The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) have announced USD 57 million in loans for renewable energy projects in five developing countries around the world.
IRENA has a mandate from their 139 Members (138 States and the European Union) to support countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, and serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, a centre of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy.
The ADFD is a Government of Abu Dhabi national institution established in 1971 to assist developing countries by providing concessionary loans to finance development projects in those countries.
This is the second loan cycle that the two organizations have worked together on renewable energy around the world. They plan to offer seven loan cycles in total, one per year, for a total of $350 million in loans to support $800 million in renewable energy projects.
Projects approved for funding in this second loan cycle include solar, hydro, hybrid (wind and solar) and geothermal energy in Argentina, Cuba, Iran, Mauritania and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“Renewable energy offers the prospect of clean, affordable power to the 1.3 billion people currently off the electricity grid,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin at a press conference today on the sidelines of IRENA’s fifth Assembly. “While renewable energy resources are abundant in many communities suffering from energy poverty, finance is still a key challenge for deployment. That is why the partnership between IRENA and ADFD is so important as a pioneering effort.”
Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, the UAE’s Permanent Representative to the IRENA and Director of Energy and Climate Change at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said:
“The UAE sees renewable energy as a new cornerstone of sustainable development, with dramatic cost reductions having made it the most competitive energy option in many developing countries. The partnership between ADFD and IRENA provides a powerful way to demonstrate renewable energy’s viability and speed up further deployment.”
The third funding cycle of the Project Facility is now open for project proposals. The interest rates have been lowered to 1-2% to support an even broader range of renewable energy projects throughout the remaining five loan cycles.
About the Funded Projects
Argentina: An innovative four megawatt mini-hydro project in Nahueve is receiving a loan of 15 million dollars. The project will provide a stable energy supply throughout the northern rural region of the province and will pump irrigation and clean drinking water to Nahueve inhabitants. More than 22,500 people will benefit from the project.
Cuba: A 10 megawatt solar energy project is receiving a loan of 15 million dollars. The project will provide energy stability, demonstrate renewable energy’s viability in the country, create jobs and help the environment. More than 5,300 people will benefit from the project.
Iran: A five megawatt, first-of-its-kind, small-scale geothermal project in Ardebil is receiving a loan of six million dollars. The geothermal power plant will produce electricity and thermal energy for rural Ardebil to provide local heating, greenhouse agriculture and fish farming. Governmental organizations such as the electricity, gas and environment departments, and the local population of 150,000 people will benefit from the project.
Mauritania: A one megawatt solar, wind and hydropower hybrid project will receive a loan of six million dollars. The project involves electrification by solar multifunctional platforms for small villages including 10 solar photovoltaic power plants with storage, small wind turbines installed in fishing villages, and the connection of a group of villages with a hydroelectric network. The improved access to electricity will benefit various stakeholders including small villages, rural centres and fishing villages.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines: A 10 to 15 megawatt geothermal project is receiving a loan of 15 million dollars. The project will connect to the energy grid to provide a consistent power source for the entire country and will influence the deployment of additional geothermal projects in the Caribbean. The entire population of 104,000 people will benefit from the project.
Tracey is an accountant and entrepreneur with a passion for nature. This passion is what spurred her interest in renewable energy, and the rest is history as they say. Tracey is a principal in Energy Think Group, the publisher of Solar Thermal Magazine and Tek-Think. She is also the principal at Women's Financial Help Desk. She spends her free time in the outdoors with her horses and dogs. She loves to travel.