The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) have set aside $25-million in concessional loans for solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in Mauritius and Rwanda.
According to ADFD the projects have potential to significantly transform the lives of more than 2.5-million people and alleviate poverty by bringing affordable energy to low-income communities.
“Renewable energy can positively impact the sustainable development spectrum in terms of improved health and education outcomes, better livelihoods and working conditions, and lower air pollution.”
The loans cover up to 50% of project costs, leveraging additional funding from other sources,” Irena director-general Adnan Amin said in a statement.
Amin said for developing countries, renewable energy provides a cost-effective means of providing electricity to families. It also fuels economic growth and supports energy independence and security.
“However, many developing countries have trouble accessing financing for renewable energy investment. 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.”
In Mauritius, the ADFD loan of $10-million 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 while contributing to the national target of achieving 35% of renewable electricity in the energy mix by 2025.
In Rwanda, the ADFD loan of $15-million will contribute to the installation of 500 000 off-grid solar PV home systems across the country, providing clean electricity for lighting, and 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.