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Go Green with GBO: UAE’s massive ‘Solar’ push ahead of historic COP28

The UAE is the world's sixth-highest user of solar energy per capita, trailing only Australia, The Netherlands, Japan, Israel, and Chile

According to a recent report from the Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy, the UAE is one of the world’s top solar energy users, partly due to the ambitious leadership of the Emirati government’s visionary policies.

The UAE is the world’s sixth-highest user of solar energy per capita, trailing only Australia, The Netherlands, Japan, Israel, and Chile. The UAE is home to three of the planet’s largest solar sites.

In addition to the largest single-site project in the world at Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai, the nation has created solar megaprojects, including Shams, Noor Abu Dhabi, and Al Dhafra in Abu Dhabi.

To significantly boost solar capacity, Masdar, the leading renewable energy firm in the nation, worked with important partners from the public and private sectors.

By showcasing and accelerating the UAE leadership’s trailblazing vision and dedication to a just and orderly clean energy transition, the firm continues to assist the UAE in becoming a global leader in the clean energy sector. The goal of the country is to lead the world in developing clean energy technologies, particularly solar energy, for a future that is cleaner and greener.

Also, the Emirates Development Bank (EDB), in September 2023, introduced an innovative ‘Solar Energy Finance Programme’, which will assist the country’s micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). This groundbreaking program allocated AED100 million to promote the adoption of green energy solutions, with a primary focus on solar energy initiatives.

The ‘Solar Energy Finance Programme’ addresses cost barriers that can potentially hinder the adoption of sustainable practices, apart from offering straightforward application processes and providing medium-and-long-term loans as well as working capital, with support specifically directed toward solar energy projects.

The initiative also caters to the financial needs of technology providers, equipment suppliers, energy consumers across various sectors, and other related energy endeavours such as electricity, hydrogen production and use, waste management, and water plants.

The ‘Solar Energy Finance Programme’ offers favourable terms and conditions like loans with tenors of up to eight years for structured finance projects and solar panels, along with grace periods of up to six months. The program includes a 100% Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio, providing finance for the full appraised value or purchase price of the asset.

The EDB financing also covers CAPEX finance for solar panels and offers Greenfield and Brownfield structured project financing for other renewable energy sources, enabling the development of larger-scale clean energy initiatives.

The UAE is still charting a course toward ‘Net Zero’ as it prepares to host COP28 at Expo City Dubai from November 30 to December 12.

The world’s largest climate conference, COP28, will bring together nearly 70,000 participants, including heads of state, top government officials, business executives, academics, experts, youth, and non-state players.

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