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ISA and Invest India Workshop Encourages Solar Startups in Mauritius

The session highlighted important aspects of the solar energy ecosystem, key information on the criticality of entrepreneurship in solar and climate change.

April 06, 2023. By Anurima Mondal

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) and Invest India in collaboration with the Economic Development Board (EDB), Mauritius organised a Capacity Building and Knowledge Sharing Workshop for startups and small business entrepreneurs at the High Commission of India, Mauritius to encourage entrepreneurship in solar and create awareness about ISA's SolarX Grand Challenge programme.
The session highlighted important aspects of the solar energy ecosystem, key information on the criticality of entrepreneurship in solar and climate change, the ‘problem statements’ that are necessary to solve towards finding a sustainable pathway, and useful knowledge that local entrepreneurs may utilise.
Ajay Mathur, Director General, International Solar Alliance, said, “The SolarX Grand Challenge is part of our two-pronged strategy to ease solar deployment in Africa. The first edition of SolarX will focus on the African region to attract investments in the solar energy sector, reduce the gap between energy demand and supply, and promote a robust start-up ecosystem in Africa. With an estimated potential of 7,900 GW of solar in Africa, and only 4 African nations having a start-up ecosystem, there is a yawning gap between what is needed and what is available. African start-ups attracted less than 1 percent of global venture investments. With SolarX, we aim to change this scenario. This initiative will also help implement the roadmap to mobilise USD1 trillion for solar till 2030.”
While congratulating Invest India, EDB and ISA for this timely and pertinent event during his keynote address, Vimarsh Aryan, Deputy High Commissioner of India to Mauritius, also highlighted key aspects of the strength and diversity of the bilateral relationship between India and Mauritius and emphasised the enormous opportunities and potential that exist in the renewable energy sector, especially solar.
EDB Director Drishtysingh Ramdenee thanked Invest India, the International Solar Alliance and Waipa for the organisation of this unique challenge and for their consideration of Mauritius for the capacity building workshop. Ramdenee provided an overview of Mauritius’ conducive ecosystem incepted by Government to achieve the 60 percent renewable energy in the electricity mix by 2030.
He highlighted the Mauritius advantages for start-ups which encompasses the innovator’s permit allowing for a foreign citizens developing an innovative project to work and live in Mauritius, the regulatory sandbox license, the Innovation Property Box Scheme providing an 8 years tax holiday for incomed derived from intellectual property assets which are developed in Mauritius, the national incubator scheme encouraging the creation of innovative businesses as well as fiscal incentives such as double deduction and accelerated depreciation applicable to start-ups.
Moreover, the unique example of Skysails, a German technology, using high altitude winds through a parachute system to produce base load electricity was portrayed.
Z.Guness-Goolbar, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities, Mauritius reiterated Government’s commitment in encouraging the participation of different stakeholders in the green energy transition journey.
She pointed out that the Mauritius Renewable Energy Agency has launched the third round of application for the on grid testing of innovative RE technologies under the National Scheme for Emerging Project Concepts Based on Renewable Energy Technologies (NSEPCRET). This scheme provides for innovative technologies to be tried on the national grid with a guaranteed price of purchase and is open for an initial installed capacity of 2 MW with the possibility of ramping up to 10 MW upon conclusive testing.
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