Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), is now welcoming applications for a fourth round of funding to support renewable energy projects in developing countries. The funding round of approximately USD 50 million is part of a USD 350 million (AED 1.285 billion) commitment by ADFD to provide concessional loans to projects endorsed by IRENA over seven funding cycles.
The funding articulates ADFD’s commitment to supporting renewable energy projects in developing nations given the sector’s crucial role in aiding economic and social development.
“This new funding cycle provides another opportunity for developing countries to access low cost capital for renewable energy projects to drive an energy transition and achieve sustainable development,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “The continued partnership between ADFD and IRENA brings funding to the places where it can have the most impact and where financing is one of the greatest challenges.”
H.E. Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, ADFD Director-General, said: “Abu Dhabi Fund for Development is delighted to partner with IRENA to launch the fourth cycle of our joint renewable energy project facility. The scale of current energy demand globally requires close collaboration among governments and international agencies to ensure access to clean and cost-effective energy across the developing world. This partnership has given us the opportunity to make significant contributions to the energy sector in developing countries through providing the much-needed financial assistance. We are confident that such inter-governmental collaboration will help narrow the gap between developed and developing countries in this crucial sector.”
Funding from the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility boosts renewable energy growth in developing countries and offers sustainable and affordable energy to millions of people with limited or no access to electricity. In its first two cycles, the Facility allocated nearly USD 100 million to cover up to 50 per cent of project costs for eleven renewable energy projects across the globe. The loans were approved following close collaboration between ADFD and IRENA to assess and select the projects that meet specific criteria.
Thanks to projects funded in the first three cycles, more than 56 megawatts of renewable energy capacity will be brought online and roughly 600,000 people and businesses will benefit from increased access to energy and improved livelihoods. Projects include off-grid, mini-grid and/or on-grid including backup storage and using wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass in Argentina, Cuba, Ecuador, Iran, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Samoa and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The results of the third funding cycle will be announced in January 2016.
Projects must be transformative, replicable, scalable and/or innovative, improve energy access and help address energy security issues. Projects are carefully evaluated on technical merit, economic viability and socio-economic and environmental impact.