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Thu 19 Jan 2017 01:57 PM

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UAE launches $50m fund for Caribbean clean energy projects

UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund represents one of the largest-ever single investments in the region

UAE launches $50m fund for Caribbean clean energy projects
Mohammed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar.

The UAE has announced a new $50 million grant fund for renewable energy projects in Caribbean island countries. 

Launched by Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund represents one of the largest-ever single investments in the region's clean energy sector.

It is also seen as a significant deepening of bilateral relationships between the UAE and Caribbean countries. 

Grant funding is provided by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs managing the initiative and Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, leading implementation, a statement said.

The announcement, which brings UAE development assistance for renewable energy to almost $1 billion since 2013, was made on the sidelines of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

“We are honoured to open this new chapter in the growing relationship with Caribbean countries,” said Al Hashimy. “The two oceans between us are not the barrier they once were, and we are bringing fresh eyes and enthusiasm to each other’s markets and aspirations.”

Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, director general, ADFD, said: “In the Caribbean island countries, securing a stable and efficient supply of energy is a pivotal policy of each nation’s growth strategy. ADFD is proud to have partnered with Masdar and share its expertise to support the Caribbean nations as they unlock their underutilised wind and solar potential to drive energy security, job creation and socio-economic development.”

Mohamed Al Ramahi, Masdar CEO, added: “Renewable energy is an extremely competitive option for communities in the Caribbean, where there is tremendous natural potential a number of technologies. Caribbean islands typically face high costs for power generation, so unlocking this potential offers opportunities for both savings and growth, providing a powerful catalyst for sustainable social and economic development.”

The new fund will seek to conclude project agreements with several countries per year, the statement added.

Recent projects, implemented by Masdar, include eight solar plants in rural Mauritania, which power about 39,000 homes and save 27,850 tonnes of carbon emissions per year, and the provision of 6.5 megawatts of capacity across 11 Pacific Islands, enabling the saving of 3.2 million litres of diesel fuel annually.

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