World Bank supports Maldives to accelerate transition to renewable energy



WASHINGTON, DC, December 11, 2020—The World Bank Board of Directors today approved a $ 107.4 million project to help the Maldives accelerate their transition to renewable energy and support a sustainable recovery.

Accelerating the integration of renewable energies and sustainable energy (ARISE) The project builds on the efforts of the World Bank-funded Acceleration of Sustainable Private Investments in Renewable Energy (ASPIRE) initiative to attract private investment to increase renewable energy capacity in the Maldives. Both projects are designed to help address the climate challenges and vulnerabilities that the Maldives is exposed to as an island nation. By switching to renewable sources of energy production, the Maldives will also move away from fossil fuels and in turn reduce their carbon footprint significantly.

“The World Bank has adjusted its program to respond quickly to threats posed by the COVID-19 pandemic while focusing on building economic recovery and resilience. The ARISE project is aligned with the World Bank Group strategy to address post-COVID-19 challenges ”, mentionned Faris. H. Hadad-Zervos, World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Sri Lanka and Nepal. “While ASPIRE focused on inducing private developers to invest in renewable energies, the ARISE project goes further by focusing on the combination of risk mitigation mechanisms with innovative solar technologies, storage solutions and network upgrades.

The new project aims to expand solar power generation in and out of the Greater Malé region and to strengthen the capacity of the power system for the integration of electricity produced from solar power. The solar installations of the ASPIRE and ARISE projects will generate a cumulative capacity of 42.5 MW, which would constitute a significant addition to the 2020 target of 51 MW.

With the expertise and resources of the World Bank Group Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and International Finance Corporation (IFC), incentives will be offered to investors through a comprehensive risk mitigation package, which includes tariff buy-back subsidies, a secure payment mechanism and investment guarantees. In addition, existing power grids will be upgraded to accommodate an increasing volume of renewable energy, while battery systems will be deployed in the southernmost town of Addu and other islands to ensure energy integration. variable renewables and reliable supply in a cost-effective manner.

The project will support the training of staff from competent authorities and public service companies. It will also explore the potential of other renewable energy sources such as wind and hydrogen, as well as new technologies such as electric vehicle charging stations and vehicle-to-grid technologies. As part of the project’s technical assistance package, targeted actions will be taken to increase the participation of women in the Maldivian energy sector. This includes creating more and better jobs for women in the energy sector, organizing awareness-raising workshops dedicated to female students and skills development courses for women in the outer islands.

“Faced with the problems associated with fossil fuel imports and the associated volatility in fuel markets, the Maldives pays a high price for imported fuel. This translates into a high cost of electricity production in the islands, which justifies an increase in investments in renewable energies ” mentionned Amit Jain and Joonkyung Seong, World Bank Team Leaders for the ARISE project. “The project will help diversify investments and the knowledge base beyond tourism and fisheries and broaden employment prospects through the development of renewable energies and associated disruptive technologies. The development of a local presence and expertise in renewable energies will ensure continued penetration of renewable energies beyond the life of the project. “

The acceleration of the integration of renewable energies and sustainable energy will be implemented by the Ministry of Environment in close coordination with STELCO and FENAKA, the main utility companies in the Maldives. The total cost of the project is $ 107.4 million, including a grant of $ 12.4 million. International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessional credit window for developing countries. Funding from non-World Bank Group entities includes $ 30 million from the Clean Technology Fund, $ 20 million from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and $ 45 million commercial financing.


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