The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the leading national entity for international development aid, together with the Cuba’s Ministry of Energy and Mines, and International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), today inaugurated a new 10 megawatt (MW) solar PV project. The grid-connected project was financed by ADFD with US$15 million under the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility and will deliver enough electricity to power the equivalent of nearly 7,000 Cuban homes.
The solar PV project contributes to the Cuban government’s national objectives to reduce the use of fossil fuels for electricity generation and increase the share of power from renewables to 24 per cent by 2030. This project will mitigate around 12,700 tCO2 emissions annually.
The inauguration took place in the presence of Cuba’s Vice-Minister of Energy and Mines, Mr. Livan Arronte, His Excellency Bader Almatrooshi, UAE Ambassador to Cuba, and Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA.
Speaking on the occasion, His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: “ADFD is proud to have partnered with the Cuban government and IRENA in completing this crucial 10 MW solar PV project. We are confident that the impact from this renewable energy venture will ensure widespread economic, environmental and social benefits to the Cuban people.”
He added: “The Fund’s interest in the renewable energy sector reflects its dedication to supporting international efforts to achieve the outlined energy priorities of developing countries and the UN’s SDGs, as well as contribute in meeting global climate targets.”
His Excellency Bader Almatrooshi, said: “As an active member of the international community and under the leadership of the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE proactively supports global efforts to achieve the outlined objectives of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
He added: “The UAE and Cuba enjoy long-standing and robust bilateral relations. This project is a testament to cross-border collaboration in supporting transformative renewable energy projects across the world.”
Commending ADFD and IRENA for their role in supporting national energy, climate and sustainable development priorities, His Excellency Raúl García Barreiro said: “Not only has the funding from ADFD helped in achieving outlined national priorities, but also helped in the completion of this transformative venture. The unique and important partnership with ADFD has aided in meeting the country’s energy targets.”
He added: “Furthermore, the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility is a testament to the importance of cross-border innovative solutions in renewable energy. The 10 MW Grid-connected Solar PV project will help in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increase the share of renewables in Cuba’s energy mix.”
The project was approved for funding by ADFD during the second cycle of the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility as part of the ADFD initiative launched in 2013 with a commitment of US$350 million over seven funding cycles to support renewable energy projects in IRENA-member developing countries.
IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera said: “Today marks an important moment for Cuba and the Cuban people. Renewable energy supports energy security, creates jobs and contributes to emission reductions. This 10MW project sets Cuba on a positive pathway to meeting these objectives and demonstrates that through strategic cooperation we can inject momentum into the energy transition.”
To date, ADFD has provided concessionary loans cumulatively valued at US$245 million to 24 renewable energy projects over six cycles of the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility.
Notably, from its inception in 1971 until December 2018, ADFD has financed hundreds of development projects in the renewable energy sector around the world worth US$1.187 billion. Driving the objectives of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, these projects have contributed to the production of about 2,584 MW of renewable energy in benefited countries.