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UAE announces US$50M worth of Caribbean renewable energy projects

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund (UAE-CREF) has approved several renewable energy projects across the Caribbean worth some US$50 million.

Dubai, one of the emirates in the United Arab Emirates. (Photo: britannica.com)

The projects approved for funding are located in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Guyana, Grenada, Saint Kitts-Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, and Suriname. The announcement was made today at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2020, one of the world’s largest sustainability gatherings, taking place this week in the UAE capital.

Approval of the Caribbean renewable energy projects by the UAE-CREF comes in wake of the fund entering the second cycle of its three-year plan to build climate-resilient renewable energy projects in 16 Caribbean nations and has now successfully completed new development and funding agreements of US$50 million.

“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.”

– Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for International Development Affairs, Sultan Al Shamsi notes that

These projects will be fully financed by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) which is the UAE’s, leading national entity for economic development . The UAE-CREF is a partnership involving the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, ADFD and Masdar, which is leading the design and implementation of the selected projects.

Commenting on the new projects approved for funding, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for International Development Affairs, Sultan Al Shamsi notes that “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”.

Trinidad and Tobago is one of several regional nations that will benefit from the renewable energy projects.

He expressed the UAE’s hope that these new agreements will enable beneficiaries to bolster their defences against climate change while further pursuing energy independence in the long term For his part, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD states that “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.”

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar reports that his organisation is honoured to leverage its global expertise and experience in renewables to support the Caribbean’s sustainable energy transition. He states that, “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.”

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar
(Photo: arabianbusiness.com)

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 per cent by 2025 and Haiti aiming to have 50 per cent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Guyana has set a target of 47 per cent renewable electricity generation by 2027, while Grenada is aiming for 100 per cent by 2030 and Trinidad and Tobago is targeting five per cent 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.