January 17, 2017 - The UAE today announced a landmark new $50 million fund for renewable energy projects in Caribbean island countries.
Launched by Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund represents one of the largest single investment in the region's clean energy sector, as well as a significant deepening of bilateral relationships between the UAE and Caribbean countries.
Grant funding is provided by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs managing the initiative and Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, leading implementation.
The announcement, which brings UAE development assistance for renewable energy to almost $1 billion since 2013, was made on the sidelines of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, as part of the annual General Assembly meeting of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).
“We are honoured to open this new chapter in the growing relationship with Caribbean countries,” said Al Hashimy. “The two oceans between us are not the barrier they once were, and we are bringing fresh eyes and enthusiasm to each other’s markets and aspirations. We’re especially pleased to join forces under the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund, which can simultaneously drive achievement of the Paris climate agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, director general, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), reflected: “The renewable energy sector stimulates economic growth and employment, it underscores innovation and it capitalises on resources – all leading pillars in improving day-to-day living standards. ADFD’s steady and unwavering vision is to underpin developing countries in achieving their goals by forging new partnerships and funding multiple key sectors; notably, the renewable energy sector – the main catalyst for sustainable long-term growth."
He added: “In the Caribbean island countries, securing a stable and efficient supply of energy is a pivotal policy of each nation’s growth strategy. ADFD is proud to have partnered with Masdar and share its expertise to support the Caribbean nations as they unlock their underutilised wind and solar potential to drive energy security, job creation and socio-economic development.”
The new fund will seek to conclude project agreements with several countries per year. Designed for flexibility, it can support renewable energy projects both as a minority or full financier, as well as engage with both the public and private sectors. With Masdar as the technical lead, all sources of renewable energy can be considered, including solar, wind, geothermal and waste-to-energy.
Recent projects, implemented by Masdar, include eight solar plants in rural Mauritania, which power about 39,000 homes and save 27,850 tonnes of carbon emissions per year, and the provision of 6.5 megawatts (MW) of capacity across 11 Pacific Islands, enabling the saving of 3.2 million litres of diesel fuel annually.
View this article at TradeArabia.com.
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