Abu Dhabi / Emirates Business
The recent inauguration of a 600kW solar photovoltaic plant in the Federated States of Micronesia marks the successful completion of Cycle 2 of US$50 million UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund. Through the UAE-PPF’s two cycles of financing provided by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, renewable energy projects have been delivered to 11 Pacific Island nations by Masdar — Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company.
Together, the projects provide 6.5-megawatts (MW) of renewable energy capacity, displace 8,447 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year, replace 3.2 million litres of diesel fuel, in addition to providing energy security and driving economic growth.
The Fund was created in response to the identification of renewable energy as a key growth enabler at the January 2012 Pacific Leaders’ Meeting of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). It was formally launched in March 2013 by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs. Funding for all projects was provided by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the UAE’s development arm, with oversight from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
H.E. Reem Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State of International Cooperation, said: “The UAE-PPF is an unqualified success story. Through the support provided by IRENA, strong government-to-government collaboration, and the seamless project execution provided by Masdar, the UAE has helped 11 Pacific island countries tap their renewable energy potential. These 11 islands are now poised to reap the benefits of clean energy to advance their sustainable development objectives.”
Commenting on the Fund’s significance, Adnan Z. Admin, Director-General of IRENA, said: “The Pacific island nations understand the critical importance of pursuing diversified energy strategies. With the support of the UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund, these island nations are decreasing their dependency on fuel imports and reduce the risks associated with oil price volatility. The falling cost of renewable energy offers an opportunity for islands to rethink their energy strategies and implement programmes that create jobs and economic opportunity, all while delivering more reliable electricity services.”
His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, reflected: “A core part of our mission is to help countries achieve sustainable development. In the Pacific Islands, securing a stable and efficient supply of clean energy is a critical pillar of each nation’s growth strategy. ADFD is proud to have partnered with Masdar to support these 11 island nations as they unlock their underutilised wind and solar potential to drive energy security, job creation and socio-economic development.”
The UAE-PPF was executed through two cycles of funding. Cycle 1 – which saw solar and wind projects completed in Kiribati, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu – was delivered in 2015. The Cycle 2 projects were inaugurated between May 10 and May 15, 2016, in Solomon Islands, Palau, Marshall Islands, Nauru, and the Federated States of Micronesia.
Commenting on Masdar’s successful delivery of the 11 projects, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: “Each project was highly customised to the needs of the local community, reflecting Masdar’s core belief that renewables projects must be innovative – and in some cases multi-purpose – and developed through strong collaboration with local counterparts. I am proud of Masdar’s role in supporting the Pacific islands to realise their full energy potential, and in supporting the global Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring sustainable energy for all.”