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Sat 19 Mar 2016 11:02 AM

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UAE's Masdar completes solar power initiative in Vanuatu

Project is part of $50m United Arab Emirates-Pacific Partnership Fund to increase renewable energy on islands

UAE's Masdar completes solar power initiative in Vanuatu

The recent completion of a solar power project for the Pacific nation of Vanuatu marks the latest stage of a $50 million initiative managed by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company.

The United Arab Emirates-Pacific Partnership Fund (UAE-PPF) is behind the installation of three new solar PV plants in Vanuatu, a nation of 82 islands with a population of 225,000.

Port Villa, one of the more densely populated islands, is home to 44,000 people, of whom only 27 percent have access to electricity. While the island already has some local renewable energy generation capacity – including solar PV, wind, and hydro – the majority of energy demand is still met by diesel generators.

The solar PV installations in Vanuatu consist of 644kWp ground-mounted and car park structures at the Parliament House premises, and a 123kWp ground-mounted installation at the Meteorology and Geo-Hazard Department building.

The new plants in Vanuatu will help to increase the share for renewable energy in power generation, displace 896 tons of CO2 emissions and save 324,000 litres of diesel fuel worth $378,000 per year (at 2015 prices). The project also provides the added benefit of shaded parking for up to 112 cars.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, said: “Secure sources of clean energy are becoming an increasingly critical component of economic and social development. Island nations in the Pacific are especially vulnerable to some of the highest fuel costs in the world due to their dependence on imports.

"By helping to alleviate their energy burden, we are enabling these Pacific nations to allocate more of their resources to accelerating economic growth and maximising the potential of their inhabitants.”

The completed project is the latest stage in the implementation of the UAE-PPF. The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development provides the project funding for the entire Pacific programme.

Masdar works with each nation’s government to co-design and implement the projects, which enhance economic growth and sustainability by reducing dependency on fossil fuels, cutting carbon-dioxide emissions and improving access to electricity.

To date, the UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund has enabled the generation of a total of 2.8 megawatts of renewable energy capacity and replaced a total of 1.5 million litres of imported diesel fuel.

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