Abu Dhabi Fund for Development has earmarked $25 million in concessional loans for two solar PV projects, one each in Mauritius and Rwanda.
The announcement was made at the Eighth Session of the IRENA Assembly that both projects – beneficiaries of the fifth funding cycle – are being financed through the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility. Established in 2013, the $350 million in concessional loans is designed to help developing countries access low-cost capital for renewable energy projects.
The loans cover up to 50% of project costs, leveraging additional funding from other sources. Since 2014, ADFD has allocated $214 million to 21 projects, attracting over $420 million in additional co-financing from governments and development funds.
“For developing countries, renewable energy is a triple win: it provides a cost-effective means of providing electricity to families, fuels economic growth, and supports energy independence and security,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “We are delighted that our continued partnership with ADFD will provide a stable, low-cost source of financing to help Mauritius and Rwanda achieve a sustainable energy future.”
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, added, “Our collaboration with IRENA articulates ADFD's core mandate to support sustainable economic and social progress across developing countries through financing development projects that serve vital economic sectors.”
In Mauritius, the $10 million loan will help the Central Electricity Board install solar PV systems on rooftops of 10,000 households as part of the government’s efforts to alleviate poverty whilst contributing to the national target of achieving 35% of renewable electricity in the energy mix by 2025. An estimated 35,000 people in low income communities will benefit from significant electricity bill savings. The project will bring 10 MW of new renewable energy capacity online, resulting in savings of over $35 million in fossil fuel imports over the project lifetime and improvements in the energy security of the country.
In Rwanda, the $15 million loan will contribute to the installation of 500,000 off-grid solar PV home systems across the country, providing clean electricity for lighting, mobile phone and radio charging. The project is a major part of the government’s rural electrification strategy and is one of the most affordable payment schemes in Africa. It employs a flexible mobile payment platform, essential in areas poorly served by banking and transportation infrastructure.