As the #YearofSolar continues, many exciting announcements about new funding initiatives are rolling in. IRENA’s $46 million investment in solar for developing nations as well as a new effort by the Department of Energy to strengthen solar storage technologies are two leading headlines from this week’s Solar Energy News.
International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Brings $46 Million in Loans to West Africa, Caribbean
This week, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), announced $46 million in funding for four renewable energy projects in the developing world. Senegal and Burkina Faso will receive funds for solar energy installations, while Cape Verde and Antigua and Barbuda will install a combination of solar and wind energy technology.
Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of IRENA, explained that although renewable resources are plentiful in the developing world, the necessary financing for the installation of clean technologies is not. ADFD Director-General Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi believes that this partnership and funding effort will help to significantly narrow the gap in sustainability efforts between developing nations and the developed world.
IDF to Bring Off-Grid Solar to Israeli Army Bases
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is making strides in off-grid solar. The latest initiative: solar energy lighting. This past Wednesday, the military organization announced a project to install 550 high-functioning solar-powered security lights at various military bases across Central and Southern Israel. This announcement is the latest in a series of actions by the IDF to move away from expensive and polluting diesel generators towards cleaner, renewable resources like solar power.
DOE Invests $18 Million in Solar Storage Funding, Boosts Grid Efficiency
IRENA wasn’t the only ‘bright’ solar investor this week. On Tuesday, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced a major initiative to boost grid resiliency and solar storage in the U.S. This round of funding comes as a part of the DOE’s Grid Modernization Initiative, an effort to improve the reliability of the U.S. power grid by advancing solar storage technologies that power homes even when the sun isn’t shining. David Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, explained the justification for this initiative, stating that energy storage and solar PV “will play an increasingly important role in reaching the nation’s climate and clean energy goals in the coming years.”