Renewable energy investments
IRENA and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) officially opens the fifth round of funding for renewable energy projects in developing countries.

In a joint statement, it was noted that $50 million of the funding is part of the ADFD’s $350 million commitment offering concessional loans to renewable energy projects endorsed by the the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Since 2012, the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility has enabled $333 million in loans to 15 renewable energy projects in 14 developing countries.

The statement further highlighted that so far the selected projects include off-grid, mini-grid and on-grid projects using wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass sources.

The first three cycles of the funding programme is claimed to have brought online more than 68MW of renewable energy, having improved the livelihoods of 760,000 people.

Access to funding

The agency’s Director-General, Adnan Z. Amin, said: “Many developing countries are blessed with abundant renewable energy resources, yet access to financing can still hinder development.”

Amin added: “IRENA’s partnership with ADFD helps overcome this challenge by offering concessional loans to quality renewable energy projects in developing countries, which then leverage additional investment.

“Funding from the facility helps boost renewable energy deployment and trigger economic growth, offering sustainable and affordable energy to people with limited or no access to electricity.”

Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD, also commented: “Selected projects have the potential to improve the livelihoods of millions of people by facilitating sustainable economic growth, bolstering energy security and expanding energy access.

“This collaboration with IRENA exemplifies our core business of partnerships and alliances to drive advancements in all key economy sectors, especially the renewable energy sector, which will guarantee a long-term, sustainable and environmentally conscious future.”

Through the facility, ADFD provides concessional loans ranging from $5 million to $15 million per project.

Finance is offered at 1-2% lending rates with a 20-year loan period, including a 5-year grace period.

IRENA grants additional funding

To help facilitate additional sources of funding, project developers are encouraged to register and seek financing sources from IRENA’s Sustainable Energy Marketplace.

Only projects located in IRENA member states, signatories of the statute, or states in accession are eligible to apply.

Applications are evaluated by an international panel of experts who review the projects based on technical feasibility, economic/commercial viability and socio-economic and environmental benefits.

The deadline for applications for the fifth cycle is 15 February, 2017.

Results will be announced in January 2018.