A delegation from Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the leading national entity for development aid, and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the global platform for international cooperation on renewable energy, visited Mauritius to assess the ADFD-funded $10mn (AED36.7 million) solar PV kits project.
Announced at the Eighth Session of the IRENA Assembly, the project to provide 10,000 Solar PV kits to low income communities – one of the beneficiaries of the fifth funding cycle – is being financed through the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility. Established in 2013, this seven-cycle facility offers $350mn in concessional loans from ADFD to help developing countries access low-cost capital for renewable energy projects.
During the visit, the technical delegation reviewed the feasibility of the project, its technical integrity and its compatibility with the country's strategic and development priorities. The delegation also consulted the relevant authorities and assessed the sustainability of the project and its various implementation stages.
On the sidelines of the visit, the mission held a number of meetings with officials and stakeholders in the energy sector in Mauritius including HE Ivan Leslie Collendavelloo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mauritius, Shamshir Mukoon, Acting General Manager of the Central Electricity Board, as well as key representatives from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
The project will help the Mauritius Central Electricity Board install solar PV systems on the rooftops of 10,000 households as part of the government’s efforts to alleviate poverty, while contributing to the national target of integrating 35 per cent of renewable electricity in the energy mix by 2025.
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: "We enjoy strong and strategic ties with the Government of Mauritius. In line with its mandate, ADFD is keen to aid developing countries in achieving their outlined national priorities, and enable them to overcome their economic challenges by financing vital socio-economic projects, including energy, that contribute to improving the standard of living of the population.”
Al Suwaidi added: “To ensure the timely execution of its funded projects, ADFD dispatches delegations to beneficiary countries to enable further assessment, follow up, and adherence to best international standards.”
Spanning the lifespan of the project, an estimated 10,000 families in low-income communities will benefit from approximately US$8.3 million in electricity bill savings. The project will bring 10 megawatts (MW) of new renewable energy capacity online resulting in mitigating 143,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually, as well as improvements in the country’s energy security domain.
To ensure the success of the solar energy project as well as identify challenges and obstacles that may arise, the Government of Mauritius is currently implementing a pilot scheme that includes the installation of 1,000 Solar PV kits on rooftops of households. During the visit, the delegation visited three different pilot sites.