ABU DHABI - In an ambitious move to combat climate change through clean energy initiatives, the Dominican Republic has expressed a strong interest in fostering robust cooperation with the UAE.

Two senior officials from the Caribbean nation have highlighted the potential for the UAE’s investments in renewable energy, emphasising the mutual benefits of such a partnership, in an interview with the Emirates News Agency (WAM) on the sidelines of the International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) Assembly in Abu Dhabi last week.

Elaborating on the possibilities of bilateral cooperation in renewable energy sector, Rafael Orlando Gómez Del Giudice, Vice Minister of Energy of the Dominican Republic, said, "Engaging more effectively with the UAE has enabled us to establish open communication channels, share experiences, and seek opportunities for collaboration and joint financing.”

He underscored the growing importance of renewable energy and the potential for joint projects that could benefit both nations, including energy transmission improvements to increase the penetration of renewable energy.

Del Giudice, who was a vice president of the IRENA Assembly, also highlighted the Dominican Republic's significant strides towards a net-zero future, noting that the country has doubled its renewable energy matrix in the last four years.

"Accelerated deployment of renewable energy would not only lower energy costs for consumers but also create new employment opportunities, stimulate economic activity, and help meet international climate commitments," he added.

The minister mentioned the Dominican Republic's exploration of hydrogen as a new source of renewable energy and the development of a roadmap for green hydrogen in collaboration with international agencies.

About the his country's active participation in the IRENA Assembly, Del Giudice said, “As vice president of the IRENA Assembly, representing Latin America and the Caribbean, we are keen on collaborating with our peers to achieve the global objectives of the Paris Agreement.”

Meanwhile, Gaddis Enrique Corporan, a member of the Dominican Republic's parliament, spoke about the role lawmakers can play in strengthening bilateral ties with the UAE, particularly in the renewable energy sector.

"Our bilateral relations with the UAE are of special importance. We invite UAE businessmen to evaluate Dominican Republic as a destination for investment in renewable energy projects.”

He stressed the importance of participation in the IRENA Assembly for parliamentarians to share and discuss legislative initiatives that promote the use of renewable energy.

The officials also attended the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) organised by Masdar, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, and found it an apt platform for advancing clean energy and sustainability.

Corporan said, “WFES is a unique opportunity to connect with the world’s leading energy brands and explore groundbreaking solutions.”

Both officials emphasised the Dominican Republic's commitment to renewable energy development, despite the country as an island territory does not have electricity grid connections with other countries or known sources of fossil fuels.

The existing legal and regulatory framework in the Dominican Republic has facilitated foreign investment in renewable energies, positioning the island as a regional benchmark in the electricity sector, they said.