Abu Dhabi supports renewables with new funds

Abu Dhabi will further its efforts to expand renewable energy programmes in developing countries by contributing an additional US$6 million for technical and administrative support over the next four years.

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) on Tuesday signed an agreement to expand ADFD’s seven-year, $350m pledge to implement renewable energy projects around the world.

Adnan Amin, the director general of Irena, said that the agreement would help to meet the developing world’s energy needs by tapping into renewable energy resources.

“Renewable energy can provide safe, clean and affordable energy while stimulating sustainable development in countries that need it most,” he said.

Irena will use the additional $6m to hold outreach events such as technical webinars and workshops to assist applicants on project proposals from eligible countries.

The Abu Dhabi-based agency said that it would accompany ADFD staff on preliminary project appraisal missions to facilitate “due diligence on projects selected”.

Co-funding development entities will also be engaged on projects that have been shortlisted.

Lastly, Irena will help to establish a framework for each project to capture socio-economic and environmental development impacts to measure progress.

The project facility started four years ago, setting out to disburse $350m in concessional soft loans over seven years at a rate of 1 or 2 per cent over a 20-year period – including a five-year grace period.

The 15 chosen projects, which are expected to total 68 megawatts or help power to reach more than 760,000 people, span from the Pacific to Africa and from the Caribbean to the Middle East. So far, $144m has been awarded over the past three years, which means there is still about $51.5m up for grabs each year until 2019.

“We believe that renewable energy initiatives are the key to the next chapter of sustainable development around the world as they act as underlying pieces of infrastructure that can power homes, improve the efficiency of farms, provide clean drinking water, act as the engines for new businesses and enable economic diversification,” said Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, the director general of ADFD.


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