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McCully and Dr Al Jaber signing the agreement between the UAE and New Zealand

McCully and Dr Al Jaber signing the agreement between the UAE and New Zealand



Masdar, Pacific states team up

February 2014

THE UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, along with Masdar, signed a partnership arrangement with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to accelerate the global deployment of renewable energy, particularly in Pacific Island countries. Potential project financing comes from a NZ$65 million ($54 million) pledge by the New Zealand government and a $50 million grant UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund, which is endowed by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD). The partnership was signed during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the Middle East’s largest gathering focused on sustainability.

The bilateral cooperation will identify projects that demonstrate the economic and technical viability of renewable energy in developing countries. Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, will implement projects on behalf of the UAE in partnership with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

For island nations in the Pacific – which rely primarily on diesel imports – the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) reports that renewable energy has reached a tipping point and now outcompetes traditional sources of power generation on cost.

“This partnership allows New Zealand and the UAE to work even closer together over the next three years as we expand energy access throughout the Pacific and other regions,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and CEO of Masdar. “Both foreign ministries have a strong record of deploying renewable energy as a tool for positive social, environmental and economic impact – which enables sustainable growth.”

The partnership agreement was signed by Murray McCall, New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Dr Al Jaber.

The UAE has signed partnerships with five Pacific island countries to deploy renewable energy projects, financed from the $50 million UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund. The solar and wind projects – in Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Tuvalu and Vanuatu – represent one of the largest capital investments in the region’s clean energy sector. With grant financing from ADFD, project completion is expected in late 2014.

All five projects will be co-designed and implemented by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, in cooperation with each nation’s government. The La’a Lahi ‘Big Sun’ solar plant in Tonga, commissioned in November 2013, was the first project to receive funding from the UAE.

During a signing ceremony held during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, Dr Al Jaber said: “Access to clean energy is a critical component of economic and social development. This is especially true in the Pacific, as the island nations face some of the highest fuel costs in the world and clean energy delivers a tremendous impact in terms of savings and growth potential.”

The projects are estimated to save more than 1.2 million litres of diesel fuel annually and mitigate 3,030 tonnes of CO2 per year. They are also designed to demonstrate the viability of renewable energy in remote locations, where the International Renewable Energy Agency reports that renewable energy now outcompetes traditional diesel imports on cost.




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