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$750 Million Clean Technology Fund Financing for Concentrated Solar Power in the Middle East and North Africa

December 16, 2009

December 2009 – The Clean Technology Fund (CTF) approved financing of $750 million on December 2, 2009, as part of an investment plan which will mobilize an additional $4.85 billion from other sources, to accelerate global deployment of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP). It will do so by investing in the CSP programs of five countries in the Middle East and North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia.

Objectives of the Plan

The Investment Plan will enable the MENA region to contribute to global climate change mitigation by:

Supporting the deployment of about 1 Gigawatt of CSP generation capacity, amounting to about 15% of the projected CSP global pipeline and a two-fold increase in worldwide CSP installed capacity by 2020;

Supporting associated transmission infrastructure in the Maghreb and Mashreq for domestic supply and exports, as part of Mediterranean grid enhancement that will enable the scale up of CSP through market integration in the region;

Leveraging in public and private investments for CSP power plants, thereby almost tripling current global investments in CSP;

Supporting MENA countries to achieve their development goals of energy security, industrial growth and diversification, and regional integration.

Press Release 

The MENA region, one of the best production conditions for solar power

No other region has such a favorable combination of physical and market advantages for CSP. The MENA region has physical attributes that make it particularly promising for CSP scale-up. The region has amongst the world’s best production conditions for solar power:

Abundant sunshine, low precipitation, and plenty of unused flat land close to road.

Networks and transmission grids. The economies of scale needed for global deployment of CSP can be achieved at the lowest cost of any region.

Market dynamics in the MENA region can provide a strong enabling environment for large-scale investments: The consumption of electricity in MENA is growing faster than in other regions and countries are looking to scale-up renewable energy to diversify their fuel mix away from hydrocarbons, and to enhance energy security.

Renewable Energy for Low Carbon growth

The Clean Technology Fund (CTF), one of two Climate Investment Funds, promotes scaled-up financing for demonstration, deployment and transfer of low-carbon technologies with significant potential for long-term greenhouse gas emissions savings. It is expected that the CTF will finance programs in 15 to 20 countries or regions.

What kind of programs does the CTF promote?

- Power Sector: Renewable energy and highly efficient technologies to reduce carbon intensity

- Transport Sector: Efficiency and modal shifts

- Energy Efficiency: Buildings, industry, and agriculture

The MENA region countries – today largely reliant on fossil fuel for energy provision – share a potential for renewable energy with a vast and largely untapped endowment of solar and wind power sources.

The World Bank supports scaling-up of concentrated solar power projects to deploy CSP technology at the scale of about 1 Gigawatt (1000 MW) over a 3-5 year time frame in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan.

This includes support for transmission infrastructure by strengthening systems in countries as well as interconnections within MENA and between MENA and Europe.

Data on Climate Change in the region

The MENA region accounts for 4.5% of global GHG emissions per capita

The growth of carbon emissions from fuel combustion is, however, the world’s third largest, and emissions grew more than 3 times faster than the global average between 1990 and 2004.

Most emissions originate in oil-producing countries, which account for 74% of the region’s total emissions.

Projections show that temperatures in the region will rise up to 2 degrees in the next 15-20 years and over 4 degrees by the end of the century.

Projections show that water run-off will decrease by 20 to 30% in most of the region.