The United Arab Emirates, in partnership with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), has committed a further $50 million in loans for renewable energy projects in developing countries.
The facility will be made available as the seventh offering of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) loans program. Applications for the funding cycle will be accepted until February 14.
IRENA’s website states finance will be made available for government-backed “renewable energy projects in developing countries, that seek to increase energy access, improve livelihoods and advance sustainable development”. The program has committed $350 million to date.
In the first five cycles, the ADFD allocated $214 million to 21 renewable energy projects, covering up to half of the project costs and with an emphasis on utility-scale projects as part of sustainable development strategies. Sponsored projects include those in Rwanda and Mauritius.
With the IEA’s Global Energy Outlook 2018 forecasting that energy demand is set to rise 60% by 2040, and with electricity the new “fuel of choice”, such top-down RE projects will be central to global carbon abatement strategies.
The ADFD program provides long term concessionary loans to public utilities, ministries and rural electrification projects in developing countries, emphasizing the role renewable energy can play in sustainable development.
Renewables are considered by the agency the most efficient platform for development. IRENA Director-General Adnan Amin said, “It is the most cost-competitive option to expand access to energy and improve socioeconomic welfare, while creating jobs and empowering local communities.”