Ventures supported by IRENA/ADFD Project Facility to contribute to alleviating poverty through renewable energy
Abu Dhabi-UAE: 14 January, 2018 – Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the leading national entity for development aid, and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the global platform for international cooperation on renewable energy, earmarked US$25 million in ADFD concessional loans for two solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in Mauritius and Rwanda.
Announced at the Eighth Session of the IRENA Assembly, the two projects are being financed through the fifth funding cycle of the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility. Established in 2013, the seven-cycle programme offers US$350 million to assist developing countries in accessing low-cost capital for renewable energy projects.
The projects have the potential to significantly transform the lives of over 2.5 million people and alleviate poverty through bringing affordable energy to low-income communities. Renewable energy can positively impact the whole sustainable development spectrum through enhancing health and education outcomes, improving livelihoods and working conditions, and reducing air pollution. The loans cover up to 50 per cent of project costs, with additional funding leveraged from other sources. Since 2014, ADFD has allocated US$214 million to 21 projects, attracting over US$420 million in co-financing from governments and development funds.
Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of IRENA, said: “For developing countries, renewable energy is a triple win: It offers a cost-effective means of supplying electricity to families, fuels economic growth, and supports energy independence and security. However, many developing countries have trouble accessing funding for renewable energy projects. Our continued partnership with ADFD will provide a stable, low-cost source of financing to help Mauritius and Rwanda achieve a sustainable energy future.”
His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: “ADFD's collaboration with IRENA aligns with the Fund's core mandate of supporting sustainable socio-economic development across developing countries through financing projects that serve vital economic sectors. ADFD places high priority on renewable energy as a catalyst of inclusive development.”
He added: “At ADFD, we believe that through the large-scale promotion of renewable energy projects in countries with immense clean energy potential, we can contribute to long-term economic prosperity across the word. We are confident that the latest projects selected for funding in Mauritius and Rwanda will deliver sizeable benefits for the local communities.”
In Mauritius, the ADFD loan of US$10 million will help the Central Electricity Board install solar PV systems on the rooftops of 10,000 households as part of the government's efforts to alleviate poverty whilst contributing to the national target of achieving a 35 per cent contribution of renewable energy to the national energy mix by 2025. An estimated 35,000 people in low-income communities will save significant amounts on their electricity bills. The venture will bring 10 megawatts of renewable energy capacity online, resulting in savings of over US$35 million in fossil fuel imports over the project lifetime and enhancing the energy security of the country.
In Rwanda, the ADFD loan of US$15 million will finance the installation of 500,000 off-grid solar PV home systems across the country, expected to improve electricity acccess for 2.5 million people in rural communities and create more than 2,000 local jobs. The project is a major part of the government's rural electrification strategy and offers one of the most affordable payment schemes in Africa. It employs a flexible mobile payment platform that is essential in areas with underdeveloped banking and transportation infrastructure.
The IRENA/ADFD Project Facility will contribute to bringing almost 120 megawatts of renewable energy capacity online, resulting in better energy access, cleaner air and improved livelihoods.
Applications for the sixth cycle of funding are open until 17:00 GST on 15 February 2018.