Masdar launches wind farm in Seychelles
Abu Dhabi, June 17, 2013
Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) have launched a 6-megawatt, eight-turbine wind farm in the Republic of Seychelles which will deliver clean energy to more than 2,100 homes.
The Port Victoria Wind Farm accounts for 8 per cent of Mahé Island’s energy capacity – the main island of Seychelles – which is home to 90 per cent of the country’s population.
The clean energy generated by this project – the first renewable energy project in the Seychelles – will displace 5,500 tons of carbon dioxide annually, power more than 2,100 homes and save 1.6 million litres of fuel per year. The project was developed by Masdar and funded by ADFD.
Seychelles currently relies on expensive diesel generators to meet its electricity demand. With fuel accounting for 25 per cent of the country’s total net imports, the tourist nation is committed to diversifying its energy mix and reducing its reliance on fuel imports.
Being an island country, with limited options to produce electricity, wind power generation presents a viable solution to meet a national target of 15 percent energy from renewable sources by 2030.
“Access to sustainable, clean sources of energy is vital to our long-term economic development,” said James Michel, president of the Republic of Seychelles.
“The addition of wind power is a major step toward meeting our clean energy targets and reducing our dependency on imported sources of power. We look forward to further opportunities to assess our wind power potential and continue to diversify our energy mix.
“We are grateful to the UAE support for funding, developing and delivering this wind power project,” remarked President Michel. “The Masdar wind farm will help us meet our rising demand for energy and also liberates budget to invest in economic and social growth opportunities,” he added.
With the price of renewable energy technologies falling, wind and solar power are becoming economically viable solutions to improve energy security and access. Renewable energy is also a clean and sustainable alternative, which helps developing nations insulate themselves from volatile fuel prices.
“The Seychelles wind project is an example of how access to energy can serve as a pathway for economic development and social opportunity,” said stated Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE minister of state and CEO of Masdar.
"In particular, for remote island nations, the integration of sustainable energy can deliver an immediate economic and tangible impact. Today, Seychelles can redirect fuel savings into investments in infrastructure development, social programs and to spurring economic growth," he said.
Dr. Al Jaber pointed out that the project builds on Masdar’s commitment to demonstrating the economic and environmental advantages of renewable energy.
“With prices falling and new advancements in technology, renewable energy is reaching grid parity in many parts of the world. With energy demand expected to double by 2030 – putting a further strain on our natural resources – renewable energy is a viable solution to power future growth,” he added.
For over 40 years, the UAE has assisted developing countries promote economic development and social opportunity. Today, the acceleration and adoption of renewable energy is a core component of the UAE’s efforts to help countries grow, alleviate poverty and deliver basic services.
“The UAE has been actively assisting developing countries to achieve economic growth and social opportunity through strategic aid and support programs,” said Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, the acting director general of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.
“We aim to achieve the UAE government‘s policy by working with the international community to enhance economic growth in developing countries by financing development projects," he stated.
According to him, ADFD focuses on vital sectors that are the cornerstone of growth and economic development, such as the renewable energy sector.
“Renewable energy is one of the most efficient and effective solutions for producing clean energy, which leads to more sustainable development. The Port Victoria Wind Farm is a model for how renewable energy can benefit the country. Masdar has been instrumental in delivering the project efficiently,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service