The UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund (UAE-CREF) has entered the second cycle of its three-year plan to build climate-resilient renewable energy projects in 16 Caribbean nations, successfully completing new development and funding agreements for the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Guyana, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, and Suriname.
The announcement was made at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2020.
Under the new development and funding agreements, a solar photovoltaic (PV) carport and rooftop project will be built in the Dominican Republic; a solar PV and battery hybrid project will be developed for the village of Dondon, Haiti; a solar PV and battery hybrid plant will be constructed on the island of Wakenaam, Guyana; and a solar PV and battery hybrid project is planned for Carriacou in Grenada. In Saint Kitts and Nevis, two solar PV desalination plants will be developed, while Suriname will receive a solar PV and battery hybrid plant and Trinidad and Tobago, a solar PV carport.
Fully financed by Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the leading national entity for economic development aid, UAE-CREF is a partnership between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC), ADFD and Masdar, which is leading the design and implementation of the selected projects.
His Excellency Sultan Al Shamsi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for International Development Affairs, said: “The UAE-Caribbean collaboration comes within the framework of the UAE’s Foreign Aid Policy and five-year strategy, which is committed to assisting Small Island Developing States to achieve their national priorities and Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all; taking urgent action to combat climate change; and achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.
“It is our hope that these new agreements will enable beneficiaries to bolster their defences against climate change while further pursuing energy independence in the long term.”
His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: “In line with the UAE’s efforts to advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, ADFD prioritises development in the global renewable energy sector. The Fund finances sustainable solar, wind, hydroelectric and geothermal power ventures in the beneficiary countries, especially in the Small Island Developing States.”
He added: “Today’s announcement reaffirms the Fund’s commitment to working in partnership with the governments of beneficiary countries to translate their clean energy objectives into reality. We are confident that the selected second-cycle UAE-CREF projects will go a long way in meeting the outlined energy targets and driving sustainable economic growth in the seven countries.”
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: “Masdar is honoured to leverage its global expertise and experience in renewables to support the Caribbean’s sustainable energy transition. These landmark clean energy projects in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Guyana, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname will create jobs, boost gender equality and capacity building, reduce energy costs and reliance on expensive diesel fuels, as well as enhance climate resilience and stimulate economies.”
The projects represent significant steps forward advancing the renewable energy ambitions of the seven countries, with the Dominican Republic targeting renewable energy generation of 25 percent by 2025 and Haiti aiming to have 50 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Guyana has set a target of 47 percent renewable electricity generation by 2027, while Grenada is aiming for 100 percent by 2030 and Trinidad and Tobago is targeting 5 percent of peak demand by 2020.
Clean energy projects in the Bahamas, Barbados, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines were inaugurated in March 2019, while construction is expected to begin this year in Belize, Dominica, and Antigua and Barbuda, which will see the rebuilding of the power system on hurricane-devastated Barbuda.
International development and how it is accelerating the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through initiatives such as UAE-CREF was on the agenda at the Future Sustainability Summit, the anchor event of ADSW. The high-level panel, which was moderated by HE Dr Nawal Al Hosany, Permanent Representative for the UAE to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), comprised HE Wilfred Arthur Abrahams, the Barbados Minister of Energy and Water Resources; Adel Al Hosani, Operations Department Director, ADFD; and Olabode Esan, Head, Energy Services, Masdar.