Midterm Review (MTR) Report UNDP-GEF PIMS 4331: Grid-Connected Rooftop Photovoltaic Systems in the Seychelles

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2012-2016, Seychelles
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
10/2015
Completion Date:
12/2015
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
13,860
? The project is well designed, with an opportune selection of topic and timing such that the removal of barriers has resulted in the desired adoption rate. ? The project is ahead of schedule in reaching its installed capacity, energy generation and GHG emissions reduction targets. Project management has been highly effective in engaging stakeholders around these targets. ? As a result of reaching its main objectives, the project has the opportunity to address some factors beyond its original design, such as supporting a feed-in tariff or other mechanism to expand sustainability and adoption beyond that originally envisaged, and a more comprehensive quality assurance programme. ? Project management has been highly effective in bringing together national stakeholders, such as the Public Utilities Corporation, the Seychelles Energy Commission and the Development Bank of the Seychelles to support the deployment of PV. Without such effective inclusion of stakeholders it is likely the adoption of PV would have been delayed many years or not achieved. ? The relationship between the rebate scheme (and SEEREP financing mechanism) and the adoption of PV remains poorly understood, as evidenced by half of the installations essentially ignoring the rebate. Further understanding of the financial mechanism or streamlining of its processes is needed to make it more attractive to potential PV system owners. ? The project has not yet addressed some items, most specifically the solar radiation mapping (the NPA is to be pursued in its place, a good adaptation in view of current circumstances of a large PV installed base), capacity building and training, and implementation of secondary legislation to support long-term adoption of PV. Addressing these issues should be a priority in the remaining project time. ? Record-keeping for main documents, PIRs and reports is to be commended, not just for this project but for the web portal which supports such functions for all Seychelles projects under UNDP-GEF. ? In terms of design, timing and intervention, the project can be considered best practice as it identified an opportunity where UNDP-GEF intervention could effectively remove barriers to adoption of a technology and thus facilitate its uptake. ? Adoption on Praslin has lagged adoption on Mahé. While this should be expected, further effort to encourage adoption can be effective, in particular supporting one or two installers on the island. ? The overall practice of establishing a PCU to support and administer such projects seems to be particularly conducive to effective project management and collaboration amongst projects. The camaraderie in having the various project managers in one location appears to be to the overall benefit of the projects managers and projects. Establishment of such a PCU may be considered good practice for replication in other areas. ? Lack of capacity at PUC and SEC is a limitation which should be addressed.

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Title Midterm Review (MTR) Report UNDP-GEF PIMS 4331: Grid-Connected Rooftop Photovoltaic Systems in the Seychelles
Atlas Project Number: 00081971
Evaluation Plan: 2012-2016, Seychelles
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2015
Planned End Date: 10/2015
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 1.5. Inclusive and sustainable solutions adopted to achieve increased energy efficiency and universal modern energy access (especially off-grid sources of renewable energy)
Evaluation Budget(US $): 13,860
Source of Funding: GEF
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Omar Roushdy Mr. omar.roushdy@ercc-carbon.com
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Grid-Connected Rooftop Photovoltaic Systems
Evaluation Type: Mid-term Review
Focal Area: Climate Change
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-4
GEF Project ID: 4164
PIMS Number: 4331
Key Stakeholders: Government, Energy Commission, Public Utilities Corporation, UNDP
Countries: SEYCHELLES
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 The project is well designed with an opportune selection of topic and timing such that the removal of barriers has resulted in the desired adoption rate
2 The project is ahead of schedule in reaching its installed capacity, energy generation and GHG emissions reduction targets. Project management has been highly effective in engaging stakeholders around these targets
3 As a result of reaching its main objectives, the project has the opportunity to address some factors beyond its original design, such as supporting a feed-in tariff or other mechanism to expand sustainability and adoption beyond that originally envisaged and a more comprehensive quality assurance programme.
4 Project management has been highly effective in bringing together national stakeholders, such as the Public Utilities Corporation, the Seychelles Energy Commission, and the Development Bank of the Seychelles to support the deployment of PV. Without such effective inclusion of stakeholders it is likely the adoption of PV would have been delayed many years or not achieved.
5 The relationship between the rebate scheme (and SEEREP financing mechanism) and the adoption of PV remains poorly understood as evidenced by half of the installations essentially ignoring the rebate. Further understanding of the financial mechanism or streamlining of its processes is needed to make it more attractive to potential PV system owners.
6 The project has not yet addressed some items, most specifically the solar radiation mapping (the National Performance Assessment is to be pursued in its place, a good adaptation in view of current circumstances of a large PV installed base), capacity building and training, and implementation of secondary legislation to support long-term adoption of PV. Addressing these issues should be a priority in the remaining project time.
7 Record keeping for main documents, PIRs and reports is to be commended, not just for this project but for the web portal which supports such functions for all Seychelles projects under UNDP-GEF.
8 In terms of design, timing and intervention, the project can be considered best practice as it identified an opportunity where UNDP-GEF intervention could effectively remove barriers to adoption of a technology and thus facilitate its uptake.
9 Adoption on Praslin has lagged behind adoption on Mahé. While this should be expected, further effort to encourage adoption can be effective, in particular supporting one or two installers on the island
10 Lack of capacity at PUC and SEC is a limitation which should be addressed.
11 The project should prioritise in the coming period: establishment of sustainable legislation, capacity building and training (for installers, PUC, and SEC), and implementation of the National Performance Assessment (NPA).
12 The relationship between financial incentives and adoption is not clearly understood. Better study of the current financial mechanism and how to increase its appeal to consumers (in combination with legislation) is necessary.
13 It is necessary to establish a system that removes current delays and bottle-necks in installation, whether by increasing resources at PUC and SEC, or by changing installation procedures to require reduced PUC and SEC resources.
14 Increasing capacity at PUC and SEC, through capacity building, increased hiring, and/or outsourcing should be carefully considered as the electricity sector in general takes on ever-larger changes. Where hiring of additional staff is not possible or not favourable, specific functions may be outsourced (potentially at no cost to PUC and SEC). Examples include filing of paperwork, or particular site activities or inspections which may be done by qualified and certified personnel (potentially the installers) and only spot-checked by PUC and SEC, as compared with the present system where PUC and SEC must visit each PV installation multiple times (initial inspection, at construction, and commissioning).
15 There is currently no mechanism to ensure quality or hold installers responsible. A sort of consumer protection mechanism, supported for example by standard contracts, should be put in place. Such a mechanism should track installers and hold them accountable. It should also track system performance (perhaps making cumulative performance of system by an installer available to the public). Such a mechanism should also protect installers from unreasonable customer claims
16 Follow-up of co-finance commitments for the remaining tasks as these can be important resources in supporting and achieving remaining tasks.
17 There are presently no installers on Praslin. The support of one or two installers on Praslin could make PV much more accessible to the residents of Praslin as compared with having to request installers from the main island.
18 Given resources, the project may have an opportunity for further cooperation with other entities (e.g. Clinton Climate Initiative) to promote longevity of the project, support study and research related to PV and Seychelles climate mitigation, or enable projects and other development vehicles to accept external investment.
1. Recommendation: The project is well designed with an opportune selection of topic and timing such that the removal of barriers has resulted in the desired adoption rate
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/10] [Last Updated: 2015/12/10]

Agreed

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation: The project is ahead of schedule in reaching its installed capacity, energy generation and GHG emissions reduction targets. Project management has been highly effective in engaging stakeholders around these targets
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/10] [Last Updated: 2015/12/10]

Agreed

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation: As a result of reaching its main objectives, the project has the opportunity to address some factors beyond its original design, such as supporting a feed-in tariff or other mechanism to expand sustainability and adoption beyond that originally envisaged and a more comprehensive quality assurance programme.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/10] [Last Updated: 2015/12/10]

The project will provide some support to SEC through the Project Manager, but has spent most of its budget allocation such that it has limited potential to provide additional technical expertise or materials. The sister UNDP-GEF project ongoing for Resource Efficiency is closely linked to the PV project and is already providing additional support to the SEC.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation: Project management has been highly effective in bringing together national stakeholders, such as the Public Utilities Corporation, the Seychelles Energy Commission, and the Development Bank of the Seychelles to support the deployment of PV. Without such effective inclusion of stakeholders it is likely the adoption of PV would have been delayed many years or not achieved.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/10]

Agreed. This has been a key role of the Project Manager, who (supported by SEC and the PV installers) has successfully created national awareness of the benefits of adopting PV and to some extent changed the mind-set of some stakeholders, notably PUC, away from a focus on the business of producing and selling energy towards the adoption of energy efficient solutions that benefit the country as a whole. In addition, the project has also created synergies with the Ministry of Finance through the SEEREP Initiative.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation: The relationship between the rebate scheme (and SEEREP financing mechanism) and the adoption of PV remains poorly understood as evidenced by half of the installations essentially ignoring the rebate. Further understanding of the financial mechanism or streamlining of its processes is needed to make it more attractive to potential PV system owners.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/10]

Management agrees that the PV installers have had a major synergistic effect in terms of their own promotion and stimulation of the adoption of PV systems outside of the project framework. The project has had a major impact in creating the enabling environment for the adoption of PV, and promoting the required changes (such as adoption of dual metering systems and feed-in tariff) at the national level, but the installers have undoubtedly actively pursued their agenda with or without recourse to the rebate scheme. Early adopters of PV have in many cases been households of the upper-income brackets who use a lot of energy, thus can easily see the benefits of reducing their use of PUC-generated power due to the differential rates, and have the financial resources to invest in PV systems without needing to go through the rather tedious process of obtaining a rebate. Management agrees that there is still a need to improve the attractiveness of the rebate scheme (make information more accessible and the process of applying for a rebate less time-consuming) and the process of reviewing financial mechanisms and their appeal (particularly referring to SEEREP) is currently underway (under the GOS-UNDP-GEF Resource Efficiency project).

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation: The project has not yet addressed some items, most specifically the solar radiation mapping (the National Performance Assessment is to be pursued in its place, a good adaptation in view of current circumstances of a large PV installed base), capacity building and training, and implementation of secondary legislation to support long-term adoption of PV. Addressing these issues should be a priority in the remaining project time.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/10]

Management has noted this point and is including these activities within the work plan for the remaining project period, insofar as the remaining budget allows.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation: Record keeping for main documents, PIRs and reports is to be commended, not just for this project but for the web portal which supports such functions for all Seychelles projects under UNDP-GEF.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/10]

Management appreciates the observation.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation: In terms of design, timing and intervention, the project can be considered best practice as it identified an opportunity where UNDP-GEF intervention could effectively remove barriers to adoption of a technology and thus facilitate its uptake.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/10]

Agreed

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation: Adoption on Praslin has lagged behind adoption on Mahé. While this should be expected, further effort to encourage adoption can be effective, in particular supporting one or two installers on the island
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/10]

Management agrees that the project should focus on increasing uptake of PV on Praslin and La Digue during the remaining project period. This has in fact already commenced from late 2015, with several awareness-raising events and installation of a demonstration system on La Digue (there is already a demonstration system on Praslin installed under the GEOS-UNDP-GEF CB2 project, and more are to be installed by SEC in early 2016 in collaboration with the current project). In regard to supporting installers on Praslin, this is not possible under the remit of the project, which does not have the mandate to support independent business start-ups (and in any case lacks the funds to do so). UNDP is also discussing with Government for scaling PV to cover the whole of la Digue. The proposal will be developed for submission under the Green Climate Fund.

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation: Lack of capacity at PUC and SEC is a limitation which should be addressed.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/10]

This is addressed to MEECC. Management notes, however, that this is a problem that occurs across Government sectors due to the quite limited Government budgetary resources and the many demands on these funds. There is a need for MEECC to discuss with Finance for proper allocation and staffing of SEC. As for PUC, capacity may be at a higher level as this is a parastatal which is composed of hundreds of staff. A review of its functional capacity for the future changing context may be required. This can, however be addressed as part of a national capacity assessment of the various institutions and is outside the scope of this project.

Key Actions:

11. Recommendation: The project should prioritise in the coming period: establishment of sustainable legislation, capacity building and training (for installers, PUC, and SEC), and implementation of the National Performance Assessment (NPA).
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/10]

Agreed.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
11.a. The National Energy Master Plan is pending funding from the EU and will be implemented by SEC once funding is cleared (this is not included within the current project). 11.b. The Energy Policy has been drafted with MEECC co-financing and is currently under review, expected to be finalized in early 2016. 11.c. Secondary legislation to support the Energy Act is under development: the project will host workshops to present draft technical standards to PV suppliers and to validate the Grid Code 11.d. The main institution identified to deliver capacity building and training (for installers, PUC and SEC) is the Seychelles Institute of Technology (SIT) which has already been capacitated to design and deliver training through project-financed ToT. SIT will develop its curricula accordingly, and the project will provide additional equipment needed for implementation of the training courses. In terms of market development training, the project will review the recommendations of the international trainer Dr Sean White, to determine if this also needs to be included within the training modules to be developed by SIT. 11.e. The NPA was started by the previous Project Manager but further work needs to be done on analyzing PV production data, with the help of the PV installers. The new Project Manager will support SEC in this. Future monitoring will be undertaken through the retrofitting of automated weather stations to collect irradiation data, at least two of which will be supported by the project and others through NMS, SEC or other co-financing.
[Added: 2015/12/10] [Last Updated: 2016/12/06]
SEC, PCU, SIT, PM's, PV Installers, Meteorological Services, MEECC 2016/12 Completed A constraint noted by SIT is that the trained trainers have many calls on their time and have not yet been able to allocate time to develop the training curricula. This has now been taken up through additional support from the sister RE project. History
12. Recommendation: The relationship between financial incentives and adoption is not clearly understood. Better study of the current financial mechanism and how to increase its appeal to consumers (in combination with legislation) is necessary.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/10]

Agreed. The new Project Manager is in the process of reviewing the uptake of the PV rebate scheme, Additionally, a study of the adoption of the SEEREP is under way through the sister RE project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
12.a. The latter will present recommendations for improving the uptake of financial schemes relative to the demand and market for EE and RE appliances, and to a lesser extent PV. 12.b. A variety of mechanisms will be applied through the project communications strategy to better inform consumers of the financial schemes and their benefits (the communications strategy is currently being revised and will be implemented jointly with the sister RE project). This is now onoing under RE project. no further actions under PV
[Added: 2015/12/10] [Last Updated: 2016/12/11]
PMs, Consultants, SEC, 2016/12 Completed Communications Strategy review completed by December 2015. Implementation partly supported by the current project until December 2016, thereafter by RE project until December 2018. History
13. Recommendation: It is necessary to establish a system that removes current delays and bottle-necks in installation, whether by increasing resources at PUC and SEC, or by changing installation procedures to require reduced PUC and SEC resources.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/10]

The process for approving rebates under the financial scheme is time consuming, mostly due to staffing bottlenecks at PUC which can mean long waits for approval and commissioning of the installed system. Another reason reported by clients and suppliers is the complicated terms and conditions for the rebate. Together, these have resulted in many clients not bothering to apply for the rebate (even though this can mean a saving of around $3,000 for a typical residential system).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
13.a. The potential for addressing these issues is being explored by the review of the rebate scheme under the PV project, as well as SEEREP and associated financial mechanisms undertaken through the sister RE project. 13.b. The project is not able to address the issues of staff shortages at SEC and PUC that result in long periods of time elapsing between stages for checking and installing grid connections, etc. This recommendation implies the provision of additional manpower for these institutions and is thus addressed to MEECC.
[Added: 2015/12/10] [Last Updated: 2017/04/25]
MEECC, UNDP, PM, SEC, Consultants 2017/01 Completed The SEEREP loan and rebate applications are being supported by SEC and processing times have been reduced to 2 days from SEC. The RE project continues to promote awareness on the schemes available. History
14. Recommendation: Increasing capacity at PUC and SEC, through capacity building, increased hiring, and/or outsourcing should be carefully considered as the electricity sector in general takes on ever-larger changes. Where hiring of additional staff is not possible or not favourable, specific functions may be outsourced (potentially at no cost to PUC and SEC). Examples include filing of paperwork, or particular site activities or inspections which may be done by qualified and certified personnel (potentially the installers) and only spot-checked by PUC and SEC, as compared with the present system where PUC and SEC must visit each PV installation multiple times (initial inspection, at construction, and commissioning).
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/10] [Last Updated: 2015/12/10]

As stated in 13.b. The project is not able to address the issues of staff shortages at SEC and PUC that result in long periods of time elapsing between stages for checking and installing grid connections, etc. This recommendation implies the provision of additional manpower for these institutions and is thus addressed to MEECC.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The potential for certified independent staff (once a nationally accredited PV training course is set up at SIT) or installers to take on roles in checking/connection of the PV systems, and presumably passing on the cost of these additional responsibilities to the customers, is a matter for discussion at MEECC level as it is not clear who would then be responsible for faults, etc. This matter will be taken up with SEC and MEECC
[Added: 2015/12/10] [Last Updated: 2016/08/05]
MEECC SEC No due date Initiated This has been initiated and will be completed by June 2016 History
15. Recommendation: There is currently no mechanism to ensure quality or hold installers responsible. A sort of consumer protection mechanism, supported for example by standard contracts, should be put in place. Such a mechanism should track installers and hold them accountable. It should also track system performance (perhaps making cumulative performance of system by an installer available to the public). Such a mechanism should also protect installers from unreasonable customer claims
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/10] [Last Updated: 2015/12/10]

It is not within the mandate of the project to impose a contract on independent suppliers but for the most part, suppliers offer 20-year warranties on PV panels and 5-year warranties on inverters, offering some degree of responsibility

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
A set of technical standards for PV are being developed by SEC - which will be presented to installers in 2016 - should ensure the quality of systems being imported into the country. A register of certified PV installers will also be established and periodically reviewed based on specific criteria.
[Added: 2015/12/10] [Last Updated: 2016/11/29]
SEC, MEECC,PUC 2016/10 Completed A draft set of technical standards has been developed and is in its final stage of being developed. These standards are expected to be presented by 30th of March 2016. History
16. Recommendation: Follow-up of co-finance commitments for the remaining tasks as these can be important resources in supporting and achieving remaining tasks.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/10]

Project Manager will follow up co-financing on a quarterly basis. Ministry of Finance has already (since the MTR) made a further payment of SR 3.8 million ($292,000) into the rebate scheme and a private supplier has donated a 5kW ($14,000) installation as a demo to SIT. Follow up on co-financing will be the responsibility of the PM and the PCU. This will be done on a quarterly basis

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Quarterly reports on co-financing will be prepared and updated with each progress report. This has now been completed and co finance figure for the entire project provided in the TE Report prepared last quarter of 2016 which is above what was planned.
[Added: 2015/12/10] [Last Updated: 2016/12/11]
PM 2016/12 Completed completed and reported in TE report History
17. Recommendation: There are presently no installers on Praslin. The support of one or two installers on Praslin could make PV much more accessible to the residents of Praslin as compared with having to request installers from the main island.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/10]

The project does not have a mandate for supporting business start-ups. Currently, one supplier (Vetivertech) has a person on Praslin promoting PV but the other companies are too small to have a permanent staff member on the smaller islands ? although all companies regularly visit potential clients there as part of their marketing strategies. The island of La Digue is to be promoted by GOS as a global eco-capital, with an aim for the island to be made carbon-neutral by 2020. The island of Praslin will follow. This agenda is to be supported through a GOS application to the Green Climate Fund, building on the current project (as its sister Resource Efficiency project), to be developed with UNDP support in early 2016.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
17.a. The project will continue to engage with suppliers in publicising and promoting the adoption of PV on the two islands of Praslin and La Digue during the remaining project period. 17.b. Supplier engagement in these islands will likely intensify as GOS moves towards the implementation of its development strategy for carbon neutrality.
[Added: 2015/12/10] [Last Updated: 2016/12/27]
SEC, PCU, UNDP-GEF, MEECC, PM 2016/12 Completed all activities completed under the project. all additional awareness activities related to Renewable Energy are now being undertaken under the Resource Efficiency Project History
18. Recommendation: Given resources, the project may have an opportunity for further cooperation with other entities (e.g. Clinton Climate Initiative) to promote longevity of the project, support study and research related to PV and Seychelles climate mitigation, or enable projects and other development vehicles to accept external investment.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/12/10]

Agreed. Cooperation with other initiatives will continue until the end of the project. In late 2015, GOS has requested PCU/UNDP to commence working on a proposal for the GCF related to establishing two inner islands as carbon-neutral, with a focus on scaling-up initiatives under this project and the sister RE project, taking forward new technologies, etc.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
18.A. The project (and sister RE project) will continue cooperation with the Clinton Climate Initiative, the Indian Ocean Commission and other agencies concerned with renewable energy in Seychelles. 18.b. PCU/UNDP will start work on developing a new proposal for the GCF
[Added: 2015/12/10] [Last Updated: 2016/12/11]
MEECC, SEC, PCU, UNDP-GEF, PM 2016/12 Completed The project has indeed acted as a catalyst for the development of further PV uptake in Seychelles. a GCF proposal is now being prepared for submission in early 2017. History

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