Publication date: March 2019
Source: Renewable Energy, Volume 132
Author(s): Ryan P. Shea, Yatindra Kumar Ramgolam
As climate change accelerates, many countries most vulnerable to its effects are leading by example by transitioning to renewable energy economies. One example is in Mauritius, a small island developing state with admirable goals of increasing renewable generation but struggling to achieve them cost-effectively. This research assists Mauritius by identifying local renewable resource potential and island specific costs to determine the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) of various technologies. Solar and offshore wind are determined to yield above average energy potential, wave, sugar cane trash, and municipal solid waste-to-energy average potential, onshore wind below average potential, and hydropower and geothermal unfeasible potential. Each renewable energy system’s energy potential is directly tied to its capacity factor, which was determined to be the most impactful levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) variable in Mauritius. The LCOE for bagasse generation, landfill gas-to-energy, and utility-scale solar PV are below coal’s LCOE, fuel oil’s operating costs, and the average consumer cost of electricity. Therefore, even without considering fossil fuels’ indirect environmental and health costs, multiple renewable energy technologies are shown to be more cost-competitive than fossil fuels in Mauritius. Policy makers in Mauritius can utilize this direct LCOE analysis to confidently prioritize cost-effective solutions.