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PRESS RELEASE September 23, 2019

UK Commits $250 Million; Denmark, France, Netherlands Pledge $130 Million to World Bank Initiatives on Energy Storage, Solar Power and Clean Cooking

NEW YORK, September 23, 2019 – The United Kingdom pledged £200 million ($250 million) to the Climate Investment Funds’ Global Energy Storage Program, which in collaboration with the World Bank’s Energy Storage Partnership aims to deliver breakthrough energy storage and renewable energy solutions at scale.

France’s Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the Netherlands pledged $100 million to the Solar Risk Mitigation Initiative (SRMI), with the Netherlands also announcing $20 million for the Bank’s planned Clean Cooking Fund.

The UK’s contribution supports the World Bank Group’s goal of mobilizing $1 billion in concessional climate funds for a global program on energy storage, alongside its own commitment of $1 billion, announced at the One Planet Summit in September 2018.

The program is expected to help middle-income and developing countries increase their use of renewables, particularly wind and solar power, improve energy security, increase grid stability and expand access to electricity. It also aims 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.

Solar Risk Mitigation Initiative

The pledges from France and the Netherlands, as part of SRMI, will provide support to countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, which have some of the world’s largest gaps in electricity access, as they scale up their off-grid and grid-connected solar energy programs.

The Dutch government committed $44 million to the Regional Off-Grid Electrification Project in the Sahel, in addition to the $224.7 million from IDA and Climate Investment Funds’ Clean Technology Fund announced in April 2019. The project aims to increase electricity access for households, businesses and public institutions using modern, standalone solar systems. About 1.7 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa are expected to get electricity access or improved service through the effort.

France’s €50 million ($55 million) will provide private investors with guarantees for smaller solar projects in Sub-Saharan Africa through the Africa Trade Insurance Agency. This will help bridge the gap for smaller projects and help countries deploy privately financed solar projects quickly and efficiently.

SRMI was launched at COP24 by the World Bank in partnership with AFD, the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

For more information on SRMI:

Clean Cooking

The Netherlands’ support for the World Bank’s planned $500 million Clean Cooking Fund under the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) will help accelerate progress toward universal access to clean cooking by 2030. Denmark announced that it would double its contribution to ESMAP to DK 90 million ($13 million), with a focus on clean cooking. Norway and the United Kingdom also pledged their support.

The Clean Cooking Fund will provide financial and technical support, primarily through results-based funding grants, to help countries incentivize the private sector to deliver modern cooking services.  Today, some 3 billion people still cook with polluting fuels and technologies, with serious health, economic, environmental and climate impacts that particularly affect women and children.

The effort will help leverage investments from multilateral development banks and support a global platform for knowledge and innovation, including the Health and Energy Platform for Action, which is being convened by WHO, UNDP, UN DESA and the World Bank as well as other stakeholders such as the Clean Cooking Alliance, Hivos, Energia, and Modern Energy Cooking Services Programme.


“Energy storage is essential to maximize the use of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. The transition to renewable energy and clean cooking are at the heart of development and two of our biggest priorities. Through cooperation with AFD and the Netherlands and critical concessional climate funds from the UK, we will be able to attract even more private sector interest in these areas and advance our objective to reach SDG7 by 2030,” said Riccardo Puliti, World Bank Global Director for Energy and Extractive Industries and Regional Director for Infrastructure, Africa.

“Among the different renewable energy sources, solar is the best opportunity for the African continent to reach SDG7 by 2030. Massive deployment of solar energy will have to rely on private sector initiatives, whether on grid or off grid. We are teaming up with the World Bank to foster private investment in this space, with a focus on enabling country frameworks and risk mitigation tools,” said Jean-Pierre Barral, Director for Energy and Digital Transitions, AFD.

"I am extremely proud and honored that the Solar Risk Mitigation Initiative is demonstrating its first concrete results. This is a fundamental and comprehensive mechanism that will greatly support the ISA member countries in developing solar energy. I believe this is the kind of partnership that will allow us to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreements and SDGs 7 and 13," said Upendra Tripathy, Director General of the International Solar Alliance.

“It’s possible to limit the effects of climate change within the 11 years specified by the IPCC. We need to double annual investments in renewable energy to around USD 750 billion, with solar demanding the largest share this investment. This initiative will support efforts to mobilise significant flows of private sector capital into the energy transformation in pursuit of the sustainable development goals,” said Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA.

“Solar energy shows what climate action can be all about: lower cost, less dependence on insecure fossil fuel markets, easy to build and completely clean. Above all, it offers the possibility to bring decentralized energy access to remote rural areas where the electricity grid has never reached, for example in the Sahel. With solar power, we can directly improve people’s lives, empowering women in particular,” said Kitty van der Heijden, Vice-Minister for International Cooperation of the Netherlands.

“We need to make access to modern cooking service a priority development issue. The focus should be on the most vulnerable, in particular women and girls.  Norway welcomes the establishment of the Clean Cooking Fund by the World Bank. This will address the need for dedicated and scaled up resources to leverage funding from banks and private sector. Clean cooking must be made a political priority to achieve the sustainable development goals,” said State Secretary Jens Frølich Holte, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway.

The UK has been a pioneer along with the World Bank in promoting the need for a significant uplift in resources and perhaps most importantly a major change in approach if we are to meet the global goal of providing modern energy cooking services to the whole world’s population by 2030. The £40 million DFID UK-aid funded Modern Energy Cooking Services programme is already tackling this challenge and is proud to be working with the World Bank in supporting the development of the Global Platform for Knowledge, Innovation, and Policy Coordination that is an integral part of the new Clean Cooking fund. The clean cooking fund will help support the delivery of a range of new and exciting truly clean solutions to access to clean cooking,” said Ed Brown, Research Director of the Modern Energy Cooking Services Programme and Professor at Loughborough University.




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