Masdar today announced the construction kick-off for four new solar-power projects in the Pacific island countries of Kiribati, Fiji, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Financed under the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development's US$50 million UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund, the solar projects will collectively deliver 1.8MW of clean energy and contribute to fuel savings worth US$2 million per year. Completion of the projects is expected by the second half of 2015.
"Access to clean energy is a pathway toward economic and social development," said Dr. Ahmad Belhoul, CEO of Masdar. "For Pacific islands, which rely on imported fuel for electricity generation, renewable energy provides a viable alternative. In fact, wind and solar power projects deliver immediate savings, while underpinning long-term energy security."
"The UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund demonstrates the tangible benefits that renewable energy offers all developing countries," said His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, director-general of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development. "Today, renewables are cost-effective and offer real solutions for growth across the Pacific."
The Pacific projects further expand the UAE's efforts to deploy renewable energy as a form of development assistance, which include:
- A $350 million fund committed by Abu Dhabi Fund for Development in collaboration with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) that has sponsored projects from Ecuador to Sierra Leone;
- A15MW solar photovoltaic power plant in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, which accounts for 10 percent of the country's energy capacity;
- A 6MW wind farm in the Republic of Seychelles that powers more than 2,100 homes (funded by ADFD); and
- A project in Afghanistan that supplies 600 residences with off-grid solar photovoltaic systems.