Pacific and African nations get $44m in renewables funding

Four renewable energy projects in developing countries in the Pacific and Africa are to receive $44.5m of funding.

The money will come from a project facility set up by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The projects involve a hybrid micro-grid project utilizing solar PV and advanced lithium-ion batteries, a hydropower scheme, the integration of a solar plant with a wind farm, and a combination project consisting of microgrid and solar home kits.

The announcement of the funding was made in Abu Dhabi at the Seventh Session of the IRENA Assembly.

IRENA director-general Adnan Z. Amin said the project financing facility was “putting in place an innovative process which supports transformational and replicable projects that can potentially bring sustainable energy to millions of people around the world”.

Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, director-general of the ADFD said the renewable energy sector was “a crucial industry for sustainable continuity, long-term growth and constructive evolution of developing nations”.

He explained that over seven funding cycles, the $350m IRENA/ADFD project facility “aims to support and enhance the developing world’s energy needs by tapping into their abundant renewable energy sources”.

The four projects in detail are: Marshall Islands: A 4.6 MW hybrid microgrid project, using solar PV and advanced lithium-ion batteries, that IRENA says “will essentially eliminate fossil fuel based generation on three outer islands and reduce it by more than a third on a fourth island”; Niger: A project focused on rural electrification for over 150,000 people, using 2.1 MW solar PV microgrids and solar home kits. Some 100 schools will be electrified and drinking water supplies will be improved; Seychelles: A government-supported solar PV utility scale project will integrate a 5-MW solar PV plant into an existing wind farm, which IRENA says will “reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels, create almost 300 jobs and supply renewable power to over 1,800 households, benefiting the entire population of 90,000 people”; and in the Solomon Islands: A government-backed 20 MW reservoir dam and hydropower facility will diversify the country’s energy mix, provide renewable energy access to 5000 people, create around 400 jobs, and avoid 44,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

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