MINISTERS: ‘IRENA/ADFD PLAYS KEY ROLE ADVANCING RENEWABLES IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES’
At IRENA’s seventh Assembly, held in Abu Dhabi in January 2017, renewable energy projects from the Marshall Islands, Niger, Seychelles and the Solomon Islands were selected to receive a total of USD 44.5 million in funding through the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility. The Facility is a unique partnership between the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), set up to identify and partially finance promising renewable energy projects in developing countries.
At the Assembly, energy ministers from the four selected countries explained how this partnership will bring about a positive change in their respective countries.
Solar PV micro-grids in Marshall Islands
As one of the countries with some of the highest energy costs in the world, the Marshall Islands suffers from high rates of poverty and unemployment. To address these challenges, the country proposed a project to install solar PV micro-grids with advanced lithium-ion energy storage systems on four of its most populated islands. This transformative project is expected to provide affordable renewable energy to over 16,000 people.
Rural electrification in Niger
Despite significant renewable energy resources, less than 1% of the rural population in Niger has access to electricity. This project proposes to install solar PV micro-grids and individual solar home kits in 100 isolated villages. The initiative is expected to provide electricity to over 21,000 households, 100 schools and over 100 medical centres.
Solar PV farm in Seychelles
Currently, the Seychelles is almost entirely dependent on fossil fuels for its energy needs. This project aims to build the first ever solar PV farm in the country, which is expected to make energy more affordable and accessible. The project will reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels and create approximately 300 jobs.
Hydropower plant in Solomon Islands
Power generation in the Solomon Islands relies on imported diesel fuel resulting in high retail costs of electricity. This project involves the construction of a hydropower plant which will provide electricity into the existing grid system of Honiara, helping 5,000 people in local communities to gain access to energy.
Since 2013, the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility has allocated USD 189 million to 19 projects, attracting over USD 387 million in co-financing for a total of USD 576 million in new investment inflow. Selected projects over the first four cycles are expected to bring more than 100 MW of renewable energy capacity online, offering a sustainable and affordable solution for over a million people with limited or no access to electricity.