The Government of Mauritius has embarked on an ambitious programme of increasing the share of renewable energy on the national grid to 35%. The Central Electricity Board has been entrusted with the execution of the UNDP/GEF funded Removal of Barriers to Solar PV Power Generation in Mauritius, Rodrigues and Outer Islands, which was approved in 2011.
The project is designed to offer a systematic approach to removing associated market barriers to investments in Renewable Energy (RE), more specifically PV in Mauritius, Rodrigues and the Outer Islands. Following the global trend, solar photovoltaics (PV) is playing a substantial role in electricity generation in Mauritius as rapidly falling costs have made unsubsidised solar PV-generated electricity cost-competitive with fossil fuels. In Mauritius, renewable energy promotion mechanisms introduced since 2011 have led to more than 18 MW of PV installed by the end of 2015 with almost 60 MW yet to be connected in the coming years to reach almost 100GW by 2020. However, for proper planning of PV systems integration a solar map for Mauritius is crucial.
Solar maps help keep track of progress on sustainability goals for the country and will also educate citizens of the possible rewards of using solar power instead of other conventional sources of power. The solar map for Mauritius can be reliably used to help in choosing the appropriate site for PV plants and as well will help financial appraisal of PV projects. In addition PV system design requires information on daily solar energy, peak levels of solar power as well as information on temperature variations. The latter can only be achieved through high-precision on-site measurements of solar radiation under the local environmental conditions. Under the project, the services of the University of Mauritius (UoM) have been requested for the development of a Solar Map. A memorandum of agreement was signed in November 2016 between the University of Mauritius and the Central Electricity Board for the deployment of base stations and development of a solar map. The objective of the Solar Map project is to enable the acceleration of sustainable on-grid PV electricity generation in Mauritius, Rodrigues and Agalega through the deployment of an online GIS Solar map which is freely accessible to public.