanq. There were also participants from the Government bank, the Development Bank of Seychelles. In particular, the loan officers formed the bulk of the banks’ representatives who attended the training.
The aim of the training was to build the capacity and raise awareness about energy efficiency among the local financial institutions and reduce barriers within the banking system that may hinder energy efficiency lending and identify actions to mainstream energy efficiency lending in the banking sector.
Training participants also benefitted from a training manual developed through the GOS-UNDP-GEF Resource Efficiency Project. The manual has been designed to provide the local banks with user-friendly methods to evaluate risks and assess opportunities for energy efficiency investments.
The training took place over two days, allowing the banks to send a first cohort of their staff in groups of two.
The training workshop culminated with a business-to-Business (B2B) Energy Efficiency Networking event on the evening of December 7, at the Savoy Resort. The aim of the B2B event is to provide a networking platform and further foster relations between various players within the energy efficiency and renewable technology sector.
To open the event, there was a presentation by Ms Elaine Ernesta, the GOS-UNDP-GEF Resource Efficiency Project Manager, about her project, after which the Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change was invited to deliver the opening address in which he noted that Seychelles like other small island states relies heavily on imported fossil fuel for its primary energy supply.
“Our fuel import bill is around 10% of our national annual budget. Such heavy reliance is not sustainable, especially given the continued rapid growth of our economy and volatile nature of the price of fossil fuel on the world market. Furthermore, the high price of energy produced from imported fossil fuel puts small countries like Seychelles at a competitive disadvantage,” said the Minister.
“It is for this reason and others that Seychelles is seeking to develop its energy efficiency sector as we are doing for renewable energy,” he stressed, adding that energy efficiency can have multiple benefits both at the national and global level.
The Minister’s opening address was followed by presentations of energy efficiency case studies from various guest speakers such as TropicFood, MCB, Energy Solutions Seychelles, Mr Ramani from Samsung and Chalet D’Anse Forbans.
Souvenir photo of the first cohort of trainees Credit: UNDP Seychelles
The participants of the B2B energy efficiency networking event. Credit: UNDP Seychelles