Shortly before the convention of the General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) over the course of "Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week", the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company "Masdar" organized a high-level training workshop on renewable energy for top decision-makers and chief executives from 11 Pacific countries.
The training was covered by the AED 183.6 million (US$ 50 million) UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund funded by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) to deliver a two-year training program in energy for the Pacific region.
During the training, HE Sultan Al Shamsi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for International Development Affairs, stressed that " we are profoundly proud to highlight what we managed to achieve through the "UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund" (UAE-PPF) to answer clean energy needs, as it constitutes one of the key elements of the sustainable development. While these projects have had numerous positive effects on the respective national budgets of these countries and in preserving a carbon-free environment; not to mention enhancing growth potential in other sectors, UAE-funded energy projects have helped in saving millions of dollars that were disbursed to buy fuel, whereas the south pacific region has the world's highest cost. These savings were utilised for other development projects and towards achieving sustainable development".
His Excellency added that this second workshop builds upon the success of the first renewable energy training session held in Suva, the capital of Fiji, in late October 2017,
gathering 25 participants from the 11 Pacific Island countries that implemented renewable energy projects through the UAE-PPF, including Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau, Kiribati, Nauru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
The current workshop aims to provide objective answers to number of issues and questions that have risen around the importance of renewable energy, its properties, cost and advanced technologies it utilizes, as well as the integration between renewable energy grids and conventional energy grids. It also tackled techniques used to build standalone renewable energy systems and help decision-makers build renewable energy integrated systems and solutions, in addition to discussing success stories and other key topics relevant to sustainable development efforts in their respective countries.
Adel Al Hosani, Director of Operations, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, said: "The UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund, financed by ADFD, plays an active role in promoting renewable energy, expanding employment opportunities, and accelerating social and economic development in Pacific Islands."
He added: "Renewable energy projects have contributed to the achievement of the strategic objectives pursued by the governments of these nations. The training program is designed to unlock the full potentials of renewable energy towards improving electricity access in Pacific Islands."
A third training session is planned for October 2018 and will cater to project and technical managers responsible for utility operations and renewable energy project planning in the Pacific region.
Launched in 2013, the UAE-PPF enabled the installation of a total of 2.8 megawatts of renewable energy capacity and replaced approximately 3.2 million litres of imported diesel fuel. The combined output of the projects implemented through the fund has saved US$3.7 million per year in fuel costs (based on 2015 diesel prices) and eliminated approximately 8,450 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
"The comprehensive training programme is developed and managed by Masdar in collaboration with delivery partners from the University of the South Pacific in Fiji and two leading green energy consultancy companies – New Zealand's Elemental Power and Renewables and Australia's ITP Renewables.", he added.
MoFAIC is also leading the deployment of renewable energy projects in 16 Caribbean countries in partnership with ADFD and Masdar through the ADFD-funded US$50 million UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund. Launched at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January 2017, the fund is one of the largest grant investments in the region's renewables sector to date.