World Bank to Boost Access to Electricity and Clean Fuels, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

June 21, 2012

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, June 21, 2012 —The World Bank Group announced today that it will boost efforts to expand energy access, while also increasing support for renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries, responding to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative.

The World Bank Group provides about $8 billion a year in financing for energy projects and programs, which leverages a comparable amount from donors, governments and the private sector.  Through the initiatives outlined below, and as part of its effort to support the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, the Bank Group seeks to double leveraging of its energy lending, emphasizing low-carbon energy, to $16 billion a year.

The Bank Group — which already supports energy access initiatives in 60 countries around the globe — plans to scale up initiatives to provide electricity, clean household fuels and improved cookstoves in selected countries, while also seeking increased financing to implement them, said Mahmoud Mohieldin, World Bank Managing Director.

“Providing access to electricity to the world’s 1.3 billion people who are without it, and clean household fuels to the 2.7 billion without them, is a priority for the World Bank Group,” Mohieldin said. “At the same time, we will promote energy efficiency practices and facilitate efforts by countries to shift to cleaner energy sources.”

Specifically, the Bank Group pledged to:

  • provide technical assistance, policy guidance and financing to help up to five selected countries establish energy access plans;
  • expand access programs such as Lighting Africa, which develops off-grid lighting markets, to provide affordable lighting to 70 million low-income households by 2020;
  • advance the clean cooking agenda by supporting clean cookstoves and household fuels programs in Africa, South and East Asia, and Central America;
  • provide risk mitigation for clean energy investments;
  • support development of geothermal power in developing countries;
  • support cities in improving energy efficiency;
  • help countries undertake mapping of renewable energy resources;
  • support small island developing states’ investments in clean energy;

The Climate Investment Funds, managed by the Bank Group and regional multilateral development banks, and to which donors have pledged $7 billion, will also be invested, to a large extent, in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in ways that leverage private investment.

The Bank Group’s new commitments to initiatives to support geothermal development, especially in Africa, mapping of renewable energy resources, and clean energy development in small island states, as well as scaled-up backing for energy efficiency programs in cities will be undertaken in partnership with the multi-donor Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP).  

Finally, the Bank Group will work with ESMAP and a wider consortium of international agencies, to produce a baseline report on current status, worldwide, with respect to the three Sustainable Energy for All goals. This will form the basis for regular global tracking reports to monitor and report on progress towards the 2030 targets for access, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

“By mobilizing our knowledge, financial resources and convening power, along with that of our partners, I am convinced that we can find the right strategies and the financing needed to eliminate energy poverty and achieve these goals by 2030,” Mohieldin said.


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