ADB, Maldives Sign Agreements to Expand Renewable Energy Access

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Maldives have signed loan and grant agreements of up to US$50.5 million to expand renewable energy generation and distribution in Maldives.

ADB Deputy Director General for South Asia Cindy Malvicini and Finance Minister Mohamed Shafeeq signed the agreements at the Ministry of Finance for the Accelerating Sustainable System Development Using Renewable Energy (ASSURE) Project. Climate Change, Environment, and Energy Minister Thoriq Ibrahim and Japan’s Ambassador to Maldives Midori Takeuchi participated in the ceremony.

 “The project is designed to enhance energy security and facilitate the sustainable transition of the power sector in the Maldives through strategic capital-intensive investments in energy storage and related technologies—supporting scalable investments and preparedness of island grids for heightened renewable energy integration and private sector investment in renewable energy on the outer islands,” said Ms. Malvicini.

“ADB recognizes and appreciates the collaborative synergy that has been fostered through this partnership, underscoring the collective determination to propel Maldives toward a more resilient, green, and energy-efficient future.”

“ADB has been a vital development partner for the past 45 years in Maldives, particularly in the realms of energy, transport, water and urban infrastructure and public sector management. The overall engagements with the bank and technical teams have assisted in strengthening the human capital, which is the most important factor in ensuring the development of the nation,” said Mr. Shafeeq. “I am also pleased to see the bank and other partner’s commitment toward our journey on expanding the renewable energy sector.”

ADB’s support consists of US$41.5 million from the Asian Development Fund which provides grants to ADB’s most vulnerable developing member countries, an US$8.5 million concessional loan from ordinary capital resources, and a US$500,000 grant from the Climate Change Fund.

This package will be supplemented with a US$48 million co-financing from the Asia-Pacific Climate Finance Fund, Clean Technology Fund, Japan Fund for the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JFJCM), and investments from the private sector, as well as a US$1.97 million counterpart financing from the government.

Maldives Renewable Energy Push

The ASSURE project will install grid-scale energy storage, energy management systems, and distribution grid upgrades in 20 outer islands, to attract private sector investments to establish solar photovoltaic facilities in these areas.

Emerging technologies, such as ocean-based floating solar panels, ocean energy devices, small wind turbines, and flow batteries, will be installed. ADB will also provide support through transaction advisory in developing public–private partnerships for solar independent power producer projects.

The project will also strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Technology, as well as other related agencies. This includes enhancing skills in financial management and design and implementation of emerging renewable energy systems and technologies.

“During the high-level segment of COP28, President Mohamed Muizzu announced the government’s target to produce 33% of electricity in Maldives within 5 years from renewable energy sources with support from international partners,” said Mr. Ibrahim. “The loan agreement that we signed today is a testament to the ADB’s contribution to our country. It will greatly contribute to achieving the renewable energy targets of this government.”

“JFJCM has allocated grants to eight ADB investment projects, and three out of the eight projects are in Maldives,” said Ms. Takeuchi. “The international community collectively needs to commit and mobilize technology and innovation to achieve carbon neutrality, while maximizing the introduction of renewable energy sources. To this end, Japan is determined to lead the way in clean energy transition and ready to fully support Maldives on this endeavor.”