A renewable energy project in the Maldives, financed by Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, one of the UAE’s major financial institutions, has received a certification from Global Innovation Institute (GINI), a leading international professional certification, accreditation and membership association in the field of innovation.
The first of its kind initiative, for which ADFD provided a concessional loan of AED22 million ($6 million) in 2015, aims to address the country’s waste management and energy challenges through the construction of facilities that will use waste in an ecofriendly manner to generate about 4MW of energy, according to the press release. The project will eventually cover three Islands of Vandhoo, Addu and Kulhudhuffushi.
Addressing a virtual meeting on the project recently, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of the Fund, said: “We are proud to have financed this project, which perfectly aligns with our motto to promote socioeconomic development all over the world through sustainable and ingenuous initiatives. As for this project, it is an example of how innovative ideas can be put to use to save the environment and benefit every individual and community.”
The provision of clean energy and integrated waste management would benefit 122,000 people, save 3.5 million litres of diesel annually, and reduce carbon-dioxide emission by 9,200 tonnes a year. In addition, it will help the nation to produce 551,000 litres of desalinated water each year through clean energy, not to mention incineration of 55,000 tonnes of waste that will reduce marine pollution.
“The initiative thus helps the Maldivian government to achieve SDG 7, which seeks to ensure everyone has access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services by 2030; as well as SDG 15, which aims to conserve the environment,” noted HE Al Suwaidi.
The Maldives aims to be a low-carbon economy and the government is targeting to meet 30 percent of daytime electricity demand with renewable energy. Addu has already achieved the target. By accelerating the government’s energy-transformation effort, the waste-to-energy project will preserve the environment, as well as the health of its tourism industry.
“We are a tourism economy; we sell our natural environment. Yet, we lag in terms of waste management. ADFD has been instrumental in the development of our energy sector. The support that they provided to install a waste-to-energy plant in Raa Atoll Vandhoo has been the first of its kind. We are very happy with the outcome of the project,” said Ajwad Mustafa, Permanent Secretary at the Maldives’ Ministry of Environment.