By Brenton Henry
ABU DHABI, Jan 12 2020 (CNS) – Four Caribbean countries are to benefit from more than US$105 million to assist their renewable energy transition.
The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) today confirmed the allocation for eight renewable energy projects, four of which are in the Caribbean region.
Antigua & Barbuda, Cuba, St. Lucia and St. Vincent & the Grenadines will be among the eight countries to benefit.
In Antigua and Barbuda, an 8 MW hybrid power plant (solar and wind) will receive an ADFD investment of US$15 million.
The project is expected to benefit 5,500 households and allows for large reductions in the import of fossil fuels.
Antigua & Barbuda’s Ambassador to IRENA Conrod Hunte told Caribbean News Service (CNS) that the funds will help provide back-up power for schools and health facilities.
Hunte said the selection does not mean the funds are available now and could take another year.
For residents, Hunte said the project would mean that schools can continue to function in the event of a disaster that knocks out power.
In Saint Lucia, the 10 MW Troumassee solar power station, battery storage and setting up solar energy systems in the country, will receive an ADFD loan of US$15 million.
The venture will support the whole population, economic development, advance the implementation of Saint Lucia’s national energy policy and reduce diesel fuel consumption.
St. Lucia’s representative says the funding will help transform the energy sector on the island and help contribute to the development of the people.
In Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, an ADFD loan of US$10 million will support the installation of a 7 MW solar PV project and benefit 2,444 households. The renewable energy venture aims to reduce carbon emissions, fossil fuel consumption and operating costs.
St. Vincent said it was happy to be selected because it is important for the sustainable development of the islands.
It says it will help in the realisation of 80 per cent renewable energy by 2022.
In Cuba, a project will receive an ADFD loan of US$20 million to install 8.5 MW of solar PV capacity, supported with 2 MW of energy storage, in Isla de la Juventud. The project will benefit 32,300 people, aims to support the energy sector, decrease fossil fuel consumption, reduce the level of carbon emissions and secure energy consumption from renewable and sustainable sources.
The other countries to benefit are Burkina Faso, the Maldives, Nepal and Chad.
The facility supports developing countries in securing low-cost capital for renewable energy projects to increase energy access, improve livelihoods and advance sustainable development on the ground.
Speaking on the occasion, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: “In cooperation with IRENA, ADFD is proud to have supported the deployment of renewable energy solutions worldwide over several years. In its efforts to boost the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically Goals 6,7,11, 12 and 13 – ADFD-funded projects over the seven cycles of the facility have led to the widespread adoption of scalable, clean, and sustainable energy alternatives in 26 countries.”
He added: “Today’s announcement re-affirms the UAE’s and ADFD’s leading efforts to combat the effects of climate change by stimulating robust development across the global renewable energy sector. The Fund’s commitment to this priority has enhanced long-term growth prospects and yielded socio-economic benefits for millions of lives in line with the national objectives of the beneficiary countries.”
Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA, said: “Overcoming investment needs for energy transformation infrastructure is one of the most notable barriers to the achievement of national goals. Therefore, the provision of capital to support the adoption of renewable energy is key to low-carbon sustainable economic development and plays a central role in bringing about positive social outcomes.”
“The record levels of funding announced in this cycle of the facility will not only support the eight chosen countries in their pursuit of energy and climate plans but will also further global ambitions to build a sustainable future. This facility is a true reflection of the transformational outcomes that organisations with shared goals can deliver when they come together, and provides a blueprint effective cooperation in the future,” he added.