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ESMAP Works to Revitalize the Maldives’s Energy Regulatory Framework

8 January 2013: The Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) of the World Bank has published a press release on a project to improve the institutional framework for energy in the Maldives to help meet the country's climate change mitigation goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2020.

The ESMAP funded project began in 2010 and is supporting the Maldives in achieving its carbon neutrality target, especially by reducing its dependence on diesel-powered electricity. As part of the project, an analysis of the energy sector as well as of the constraints faced by the Maldives Energy Authority (MEA) was undertaken. It was found that the MEA suffered from financial and human resource challenges which, it was noted, is often the case for small developing countries. On the back of this skills gap analysis, the Maldives decided to further empower the MEA to act as the sole energy regulator and set up draft rules and regulations for licensing electricity operators, procedures for investment approvals, utility performance standards, and an institutional development plan for the MEA.

Abdulaziz Faghi, Senior Energy Specialist in the World Bank's South Asia region, and the team leader for the project, said that “A strengthened MEA and a revitalized regulatory environment will not only help to protect the interests of energy consumers and producers in the Maldives, it also will help attract private investment and provide a foundation for sustainable and renewable energy production, which is vital for the country's energy and economic security.” [ESMAP webpage]