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Developing Countries Benefit From IRENA & ADFD Loan

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) announced Sunday $57 million worth of concessional loans for five separate renewable energy projects across developing countries.

The loans come as part of the second of seven loan cycles which intend to commit $350 million over seven years to develop renewable energy projects across the developing world. This second cycle will see 35 MW worth of renewable energy backed in Argentina, Cuba, Iran, Mauritania, and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

“Renewable energy offers the prospect of clean, affordable power to the 1.3 billion people currently off the electricity grid,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin at a press conference today on the sidelines of IRENA’s fifth Assembly. “While renewable energy resources are abundant in many communities suffering from energy poverty, finance is still a key challenge for deployment. That is why the partnership between IRENA and ADFD is so important as a pioneering effort.”

“As part of its mandate to work on projects with a profound impact on the economies of developing countries, ADFD has collaborated with IRENA to support the renewable energy sector as a tool for economic and social development,” said Mr. Adel Abdulla Al Hosani, Director of Operations Department in ADFD. “Towards this priority, we are keen to support the economic development and deployment of sustainable energy projects in countries with immense clean energy potential, but lacking necessary financial resources and project management expertise.”

The five projects will include solar, hydro, hybrid, and geothermal. IRENA notes in its press release that the funds invested by the ADFD “mobilise other funds and will lead to more than double the invested amount” — a figure hovering around $800 million. The five projects include:

– Argentina: Funding will be directed to a 4 MW mini-hydro project set to be developed in Nahueve, which is intended to provide a stable energy supply throughout the northern rural region of the province, and will pump irrigation and clean drinking water to more than 22,500 people.

– Cuba: $15 million will go towards a 10 MW solar energy project that will provide more than 5,300 people with stable energy, and demonstrate the technology in the country.

– Iran: A 5 MW “first of its kind” small-scale geothermal project is to be built in Ardebil, will benefit from $6 million, and produce electricity fore more than 150,000 people, and thermal energy for local heating, greenhouse agriculture, and fish farming.

– Mauritania: Another $6 million will go towards a 1 MW solar, wind, and hydropower project which is set to be installed over a number of villages. According to IRENA, the project will entail “electrification by solar multifunctional platforms for small villages including 10 solar photovoltaic power plants with storage, small wind turbines installed in fishing villages, and the connection of a group of villages with a hydroelectric network.”

– St. Vincent & the Grenadines$15 million will go towards a 10 to 15 MW geothermal project in this small Caribbean nation, which will provide energy for the country’s entire population, and will hopefully “influence the deployment of additional geothermal projects in the Caribbean.”

The third funding cycle is currently open for proposals, which come hand-in-hand with a lower concessional loan interest rate of 1–2%, which IRENA believes will “support an even broader range of renewable energy projects throughout the remaining five loan cycles.”

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