ADFD Finances 90 Renewable Energy Projects Worth AED 4.7bn Over a Decade

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  • Projects cumulatively generate 9,755MW electricity, benefiting 65 countries
  •  Fund to play a greater role in supporting the UAE’s clean-energy strategy, says HE Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, one of the UAE’s leading financial institutions, has been supporting the country’s effort towards driving energy transition at home and around the world by financing innovative renewable-energy projects. These initiatives have had powerful impact on the economies and the environment of beneficiary countries.

The Fund has consistently increased its portfolio of such projects, having funded 90 of them over a decade at a total value of about AED4.7 billion (US$ 1.3 billion). Cumulatively generating 9,755MW of electricity, these projects benefited 65 countries by supporting their economies and improving the quality of life.

HE Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of the Fund, expressed gratitude to the UAE’s leadership in investing in the just cause. “Such initiatives form the core of development and the UAE realised that years ago, which prompted it to host the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)” he said. “Thanks to the support of our leadership, we have been able to help our partner countries to address some of their pressing challenges through innovative renewable-energy initiatives, at the same time creating many milestones in this sector.”

Collaboration with IRENA

In 2013, ADFD in collaboration with IRENA launched an initiative with a commitment of AED1.28 billion (US$350 million) to support renewable energy projects in developing countries.

Since then, the initiative led to the production of about 208MW of clean energy through 32 projects in 26 countries that gave more than a million people access to clean and affordable energy. The projects also improved health and education services, stimulated economic development and helped protect the environment.

UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund

In the same year, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation launched the UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund with an aim to step up the UAE’s development cooperation with the Pacific island countries across a variety of sectors. The scheme supported renewable energy projects through the allocation of grants with a total value of AED 184 million (US$50 million), financed by Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), and implemented by Masdar. The initiative included 10 solar photovoltaic (PV) projects and one wind farm, which collectively produces a total 5.7MW energy, thus meeting most of the islands’ energy needs.

The projects produced multiple benefits, including savings of US$3.77 million per year on fossil fuel, and reduction of 8,447 tonnes of carbon emission per year.

The UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund

The AED 184 million (US$50 million) initiative was launched to deliver renewable energy projects across 16 Caribbean Island nations to help reduce reliance on fossil-fuel imports, increase energy access, and enhance climate change resilience. Fully financed by ADFD, the UAE-CREF is the largest renewable energy initiative of its kind in the Caribbean region. The fund is a partnership between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MoFAIC), ADFD and Masdar.

The 9.4MW projects carried out by the Fund have contributed to addressing the challenges faced by Caribbean countries.

Below is a highlight of some of the important projects funded by ADFD over the past decade.

Solar PV Plant, Bahamas

The 925-kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) plant at Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, which also serves as a carport with 152 parking spaces including 4 spots for families and 2 spots with fast charging electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, is the country’s first large-scale solar energy project. Developed in partnership with the Bahamas Ministry of Environment and Housing, the AED 11 million project set a regulatory precedent for new renewable energy plants to feed into the grid.

Solar project, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines

The hybrid power plant set a strong precedent for using renewable energy to drive down energy costs on outer islands. Located on Union Island, the 600kW solar PV plant and 637 kilowatt-hour (kWh) lithium-ion battery project supplies all of the island’s daytime power needs.

Sheikh Zayed Solar Park, Jordan

The AED550 million (US$150 million) solar power plant in Quweira, financed by the Fund, generates 103 MW energy that illuminates more than 50,000 homes. It helped the Jordanian government to achieve some of the country’s key developmental priorities.

Waste-to-energy plant project, Maldives

The first of its kind initiative, for which ADFD provided a concessional loan of AED22 million ($6 million) in 2015, aimed to address the country’s waste-management and energy challenges through the construction of facilities that would use waste in an ecofriendly manner to generate about 4MW of energy. The project covering three Islands of Vandhoo, Addu and Kulhudhuffushi.

The project recently received a certification from Global Innovation Institute (GINI), a leading international professional certification, accreditation and membership association in the field of innovation.

Merowe dam, Sudan

In Sudan, the Fund financed two renewable-energy projects, the Merowe dam being the country’s second major hydropower project and one of the largest in Africa. It produces 1,250MW of electricity benefiting more than 30 million people. ADFD contributed AED735 million (US$200 million) towards the project.

Solar power plant in Somaliland

A project financed by ADFD at Berbera City in Somaliland was inaugurated earlier this year. The plant, which is connected to the local electricity grid, will meet the increasing demand of the entire city of approximately 50,000 people.

Set up at a cost of AED29.3 million, the 7-megawatt Berbera Hybrid Mini-grid Project is seen as a gamechanger for the city, as it will significantly bring down energy tariffs, apart from supporting economic development and reducing the country’s carbon footprint. The expansion of Berbera city has created additional demand, which the plant will fulfil.

Solar PV project, Cuba

The production capacity of a 10-megawatt solar photovoltaic plant was raised to 15MW last year. The grid-connected project financed by Abu Dhabi Fund for Development currently supplies enough electricity for an estimated 10,000 homes.

Solar project, Liberia

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development gave Liberia a loan of AED 29.3 million (US$8 million) to implement a solar energy project in southeastern River Gee County. The 2.1MW plant will meet the needs of 30,000 people.

Solar power plant, Togo

An AED55 million (US$15 million) solar power plant funded by ADFD will produce 30MW of energy covering the needs of 600,000 families and improving quality of life.

Wind power plant, Oman

The 50MW project in Dhofar Governorate was developed with an AED455 million (US$124) funding from ADFD. The plant provides clean energy to nearly 160,000 homes in Oman.

Waste to Energy facility, Sharjah

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development has contributed $33 million towards the development of a 30MW waste-to-energy facility in Sharjah. The project is the second of its kind in the MENA region and will be the flagship project of the Emirates Waste to Energy Company, a joint venture between Masdar and Bee’ah. The facility is being built to help Sharjah achieve its zero-waste-to-landfill target and the UAE’s objective of diverting 75 per cent of municipal waste from landfills by this year.

Wind power plant, Seychelles

An AED 103 million (US$28 million) wind farm, funded by ADFD, produces 8MW energy accounting for eight per cent of capital island Mahé’s energy capacity.

Two renewable energy projects in Mali

The Fund financed the Singlo Dam project, considered to be one of the most important energy projects in the country, generating 12MW of hydropower. It also financed the development of Taoussa Dam. Located in the north-eastern part of Mali, the dam is one of the key development projects in the Niger River basin. Aiming to elevate living standards by generating electricity for the surrounding population, the project included the construction of a 25MW hydroelectric power plant.

About Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD):

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) is a leading national entity for economic development aid owned by the Abu Dhabi government. Established in 1971, it aims to help emerging countries by providing concessionary loans to finance sustainable development projects as well as administering long-term investments and direct contributions. In addition to managing development grants offered by the Abu Dhabi government, ADFD has adopted a policy of supporting the national economy and financing UAE private sector investments. Since its inception, ADFD has marked developmental milestones in 97 developing countries. Spanning the last 49 years, the Fund’s development projects and investments, valued at AED104 billion, have helped the international community achieve sustainable economic growth as well as drive the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).