Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the leading national entity for development aid, has announced that $25 million in concessional loans has been earmarked for two solar PV projects being recommended by the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena), the global platform for international co-operation on renewable energy.
These solar PV projects will come up in the island nation of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean and the Rwanda in Africa, said a statement from the Emirati fund.
Announced at the eighth session of the Irena Assembly, both projects – beneficiaries of the fifth funding cycle – are being financed through the Irena/ADFD Project Facility.
Established in 2013, this seven-cycle facility offers $350 million in concessional loans from ADFD to help developing countries access 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 by bringing affordable energy to low-income communities.
“For developing countries, renewable energy is a triple win: it provides a cost-effective means of providing electricity to families, fuels economic growth, and supports energy independence and security,” remarked Adnan Z. Amin, the director-general at Irena.
“However, many developing countries have trouble accessing financing for renewable energy investment. We are delighted that our continued partnership with ADFD will provide a stable, low-cost source of financing to help Mauritius and Rwanda achieve a sustainable energy future," he added.
In Mauritius, the ADFD loan of $10 million will help the Central Electricity Board install solar PV systems on rooftops of 10,000 households as part of the government’s efforts to alleviate poverty whilst contributing to the national target of achieving 35 per cent of renewable electricity in the energy mix by 2025.
An estimated 35,000 people in low income communities will benefit from significant electricity bill savings, it stated.
In Rwanda, the $15-million loan will contribute to the installation of 500,000 off-grid solar PV home systems across the country, providing clean electricity for lighting, mobile phone and radio charging.
The project is a major part of the government’s rural electrification strategy and is one of the most affordable payment schemes in Africa, said the statement.
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, the director general of ADFD, said: "Our collaboration with Irena articulates ADFD's core mandate to support sustainable economic and social progress across developing countries through financing development projects that serve vital economic sectors."
"ADFD priorities renewable energy as a catalyst for inclusive economic and social development. We are confident that the latest projects selected for funding in Mauritius and Rwanda will deliver sizeable benefits for the economies of local communities," he added.