ABU DHABI — The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) announced on Sunday it would extend concessional loans worth $41 million to six developing nations to implement renewable energy projects. The ADFD financial support, in cooperation with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), will finance clean energy schemes with a total capacity of 35 megawatts to bring sustainable power to rural communities in Ecuador , Sierra Leone , the Maldives , Mauritania , Samoa and Mali , officials from both agencies said at a press conference. IRENA Director General Adnan Amin indicated that the $41 million represent the first of seven cycles totalling $350 million in soft loans to be given by ADFD over seven years. He said the clean energy projects will enable some communities to have power for the first time, adding they would also have access to drinking water from desalination plants powered by renewable energy. "Financing is one of the main issues hindering renewable energy, particularly in developing countries," Amin indicated, noting that the main objective of the partnership between IRENA and ADFD is to remove the risks of investments in promising energy schemes. According to Adel Al Hosani , director of the operations department in the government-owned ADFD, the fund believes that not only developed countries should own renewable energy but also developing nations, noting that clean technology will enable countries facing financial shortages cut their energy bills. Hosani said the second cycle of the funding will be $59 million , pointing out that over 80 projects valued at $800 million applied to benefit from the second round. The announcement of the loans came on the second and final day of the IRENA general assembly which, according to officials from the inter-governmental organisation, was attended by representatives from 151 countries. The general assembly of the Abu Dhabi -headquartered organisation was the first day of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), which is being attended by more than 30,000 people from across the globe. Three major ADSW events kicked off on Monday at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre — the World Future Energy Summit, International Water Summit and the EcoWASTE summit — in the presence of several heads of states, prime ministers, ministers and industry experts.
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