5 Pacific countries to getUAE energy fund grants

The UAE signed partnerships on Tuesday with five Pacific island countries to deploy renewable energy projects, financed from the $50 million UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund.

By Staff Report (business@khaleejtimes.com)

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Published: Tue 21 Jan 2014, 12:50 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 10:18 PM

The solar and wind projects — in Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Tuvalu and Vanuatu — represent one of the largest capital investments in the region’s clean energy sector. With grant financing from Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, or ADFD, project completion is expected in late 2014.

All five projects will be co-designed and implemented by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, in cooperation with each nation’s government. The La’a Lahi ‘Big Sun’ solar plant in Tonga, commissioned in November 2013, was the first project to receive funding from the UAE.

At a signing ceremony held during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and CEO of Masdar, said: “Access to clean energy is a critical component of economic and social development. This is especially true in the Pacific, as island nations face some of the highest fuel costs in the world and clean energy delivers a tremendous impact in terms of savings and growth potential.”

The projects are estimated to save more than 1.2 million liters of diesel fuel annually and mitigate 3,030 tonnes of CO2 per year. They are also designed to demonstrate the viability of renewable energy in remote locations, where the International Renewable Energy Agency reports that renewable energy now outcompetes traditional diesel imports on cost.

“Developing countries have the challenge of accelerating economic growth and social opportunities, while facing constraints on natural resources,” said Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, director-general of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.

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