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World renewable energy agency says GCC countries can achieve up to $200 billion in returns by 2030
2012-12-22 15:25:13
WAM Abu Dhabi, 22 Dec. 2012 (WAM) - The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is adding momentum to the recent increase in investment in renewable energy with the roll out of the first allotment of its US$350 million funding cycle in conjunction with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD).

The two Abu Dhabi-based institutions are working together to incentivize innovative renewable energy projects in developing countries. IRENA is accepting applications from such projects until 12 January 2013 for US$ 50 million in ADFD concessional loans in the first of its seven funding cycles.

"This financing from ADFD, administered with the support of IRENA, will help projects that are innovative and replicable to get off the ground," says IRENA's Deputy Director-General, Frank Wouters. "By making such projects bankable, we believe we can create substantial growth opportunities for renewables in energy-poor countries." The unprecedented rise in recent investment is injecting a much needed impetus to the clean energy sector, and the Project '&' Finance Village at the sixth World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi will provide an avenue for investors to evaluate new projects. An almost twofold increase is expected in the number of international cleantech and renewable energy projects on display at the village from 15-17 January, 2013.

Global investment in clean energy in the third quarter of 2012 has totaled US$56.6 billion according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, with many new projects being located in emerging markets.

It has been widely reported that Qatar is currently working on a solar energy project which will account for 16% of the country's total electrical output by 2018, while Saudi Arabia is seeking investors for a US$109 billion solar energy program which will provide a third of electricity needs by 2032 to add to their planned nuclear, wind and geothermal output.

IRENA estimates that GCC countries can achieve up to US$ 200 billion in returns as early as 2030 through renewable energy integration. Countries in the Gulf region continue to establish many ambitious clean energy projects which are supported by innovative research and development as well as investment. IRENA reports that there are presently 30 such projects which are in planning stage, under construction or have been completed in the region.

The trend marks a shift in the demand for new resources of energy to developing countries, which was echoed through the projects that were showcased from the Middle East, India and North Africa at the 2012 WFES.

According to WFES 2013 Show Director Naji El Haddad, the time for developing and implementing new and sustainable forms of energy is now, and WFES 2013 is an essential global platform for project developers, entrepreneurs, banks and financiers to connect and create viable energy solutions for the future.

"Demand for renewable energy sources from developing countries is on the rise and many countries lack the funds to develop these resources. Development on a global scale is not possible without powering communities lacking access to a traditional energy supply and many countries from the Middle East, Asia and Africa are highly interested in the outcomes of the summit." The third session of the IRENA Assembly which gathers delegates from the Agency's nearly 160 member or participating countries worldwide - will kick start Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and lead up to the sixth World Future Energy Summit (WFES), the world's foremost gathering dedicated to promoting sustainable technologies.

Titled �Powering the Future of Energy Innovation', WFES 2013 will be co-located with the first International Water Summit at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, which will also be the host venue for the International Renewable Energy Conference (ADIREC).

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