Renewable Energy in Developing States, projects and opportunities

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International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) initiated in 2014 five selection of cycles to pick 21 projects to fund with 214 million USD in Developing States. This process came to an end this year and the funded projects are now public. Projects are funded by ADFD based on an agreed selection process and resulting recommendations by the International Renewable Energy Agency. The main post-selection stages are as follows:

1. Preliminary loan offer, acceptance and project appraisal.

2. Agreement signing and ratification.

3. Procurement of consulting engineers to support the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) in providing project oversight.

4. Procurement of Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractors.

5. Construction/installation and commissioning stage; includes several disbursements to the project, as per milestones set by the PIU.

By the end of November 2018, 16 of the 21 projects were progressing through the post selection stages. Seven of those 16 projects are expected to begin generating electricity in 2019. Technology options, country political and economic factors, climate-induced/environmental factors, and the implementation capacity of the proponents are all key attributes that contribute to the rate of progress of the projects. Of those projects progressing with ADFD funding, seven (or 44%) have reached have reached the construction/ commissioning stage (stage 5); three are in procurement (stages 3 and 4); five are in the agreement/ratification stage (stage 2) and only one project remains in the preliminary loan offer stage (stage 1). The sections below provide updates on the progress of the projects at various critical milestones and list the challenges faced by each project to date. Environmental factors affect project progress in two ways: firstly, extreme weather occurrences such as hurricanes and tropical storms slow down progress – particularly in island states. Secondly, possible exposure to harsh environmental conditions increases project risk levels and consequently affects project costs. In some case, expensive design options are recommended for environmental-proofing of projects. These additional costs drive up total project budgets and delay their financial close.

Figure.1 Projects funded through IRENA/ADFD initiative.
 [IRENA/ADFD Advancing renewables in Developing States, 2019]

MALDIVES

Small-scale waste to energy plant was funded with 6 million USD and will have a capacity of 4 MW. The power plant is expected to be completed in 2020 and it will benefit 25% of the Maldivian population (122 000 people) and will save 55 000 tones of waste from landfills and 9 200 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. The power plant will provide renewable electricity to the population by combustion of municipal waste and will also power a desalination plant through heat recovery that will provide 551000 liters of fresh water.

 MALI

Hybrid solar PV systems for rural electrification in 32 villages. The project funded with 9 million USD and have a capacity of 4 MW. It involves the installation of decentralized solar PV mini-grid to provide sustainable electricity to 32 villages in 6 regions of Mali. Existing diesel mini-grids will be converted to solar hybrid systems and 154 km of new grid lines will be installed to increase access to power for non-electrified population. Such investment will substantially increase the share of renewables in the electricity mix of Mali. By the end of 2021 that the project will be completed 123000 people will have energy access in 32 villages, 2 000 jobs are expected to be created and 5 000 tons of CO2 emissions will be averted from the environment in an annual basis.

MAURITANIA

A wind power plant of 1 MW to electrify coastal communities is funded with 5 million USD. It is going to provide four off-grid coastal fishing villages with decentralized renewable energy for domestic use, desalination plants and ice production facilities. A total of 18 wind turbines of 15 kW capacity will be installed providing 270 kW capacity for each village. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2020 and will provide energy access to 8 000 people and ice-making facilities electrification will boost the productivity of the communities.

 SIERA LEONE

A solar PV power plant of 6 MW in Freetown will electrify renewably 15 000 people, mitigating 8 000 tons of CO2 emissions. It is going to be the first large scale PV installation in Western Africa. The construction stage will be completed by 2019 and will cost 9 mill USD.

 ARGENTINA

The Nahueve hydropower project is a multi-purpose plant that involves a 7 MW mini-hydropower plant and will provide both potable and irrigation water for the population. The funding collected is 15 million USD and its construction phase will be completed by 2022. Energy access will be provided to 54 000 people, will employ 130 and is expected to improve reliability and agricultural productivity while its environmental impact will be much higher as 22 800 tons of CO2 will be mitigated annually. It will also contribute to energy security of the country by saving 7.3 million liters of fuel.

 CUBA

A 10 MWp grid connected solar PV plant, acquired funding of 15 million USD with the aim to reduce the fossil fuels dependency of the nation. Cuba has a large potential for renewable energy and this power plant will be one of the biggest in the country. It is going to benefit 6 500 people and mitigate 10 800 tons of CO2 annually from the atmosphere.

 SAINT VINCENT AND GRENADINES

One of the most innovative geothermal energy project, gathered 15 million USD in funding with the aim to provide sustainable and reliable source of power. By the completion of the project, the project will assist the nation to cover approximately 73% of its needs from renewables, in line with their Energy Action Plan. The project will have a capacity of 10 to 15 MW and is expected to be fully operational by 2023. Energy security is going to be increased for the small nation, as 17 million liters of fossil fuels are going to be avoided and 53 000 tons of CO2 to be mitigated.

 NIGER

Niger is expected to electrify 100 rural villages with a 2.1 MW solar PV power plant and is a part of a governmental plan for 200 villages electrification. It is worth noting, that Niger is a country that only 10% of the population has access to electricity. By the completion of the project, that is expected to be by the end of 2019, 21 000 people will be electrified, while the benefits are going to affect more than 150 000 people. It will create 250 jobs and reduce substantially the pollution.

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