Auckland, New Zealand, 8 July 2018: The third session of the Pacific Renewable Energy Integration training programme, hosted by the United Arab Emirates, successfully concluded in Auckland, New Zealand, the organisers said in a Press communiqué. The programme focuses on development and financing of solar, wind and other renewable energy projects and is managed by Masdar, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the communiqué said. The programme is funded through the USD 50 million UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund (UAE-PPF), which has executed renewable energy projects in 11 Pacific Island countries.
The third session, which ran from July 2 to 5, 2018, notably featured content from parties involved directly in project implementation in Pacific island countries, including the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, ANZ Banking Group, law firm Chapman Tripp, The University of the South Pacific, Elemental Power and Renewables and ITP Renewables, the communiqué said.
Ahmed Al Dhaheri, Deputy Head of Mission UAE Embassy, New Zealand, said: “Renewable energy is the future direction of all markets. We are honoured to work with Pacific island countries on both the hardware and capacity-building elements of the transition. As we have seen in the UAE, public finance for renewable energy generation assets can kick-start growth, but ultimately the skills of utilities, regulators and other stakeholders need to be in place for the sector to thrive.”
The two-year regional training programme was initiated by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) in 2017, the communiqué said. The first two workshops took place in Fiji and Abu Dhabi, while the fourth and final session will be held on the sidelines of the General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi in January 2019, the communiqué further said.
Covering key technical, legal, commercial, financial, environmental and human resource aspects of renewable energy development, this month’s session drew 22 energy leaders and managers from 11 Pacific Island countries, the communiqué said. The workshop incorporated lessons learned from the successful delivery of UAE-PPF projects in the form of case studies and interactive exercises focused on renewable energy integration into island grids, the communiqué further said. The course also discussed projects currently under development in the Pacific, the communiqué added.
Commenting on the programme, Adel Al Hosani, Director Operations Department, ADFD, said: “Investing in a clean energy industry that employs talented, world-class professionals is central to achieving the Pacific Islands’ ambitious sustainability goals. As Abu Dhabi’s leading national entity for development aid, ADFD is delighted to finance the Renewable Energy Integration training programme that aims to empower the citizens of the Pacific Islands to capitalise on their valuable renewable resources.”
Khaled Ballaith, Director of Energy Services at Masdar, said: “With 11 renewable energy projects now operating across the Pacific Islands, the need for continuous local capacity-building is critical. At Masdar, we are pleased to leverage our expertise and the experience we gained from the UAE-PPF initiative to deliver a region-specific training programme that develops the skills of the local workforce and supports economic self-sufficiency of remote island states.”
The 11 projects delivered by Masdar through the UAE-PPF collectively increased the renewable energy generation capacity in the Pacific by 6.5 megawatts, the communiqué said. They notably replace 3.2 million litres of imported diesel, annually saving the islands USD 3.7 million in fuel costs, and displacing 8,447 tonnes of CO2 emissions, the communiqué further said.
The communiqué also said that MoFAIC launched the ADFD-funded USD 50 million UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund (UAE-CREF), in January 2017, to deploy renewable energy projects in 16 Caribbean countries, building on the success of the UAE-PPF.