The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and the International Renewable Energy Agency announced last week $25 million in concessional loans to support solar development in Mauritius and Rwanda.
Announced at the Eighth Session of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Assembly last week with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the $25 million in funding will go toward developing two solar PV projects — one each in Mauritius and Rwanda — and is being financed through the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility, which was established in 2013 and opened up $350 million in concessional loans from the ADFD over seven annual funding cycles.
The two solar projects in question begins with a plan by the Central Electricity Board of Mauritius to install solar PV systems on up to 10,000 rooftops as part of the government’s plans to mitigate poverty while simultaneously contributing to the country’s target of achieving 35% renewable electricity in its electricity mix by 2025. The project will benefit from $10 million in funding from the ADFD and IRENA to support up to 50% of construction costs, which will result in up to 10 megawatts (MW) of new renewable energy capacity and support for an estimated 35,000 Mauritians, providing much-needed reductions on household electricity bills, while also resulting in over $35 million in fossil fuel import savings over the lifetime of the project.
Secondly, the remaining $15 million of the ADFD/IRENA loan will support the installation of 500,000 off-grid solar PV home systems across Rwanda, providing clean electricity for lighting, as well as charging for mobile phones and radios, for 2.5 million people and over 2,000 local jobs.
“For developing countries, renewable energy is a triple win: it provides a cost-effective means of providing electricity to families, fuels economic growth, and supports energy independence and security,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “However, many developing countries have trouble accessing financing for renewable energy investment. We are delighted that our continued partnership with ADFD will provide a stable, low-cost source of financing to help Mauritius and Rwanda achieve a sustainable energy future.”
“Our collaboration with IRENA articulates ADFD’s core mandate to support sustainable economic and social progress across developing countries through financing development projects that serve vital economic sectors,” added His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD. “ADFD priorities renewable energy as a catalyst for inclusive economic and social development.”
“At ADFD, we believe that through the widespread promotion of sustainable energy projects in countries with immense clean energy potentials, we can contribute to the long term economic prosperity of communities across the word. We are confident that the latest projects selected for funding in Mauritius and Rwanda will deliver sizeable benefits for the economies of local communities.”
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