The Maldives has entered into financing agreements worth US$75.5 million with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to boost its renewable energy capabilities.

The financing package, part of the Accelerating Sustainable System Development Using Renewable Energy (ASSURE) project, includes US$57 million in grants and US$18.5 million in concessional loans, according to the Ministry of Finance, and the agreements were signed at the ministry on Tuesday. The project is co-financed by Japan Fund for the Joint Crediting Mechanism, Clean Tehnology Fund, Climate Change Fund, and Asia-Pacific Climate Finance Fund

The project encompasses several key initiatives, including the installation of 20 MW solar power systems across 20 islands and a 44 MW solar battery energy storage system to enhance grid stability. Additionally, a wind energy power generation system will be established on one island, along with a pioneering electricity generation system using seawater.

The Environment Ministry also highlighted the inclusion of a community irrigation system and a farming development programme powered by solar energy in one island. This is complemented by the procurement of three MW solar PV systems under the ‘My Solar Programme.’

Environment Minister Thorig Ibrahim, speaking at the signing ceremony, underscored the project’s significance in achieving the nation’s goal of generating 33 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. This target aligns with the commitments made by President Mohamed Muizzu at the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP28.

The project promises substantial environmental benefits, with an estimated annual saving of 10 million litres of diesel and a reduction of 26,000 tonnes of toxic gas emissions.

Signing the agreement on behalf of ADB was Deputy Director General Cindy Malvicini, while Finance Minister Mohamed Shafeeq represented the Maldives. The ceremony saw the presence of ADB officials, the Japanese Ambassador to Maldives, officials from the Japanese Embassy, and Maldivian government representatives.