Within the framework of the US$50 million UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund (UAE-PPF), the fourth and final workshop in the Integration of Renewable Energy in Pacific Island Countries training programme successfully concluded today.
Taking place just three days before the General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) convenes, as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2019 events, the workshop highlighted the proactive steps taken to increase the self-sufficiency and development of renewable energy in Pacific Island Countries.
Organized by Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC) and Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the training programme aims to further develop local expertise in renewable energy so as to sustain its growth across the Pacific Islands. Launched in 2016, the US$50 million UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund (UAE-PPF) was allocated to finance the implementation of renewable energy projects in 11 Pacific states.
The fourth session gathered senior government officials from 11 Pacific Island countries, and included strategic advice and counsel in renewable energy technologies and their characteristics, price trends, project economics, planning and finance, network integration and designing, in order to further enhance the integration of renewable energy solutions into the energy mix.
The workshop also incorporated case studies of several projects implemented in Pacific Island states through the UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund, as well as Interactive exercises and discussion on the new projects under development in the Pacific Island states.
The two-year regional training programme, organized by the (UAE-PPF), was launched in 2017. The first two workshops took place in Fiji and Abu Dhabi, while the third session, which included a module on project finance conducted by ANZ Banking Group, was held in Auckland, New Zealand in collaboration with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
In total, the four training workshops welcomed more than 200 participants, from government decision-makers to engineers and technicians.
On this occasion, Sultan Al Shamsi, Assistant Minister for International Development Affairs, said: "Renewable energy is increasingly the most cost-efficient and environmentally responsible solution for improving electricity access in small-island developing states, and further makes the business case for sustainable development. The UAE is immensely proud of its involvement in the Pacific Partnership Programme, and eager to build on the positive legacy established through the programme’s many clean energy projects through the delivery of practical skills and expert guidance to a broad range of stakeholders." His Excellency added: "Such training programmes enable developing countries to advance the use of renewable energy with greater self-sufficiency over the long term to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 2030."
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: "As the world grapples with the effects of climate change and economic dislocation, renewable energy investment is becoming an increasingly important form of developmental aid, and the UAE is taking the lead in this vital area. As the leading national entity for international development aid, ADFD is proud to work alongside its partners MoFAIC and Masdar to offer financing for projects that provide path-breaking solutions and help in creating sustainable jobs."
He added: "An integral part of such assistance is training and human capacity building, as the positive impact of this two-year training programme has demonstrated."
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer at Masdar, said: Working alongside both the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, it has been a privilege to deliver the Pacific Renewable Energy Integration training programme.
Al Ramahi said: "Effective local capacity building is key to the successful commissioning of sustainable renewable energy projects and to winning approval for future projects. As Masdar is committed to working with all its partners in the ongoing advancement of renewables in the Pacific Islands, and other developing regions."
The 11 projects delivered by the UAE-PPF to provide the Pacific island states with a total renewable energy generating capacity of 6.4 megawatts (MW), displacing around 8,447 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, and saving US$3.7 million, or 3.2 million litres in diesel fuel imports.
Building on the success of the UAE-PPF, MoFAIC launched the ADFD-funded US$50 million UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund (UAE-CREF) in January 2017. Funded by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and implemented by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company "Masdar", the initiative aims to deploy renewable energy projects in 16 Caribbean countries.
ADSW 2019 is held around the theme of ‘Industry Convergence: Accelerating Sustainable Development’ across the six pillars of energy & climate change, water, the future of mobility, space exploration, biotechnology, and technology for good.