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AfricaMoney | August 20, 2017

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Mauritius asserts independence from coal with first solar cooperative farm

Mauritius asserts independence from coal with first solar cooperative farm

Caption: A “Say no to coal and yes to clean energy” campaign, led by the youth, citizens, progressive and leftist movements in the island, is gaining momentum and fuelling such initiatives as the cooperative society. (Image: Everywhere connect)

In keeping with the spirit of Maurice Ile Durable (MID), the first solar cooperative farm was launched on Wednesday in Mauritius, as the island nation celebrated its 46th Independence Day.

Renewable energy is an important aspirational goal for Mauritius, where coal is the main source of energy at present.

Accordingly, a “Say no to coal and yes to clean energy” campaign, led by the youth, citizens, progressive and leftist movements in the island, is gaining momentum and fuelling such initiatives as the cooperative society, called the People’s Cooperative Renewable Energy (PRCE).

The PCRE comprises around 25 organizations, 150 citizens, small farmers, trade union delegates, ecologists and eco-socialist campaigners.

Its objective is to campaign for the flourishing of solar farm on a cooperative basis in Mauritius, said Ashok Subron, a leading member of PRCE.

A similar initiative would also be undertaken in the island of Rodrigues, Subron added.

He noted that the PRCE aims at exposing the paradoxical fact that an independent country is not one, if it is totally dependent on dirty fossil fuel imports, while surrounded by a ‘clean and natural sun’ that can serve as a boundless source of energy.

An independent country is not one if energy production is ‘controlled by a tiny few’, he concluded.

A campaign is being launched all over the country for citizens and organisations to join the cooperative society.

Recently, the government gave the go ahead to the 100-MW CT Power project at Pointes aux Caves, Albion, expected to be operational in 2016, amid much controversy over whether the coal-based electricity generation project is consistent with the Maurice Ile Durable (MID), or Sustainable Mauritius plan.

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