UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund

Non-Aligned Movement has stressed the importance of enhancing international Cooperation through partnership in all forms of energy including clean and renewable Energy. NAM has called upon the developed countries to transfer more efficient and environmentally sound technologies to developing countries.

NAM has highlighted the need to accelerate the development, dissemination and deployment of affordable and cleaner energy efficiency and energy conservation technologies, new and renewable energy technologies as well as transfer of such technologies, in particular for developing countries.

The UAE-Caribbean Renewable Fund launched in January 2017 by Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, United Arab Emirates, is a major example of international cooperation for promoting the use of renewable energy.

In 2017, UAE allocated US$ 50 million in grants for renewable energy projects in Caribbean small island developing state, thereby representing one of the largest single investment in the region’s clean energy sector. At the launch of the UAE-Caribbean Energy Fund, Al Hashimy remarked that the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund could simultaneously drive achievement of the Paris climate agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund has two objectives: 1) Increase the use and resilience of renewable energy applications in the region, including in related sectors such as water and waste, per national development and energy plans; and 2) Expand technical experience in designing, implementing, and managing renewable energy projects, to facilitate faster and lower-cost deployment in the future. The fund will prioritize solar, wind, waste-to-energy, geothermal and hydropower, and is primarily intended for new capacity. The Fund is administered by a Steering Committee consisting of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC), Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), and technical advisor Masdar. The Steering Committee is headed by the UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and implemented under the UAE Policy for Foreign Assistance, which includes renewable energy.

A number of projects have been selected for funding under the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund. In 2017, Cycle One of the Fund includes projects in Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with a focus on delivery of solar PV and battery storage technologies. Furthermore, it seeks to share knowledge and experience in designing, implementing, and managing renewable energy projects that can help reduce the high cost of energy in the region.

One such example is the funding of renewable energy projects in Barbados which will see a 500-kilowatt ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) system being constructed at a pumping station in the rural parish of St John, which serves 20,000 customers in rural Barbados. Another example is the UAE assistance towards the installation of a modern 800kw hybrid solar photovoltaic battery system in Antigua and Barbuda. This would provide the people of Barbuda with cutting-edge renewable energy technology that would aid stability on the grid while also reducing the requirements for costly imported fossil fuels.

In January 2018, it was announced that Belize would receive a grant from the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund for the emPOWER Rural Electrification project (emPOWER Project).

The emPOWER Project aims to provide renewable energy solutions to assist Belize in achieving universal energy access. This project plans to install 344 kW of solar PV and battery storage in rural villages that currently do not have access to the national electricity grid.

In September 2018, UAE confirmed grants of US$ 34.5 million to fund renewable energy projects in the Caribbean, that are built to withstand Category-5 hurricanes, located for enhanced resilience. Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, UAE’s Minister of Climate Change and Environment made this announcement at an event held on the side-lines of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and remarked that the resilience standard of the projects funded in the Caribbean reflect the reality of climate vulnerability in the region.

Thus, the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund represents a major pillar of expanding cooperation and promoting the sustainable use of different forms of renewable energy.

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