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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 January 2019

Abu Dhabi backs clean energy schemes with millions in loan funding

Cash injections will benefit tens of thousands of people in poor countries

Funding announcements are made at the Irena Assembly in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Fund for Developmen
Funding announcements are made at the Irena Assembly in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Fund for Developmen

A hydropower plant in Liberia that will help 30,000 people is among a set of new projects that will be backed by tens of millions of dirhams in funding.

A loan of almost Dh30m is to be granted to the scheme by Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and the International Renewable Energy Agency. The money will contribute to a project to build a 2.1 MW hydropower plant on the Gee River.

The plant will aim to provide a clean, reliable and affordable source of energy to households, schools, health facilities and small businesses, enhancing living conditions and helping to reduce poverty.

Meanwhile, a solar power project in Guyana will also be given a Dh30m loan. It is hoped the scheme will reduce fossil fuel consumption, helping almost 35,000 people and supporting 120 jobs.

A third project, in Togo, has been awarded a Dh55m loan. It will fund the construction of a 30 MW grid-connected solar plant, which will be capable of bringing clean, reliable power to around 700,000 households and small businesses. Local communities will benefit from greater access to drinking water, education and healthcare as well as job creation that prioritises women.

“The projects selected this year will contribute towards meeting national energy access targets and will transform lives for the better,” said Irena director-general Adnan Amin.

“They will take advantage of cost-effective renewable energy to help reduce poverty, enable income-generating activities, and provide electricity to healthcare facilities and educational institutions, which will create jobs, empower women, and strengthen local communities.”

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Irena is currently holding its ninth assembly in Abu Dhabi. The latest announcements bring investments from the fund to date to Dh900m, since its launch in 2013.

The facility helps developing countries access low-cost capital for renewable energy projects to increase energy access, improve livelihoods and advance sustainable development.

Funding has been allocated to 24 renewable energy projects across the world, covering up to 50 per cent of the total project costs, over the years.

“We are proud of our result-oriented Facility that has supported replicable, scalable and potentially transformative renewable energy projects set to benefit communities and improve their living conditions,” Mohammed Al Suwaidi, director general of ADFD, said.

“At the Ninth Session of the Irena Assembly, we are pleased to have selected truly impactful projects valued at $31 million (113.9m) for the sixth cycle of financing awarded by the Facility.

"Taking into account this cycle’s recipients, our cumulative expenditure to date is $245 million, and we look forward to allocating the remaining $105 million to awardees of the seventh cycle.”

Updated: January 13, 2019 11:06 AM

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