Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, one of the UAE’s leading financial institutions, has been supporting the country’s effort towards driving energy transition at home and around the world by financing innovative renewable-energy projects. These initiatives have had a powerful impact on the economies and the environment of beneficiary countries.
The Fund has consistently increased its portfolio of such projects, having funded 90 of them over a decade at a total value of about AED 4.7 billion. Cumulatively generating 9,755MW of electricity, these projects benefited 65 countries by supporting their economies and improving the quality of life.
HE Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the Fund, expressed gratitude to the UAE’s leadership in investing in the just cause. “Such initiatives form the core of development, and the UAE realised that years ago, which prompted it to host the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA),” he said. “Thanks to the support of our leadership, we have been able to help our partner countries to address some of their pressing challenges through innovative renewable-energy initiatives, at the same time creating many milestones in this sector.”
Collaboration with IRENA
In 2013, ADFD, in collaboration with IRENA, launched an initiative with a commitment of AED 1.28 billion to support renewable energy projects in developing countries.
Since then, the initiative has led to about 208MW of clean energy through 32 projects in 26 countries that gave more than a million people access to clean and affordable energy. The projects also improved health and education services, stimulated economic development and helped protect the environment.
UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund
In the same year, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation launched the UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund to step up the UAE’s development cooperation with the Pacific island countries across various sectors. The scheme supported renewable energy projects through the allocation of grants with a total value of AED 184 million, financed by Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), and implemented by Masdar. The initiative included 10 solar photovoltaic (PV) projects and one wind farm, collectively producing a total 5.7MW energy, thus meeting most of the islands’ energy needs.
The projects produced multiple benefits, including savings of US$3.77 million per year on fossil fuel, and reduction of 8,447 tonnes of carbon emission per year.
The UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund
The AED 184 million initiative was launched to deliver renewable energy projects across 16 Caribbean Island nations to help reduce reliance on fossil-fuel imports, increase energy access, and enhance climate change resilience. Fully financed by ADFD, the UAE-CREF is the largest renewable energy initiative of its kind in the Caribbean region. The Fund is a partnership between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MoFAIC), ADFD and Masdar.
The 9.4MW projects carried out by the Fund have contributed to addressing the challenges faced by Caribbean countries.
Below is a highlight of some of the important projects funded by ADFD over the past decade.
Solar PV Plant, Bahamas
The 925-kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) plant at Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, which also serves as a carport with 152 parking spaces including four spots for families and two spots with fast-charging electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, is the country’s first large-scale solar energy project. Developed in partnership with the Bahamas Ministry of Environment and Housing, the AED 11 million project set a regulatory precedent for new renewable energy plants to feed into the grid.
Solar Project, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
The hybrid power plant set a strong precedent for using renewable energy to drive down energy costs on outer islands. Located on Union Island, the 600kW solar PV plant and 637 kilowatt-hour (kWh) lithium-ion battery project supply all of the island’s daytime power needs.
Sheikh Zayed Solar Park, Jordan
The AED 550 million solar power plant in Quweira, financed by the Fund, generates 103 MW energy that illuminates more than 50,000 homes. It helped the Jordanian government to achieve some of the country’s key developmental priorities.
Waste-to-Energy Plant Project, Maldives
The first of its kind initiative, for which ADFD provided a concessional loan of AED 22 million in 2015, aimed to address the country’s waste management and energy challenges. It did this by constructing facilities that use waste in an eco-friendly manner to generate about 4MW of energy. The project covers the three Islands of Vandhoo, Addu and Kulhudhuffushi.
The project recently received certification from Global Innovation Institute (GINI), a leading international professional certification, accreditation and membership association in the field of innovation.
Merowe Dam, Sudan
In Sudan, the Fund financed two renewable-energy projects, the Merowe dam being the country’s second major hydropower project and one of the largest in Africa. It produces 1,250MW of electricity benefiting more than 30 million people. ADFD contributed AED 735 million towards the project.
Solar Power Plant in Somaliland
A project financed by ADFD at Berbera City in Somaliland was inaugurated earlier this year. The plant, which is connected to the local electricity grid, will meet the increasing demand of the entire city of approximately 50,000 people.
Set up at a cost of AED 29.3 million, the 7-megawatt Berbera Hybrid Mini-grid Project is seen as a game changer for the city. It will significantly bring down energy tariffs, apart from supporting economic development and reducing the country’s carbon footprint. The expansion of Berbera city has created additional demand, which the plant will fulfil.
Solar PV Project, Cuba
The production capacity of a 10-megawatt solar photovoltaic plant was raised to 15MW last year. The grid-connected project financed by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development currently supplies enough electricity for an estimated 10,000 homes.
Solar Project, Liberia
Abu Dhabi Fund for Development gave Liberia a loan of AED 29.3 million to implement a solar energy project in southeastern River Gee County. The 2.1MW plant will meet the needs of 30,000 people.
Solar Power Plant, Togo
An AED 55 million solar power plant funded by ADFD will produce 30MW of energy covering the needs of 600,000 families and improving quality of life.
Wind Power Plant, Oman
The 50MW project in Dhofar Governorate was developed with an AED 455 million funding from ADFD. The plant provides clean energy to nearly 160,000 homes in Oman.
Waste to Energy Facility, Sharjah
Abu Dhabi Fund for Development has contributed $33 million towards developing a 30MW waste-to-energy facility in Sharjah. The project is the second of its kind in the MENA region and will be the Emirates Waste to Energy Company’s flagship project, a joint venture between Masdar and Bee’ah. The facility is being built to help Sharjah achieve its zero-waste-to-landfill target and the UAE’s objective of diverting 75% of municipal waste from landfills by this year.
Wind Power Plant, Seychelles
An AED 103 million wind farm, funded by ADFD, produces 8MW energy accounting for 8% of capital island Mahé’s energy capacity.
Two Renewable Energy Projects in Mali
The Fund financed the Singlo Dam project, considered one of the most important energy projects in the country, generating 12MW of hydropower. It also funded the development of Taoussa Dam. Located in the north-eastern part of Mali, the dam is one of the key development projects in the Niger River basin. Aiming to elevate living standards by generating electricity for the surrounding population, the project included the construction of a 25MW hydroelectric power plant.