Abu Dhabi allocates record $105M to aid renewable energy projects in 8 countries

Abu Dhabi allocates record $105M to aid renewable energy projects in 8 countries
Abu Dhabi allocates record $105M to aid renewable energy projects in 8 countries

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Deployment of solutions to boost efforts to implement UN Sustainable Development Goals

The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) on Sunday announced a record $105 million allocation of funds for renewable energy projects in eight developing countries - Antigua and Barbuda ($15 million), Burkina Faso ($5.5 million), Chad ($15 million), Cuba ($20 million), the Maldives ($14 million), Nepal ($10 million), Saint Lucia ($15 million) and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines ($10 million).

The ADFD signed agreements worth $33 million with governments of three African nations. Thus, the overall commitment by ADFD was at $138 million.

The funding of eight countries comes as part of the seventh and final cycle of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena)/ADFD Project Facility, which was launched in 2014 with $350 million commitment in concessional loans. In the first six cycles, the cumulative funding had reached $245 million. Since the first cycle selection of projects, the ADFD has funded 32 projects in 26 countries. And so far 18 projects have been completed.

Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, director-general of the ADFD, said the deployment of renewable energy solutions will boost efforts to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals. He underlined there will be a joint meeting held with Irena to continue cooperation in future.

"We fulfill mandate of the fund, which is to assist developing countries. We have penetrated into small villages and electrified those. With all these benefits we got from these initiatives, I am sure we will find a way to work together. We are evaluating results and projects of the Irena/ADFD Project Facility," Al Suwaidi told reporters.

This ADFD-financed initiative is made available to projects recommended by Irena that can positively impact the global energy sector.

Additionally, the ADFD's $33 million worth agreements with governments of Togo, Liberia and Niger for various projects in Africa will benefit 75,000 houses.

Togo will receive loans worth $15 million for a 30MW solar PV project, Liberia $8 million for a mini-hydropower project and Niger $10 million for rural electrification of 100 villages.

"Benefiting more than 750,000 households, the three renewable energy ventures will help stimulate long-term economic growth, create job opportunities, enhance climate resilience, and ensure electricity access in small villages located far from centralised power grids," Al Suwaidi said.

Supporting strategic projects

Chad will be able to use $15 million loan for the electrification of six cities with a solar power plant, which will benefit more than 215,000 people. "These projects will create 25,000 new jobs. It will especially benefit healthcare facilities and improve refrigeration store for medicines but also help increase women and youth employment rates," a representative said while introducing the project.

A Burkina Faso representative said the fund will help some 40,000 people have access to clean energy. "The $5.5 million fund will contribute to the construction of a 3MW solar PV power plant in the country."

The Maldives project is a 1.5MW waste-to-energy plant in the city of Addu. It will reduce dependence on imported fuel benefitting 35,000 people.

In Nepal, the project will led to 20 biogas digesters through public-private participation to benefit 500 small and medium scale industries. "The project will create 1,200 jobs," the delegate said.

In Saint Vincent and Grenadines, a 7MW solar PV project will benefit 2,444 households. It will reduce carbon emissions, fossil fuel consumption and operating costs.

Antigua and Barbuda's 8MW hybrid power plant will lead to transformation of water and health sectors. The $15 million project will benefit 5,500 households and saves $8.9 million from import of fossil fuels annually.

"After a category-5 hurricane destroyed every diesel generator on the island, renewables prove to be a safer and more sustainable solution. Through this project, 30 per cent of the energy will be sourced from renewables and will power hospitals, schools, churches, airports and seaports as well as produce 100 per cent of clean water generation."

In Cuba, a $20 million project will see installation programme of four solar PV capacity in Isla de la Juventud. It will reduce fossil fuel consumption by 3.2 million litres annually and benefit 32,300 people.

Saint Lucia plans to set up the 10MW Troumassee solar power station and battery storage. It will support the economic development, advance the implementation of Saint Lucia's national energy policy and reduce diesel fuel consumption.

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Ashwani Kumar

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