Both of these solar PV projects were announced at the Session of the IRENA Assembly, which pv magazine reported on earlier today. The two selected nations – Mauritius and Rwanda – are the beneficiaries of the fifth funding cycle and the projects are being financed through the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility.
The seven-cycle funding facility was set up in 2013, and makes $350 million gradually available through concessional loans from ADFD to help people in developing countries have access to electricity. It is estimated that the project has the potential to improve the lives of 2.5 million people, alleviating poverty through affordable energy to low income communities.
Half the funding required for the project is being covered by these loans, with the rest coming from additional funding sources.
In Mauritius, $10 million will go to the Central Electricity Board to install solar PV systems on 10,000 household rooftops. The project will deliver 10 MW of clean energy as part of the government’s efforts to help poor families while contributing to the national target of 35% of renewable electricity in the national energy mix by 2025.
An estimated 35,000 people in low income areas will benefit from significant cuts to their energy bills, and savings estimated at $35 million in fossil fuel imports will be accrued while improving energy security.
In Rwanda, $15 million will contribute to the installation of 500,000 off-grid solar PV home systems across the country. The project will provide clean energy for lighting and charging electronics. It is part of a major government effort to electrify the country’s rural communities and to provide an affordable payment scheme in Africa. The program employs a flexible mobile payment platform, which is crucial in areas where banking and transportation infrastructure is lacking. An estimated 2.5 million people are expected to benefit from the improved access to electricity, alongside the creation of 2,000 local jobs.
Since 2014, ADFD has provided $214 million to 21 projects, while attracting over $420 million additional funds from government and development aid, and thanks to the IRENA/ADFD project facility, around 120 MW of renewable energy capacity will have been brought online, improving the lives of millions.
His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: “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. ADFD priorities renewable energy as a catalyst for inclusive economic and social development.”
He added: “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.”