Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, one of the UAE’s leading financial entities, said it completed five renewable energy projects worth 117.3 million dirhams ($31.94 million) in five partner countries, including Cuba, Somaliland, the Bahamas, Barbados, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The projects enabled the countries to reduce their carbon footprint by adding a total of 14.38MW into the energy mix, but they also brought about a host of economic benefits, the fund said in a statement on Thursday.
It signed three loan agreements worth 121 million dirhams the West African nations of Togo, Niger and Liberia. In July, it financed a waste-to-energy project in the Maldives.
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said the aim was to help the partner countries maintain their economic and social-development trajectories by enabling them to meet developmental challenges during the pandemic.
“Renewable projects remain high on our agenda as their impact is felt on multiple levels, from commerce to the environment. Moreover, the turbulence in 2020 forced us to focus on what really matters, while it made all of us realise the value of partnership and cooperation.”
Under the facility, eight projects were to be funded in Antigua and Barbuda, Burkina Faso, Chad, Cuba, the Maldives, Nepal, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The announcement brought cumulative funding to 1.28 billion dirhams, in line with the commitment made by ADFD across seven funding cycles to IRENA recommended projects.
The Fund also delivers its impact through the 183.65 million dirhams UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund (UAE-CREF) that it finances with an aim to deliver renewable energy projects across 16 Caribbean Island nations to help reduce reliance on fossil-fuel imports, increase energy access and enhance climate change resilience.
Below is an overview of the projects completed last year:
Solar power project, Somaliland
Set up at a cost of 29.3 million dirham, the 7-megawatt project is seen as a gamechanger for Berbera City, as it will significantly bring down energy tariffs, apart from supporting economic development and reducing the country’s carbon footprint.
Solar PV plant, Cuba
The 10-megawatt solar photovoltaic plant in Cuba that became operational in 2019 received a capacity boost to 15MW. The grid-connected project financed by ADFD meets the needs of an estimated 10,000 households.
Solar project, Bahamas
An 11 million dirhams solar project at a stadium car park is expected to save the public purse thousands of dollars in power generation. The project financed from the UAE-CREF scheme is part of a larger initiative to support the energy infrastructure of the Caribbean nations and enhance their share of renewable energy. The solar PV project has helped the island nation to save 310,000 litres of diesel per year, as well as reduce CO2 emission by 856,000kg.
Solar PV project, Barbados
Financed under the UAE-CREF initiative, the 11 million dirhams project included installation of solar PV panels in car parks for car-battery charging, as well as at the Barbados Water Authority. The project has led to reduction of CO2 emission by 975,000kg per year and savings on 265,000 litres of fossil fuel. It has also generated significant job opportunities for women.
Solar PV project, St Vincent and the Grenadines
An 600kW photovoltaic solar power plant on Union Island has reduced production cost, cut annual CO2 emission by 825,000kg and expenses on 320,000 litres of diesel. The 11 million dirhams project, financed under the UAE-CREF initiative, has also created jobs, especially for women. With the project, the country raised its share of renewable energy to 35 per cent.
(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Daniel Luiz)
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