Asian solar panels
Asian solar panels

Ambitious additional funding for renewable energy projects in developing countries


In pursuit of its mission to rapidly promote the development and widespread use of renewable energy, the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, has announced the first funding cycle from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development. The announcement took place during a reception honoring UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the Rio+20 Conference.

The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, pledged 350 milion dollars in 2009 as part of the United Arab Emirates bid to host the Agency, is aimed at supporting and strengthening the mission of IRENA to promote the widespread and increased adoption and the sustainable use of renewable energy. This new and additional financing mechanism will support projects of strategic importance for developing countries in order to promote growth and sustainable development, though the deployment of renewable energy technologies.

IRENA is encouraging developing countries to present innovative project proposals that can contribute to the cost-effective promotion of renewable energy, energy access and national development with the potential for regional or global replication. The process for submission of project proposals will be soon available on the IRENA website.

Highlighting the importance of increased engagement and investment in the field of renewable energy, IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin noted that “significant investments are required to support the increased deployment of renewable energy. IRENA is joining hands with the ADFD to support projects of strategic importance for developing countries through the provision of soft loans and concessional financing in order to pave the way to a sustainable energy future, based on renewable energy.”

Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chief Executive of Masdar and UAE Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change said: “I would like to commend ADFD for supporting IRENA in delivering on its mandate and enabling it to encourage the implementation of renewable energy projects in developing countries. The UAE has a long history of supporting development projects around the world and this new fund will expand its support to include renewable energy. This further highlights Abu Dhabi’s commitment to universal access to sustainable energy.”

The announcement of this funding at the Rio+20 Conference highlights the importance of joining international efforts on all levels to promote the use of renewable energy in developing countries as a way to eradicate poverty. Accordingly, qualified projects will also respond to higher level objectives, such as the Millennium Development Goals and the SE4All.