The global energy landscape is undergoing a major transformation. Attractive costs for solar and wind and emerging innovations like floating solar and solar rooftops are making clean energy a compelling proposition in many countries and improving the prospects for global efforts to fight climate change.
Renewable energy sources, including solar and wind, accounted for almost two-thirds of net new power capacity around the world in 2016, with almost 165 gigawatts (GW) of power coming online in 2016. Renewable electricity capacity is also forecast to expand by over 920 GW between 2017 and 2022.
While solar and wind energy are starting to see more and more uptake, there is no widespread solution in place to store the electricity they produce and use it when it is needed most. Energy storage – batteries in particular -- can help solve that problem.
But battery technology is expensive and not yet widely deployed in large-scale projects. The gap is particularly acute in developing countries, where wind and solar power have great potential, energy demand is growing, and where large populations often live without reliable, affordable electricity.
A new World Bank Group (WBG) program aims to close that gap.
“Accelerating Battery Storage for Development” is a new, first-of-its-kind global program to accelerate the deployment of battery storage for energy systems in developing and middle-income countries. It is expected to help countries ramp up their use of renewable energy, increase grid stability and help them leapfrog to a new generation of energy technology.
The WBG is committing $1 billion in financing for the program, which was announced by WBG President Jim Yong Kim at the One Planet Summit in New York.. It also aims to fundraise $1 billion in concessional climate funds, through channels such as the Climate Investment Funds’ Clean Technology Fund (CTF), and mobilize at least another $3 billion from the public and private sectors. The goal is to finance 17.5 gigawatt hours (GWh) of battery storage by 2025 – more than triple the 4-5 GWh currently installed in all developing countries.