On the sidelines of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2018, The AED 183.6 million (US$ 50 million) UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund (UAE-CREF) announced the launch of the second funding cycle through making partnerships with 7 new Caribbean countries, which will substantially contribute in the growth and development of the renewable energy sector in Belize, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, St Kitts & Nevis and St Lucia.
During the announcement of the Fund's new projects on the sidelines of the Eighth Session of the General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: "As a key player in promoting renewable energy across the globe, the UAE provides effective solutions to the most pressing challenges the sector faces, such as facilitating funds to implement these projects."
He added: "The UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund, launched in 2017 during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week to finance a range of renewable energy projects in Caribbean island countries, is one of the country's most important initiatives in this space. The launch of the Fund's second funding cycle that will support projects in nine countries � in addition to ongoing projects in seven other countries financed by the first funding cycle � is a clear indication of the UAE's commitment to spearheading global energy transition efforts."
His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi pointed out that the UAE views environmental protection and climate change as opportunities rather than challenges. The country plays a prominent role in financing renewable energy projects worldwide that have the potential to benefit current and future generations through enhancing the sustainability of natural resources and reducing harmful emissions. Since 2013, the UAE has allocated US$1 billion for investment in the renewable energy sector to support socio-economic development in multiple countries and boost their ability to adapt to climate change.
"We are honored today to deepen our collaboration with Caribbean countries," said Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation. "These projects are visionary in their focus on lowering economic costs while cutting pollution and literally empowering people to enhance their livelihoods and services. They also give our regions a track record of joint implementation and a way to learn about each other's markets and priorities, spurring new engagement and investment even beyond energy."
Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation indicated: "Launched at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017, the UAE-CREF uses grant financing to accelerate development of the renewable energy sector in the Caribbean and brings together MOFAIC as the initiative lead; the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), which provides financing; and Masdar, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, the project delivery partner responsible for project development and overall technical management and implementation."
For his part, His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: "Today, on the sidelines of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2018 and building on the success of cycle one, we are proud to confirm partnerships with seven more Caribbean countries, providing them with financial means for transformative renewable energy projects. We are confident that these sustainable projects will harness natural resources to bring on-line clean and affordable energy, as well as alleviate living standards.
He added: "Not only is the UAE-CREF one of the largest renewable energy initiatives in the Caribbean region, but it's an example of effective strategic collaboration between Abu Dhabi entities in bolstering the UAE's leading role in promoting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)."
"The projects being developed through the UAE-CREF leverage cutting-edge technology to underpin sustainable development," said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar. "We are working with each country to implement projects that can deliver immediate cost savings and reliable power. We are especially proud to build on Masdar's leading experience in off-grid and remote-area renewable energy solutions, with several projects in 2018 that will leapfrog partner communities from no electricity to clean, low-cost renewables."
For the second cycle, Masdar is engaging with each country's technical teams to identify a priority project and move toward contract award within 2018. The first cycle's projects are due for completion in the final quarter of 2018 and include solar PV installations, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, and advanced battery storage. Both cycles include enhanced resilience considerations to mitigate risks underscored by the 2017 hurricane season, which devastated Barbuda and Dominica and affected many other islands. The UAE contributed $10 million additional to the UAE-CREF to support relief efforts.
It's worth mentioning that the UAE-CREF builds upon the success that the UAE has made in renewable energy sector in 11 Pacific countries under the AED 183.6 million (US$ 50 million) UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund which was launched in 2013.
Source: UAE MINISTRY OF FOREGIN AFFAIRS