WAM ABU DHABI, 19th January, 2014 (WAM)--The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) today announced approximately $41 million in concessional loans for renewable energy projects in developing countries.
The financed projects have a combined total capacity of 35 MW and will bring reliable and sustainable power to rural communities that are currently lacking access to modern energy services. The loans go to a geographically diverse set of countries, including the Republic of Ecuador, Sierra Leone, the Maldives, Mauritania, Samoa, and Mali.
"IRENA and ADFD selected projects bring power to isolated off-grid populations, in some cases for the first time. This will stimulate local economic development and raise living standards," said IRENA's Director-General, Adnan Z. Amin at a press conference in Abu Dhabi today. "Financing is one of the key issues renewable energy is facing, particularly in the developing world. That is why IRENA and ADFD teamed up to de-risk investments in promising renewables projects." The UAE government has committed a total of $350 million in concessional loans through ADFD to support the deployment and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy in developing countries. The current financing cycle is the first of seven. IRENA is assessing the socio-economic impact and technical merit of the projects, and ADFD is making its selection based on the Agency's recommendation. Projects selected need to be transformative, innovative and replicable.
"We aim to help communities in developing countries achieve highest levels of progress. We hope to be a partner and strong contributor in achieving sustainable development through offering concessional loans and administering government grants to finance development projects that affect vital sectors including renewable energy; an important pillar to achieving sustainable development," Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD, said.
"We believe in supporting developing countries and help them deploy renewable energy as a substitute to traditional energy that has negative effects on humans and the environment. We believe in the importance of encouraging investment in renewable energy and we launched this initiative to finance up to 50 per cent of each project in order to allow for the remainder to be financed by banks, international financial institutions and other development partners. This will mobilize the financing required from the private and public sectors, and help build local financial markets and create valuable know-how for the future," added Al Suwaidi.