- 19 January, 2018:
Mauritius has obtained a concessional loan to the tune of Rs 350 million (USD 10 million) from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the leading national entity for development aid, and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the global platform for international cooperation on renewable energy, for the implementation of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects.
The announcement was made on 13 January 2017 during the Eighth Session of the IRENA Assembly held in Abu Dhabi in the United Arabs Emirates. In Mauritius, the ADFD loan of USD 10 million will help the Central Electricity Board install solar PV systems on rooftops of 10,000 households as part of the government’s efforts to alleviate poverty whilst contributing to the national target of achieving 35% of renewable electricity in the energy mix by 2025.
An estimated 35,000 people in low income communities will benefit from significant electricity bill savings. The project will bring 10 megawatts of new renewable energy capacity online, resulting in savings of over USD 35 million in fossil fuel imports over the project lifetime and improvements in the energy security of the country.
In Rwanda, the ADFD loan of USD 15 million will contribute to the installation of 500,000 off-grid solar PV home systems across the country, providing clean electricity for lighting, mobile phone and radio charging. The project is a major part of the government’s rural electrification strategy and is one of the most affordable payment schemes in Africa. It has a flexible mobile payment platform, essential in areas poorly served by banking and transportation infrastructure. 2.5 million people in rural communities are expected to benefit from improved electricity access, and more than 2,000 local jobs will be created.
ADFD-IRENA partnership: Focus on renewable energy as a catalyst for economic and social development
In his address, IRENA Director-General Mr Adnan Z. Amin stated that 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. 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,’ he said.
For his part, the Director General of ADFD, Mr Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi pointed out that their 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, he added, prioritises 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,’ he said.
The projects have the potential to significantly transform the lives of over 2.5 million people and alleviate poverty by bringing affordable energy to low-income communities. Renewable energy can positively impact the whole sustainable development spectrum in terms of improved health and education outcomes, better livelihoods and working conditions, and lower air pollution. The loans cover up to 50% of project costs, leveraging additional funding from other sources. Since 2014, ADFD has allocated USD 214 million to 21 projects, attracting over USD 420 million in additional co-financing from governments and development funds.
Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website:http://gis.govmu.org