The World Bank Group has committed $1 billion for a new global program to accelerate investment in battery storage for energy systems in developing and middle-income countries. The program is expected to help these countries ramp up their use of renewables – particularly wind and solar power – improve energy security, increase grid stability and expand access to electricity.
The World Bank made the commitment on the eve of the One Planet Summit held in New York.
The $1 billion in World Bank Group financing is expected to mobilize another $4 billion in concessional climate financing and public and private investments. The program aims to finance 17.5 GWh of battery storage by 2025 – more than triple the 4-5 GWh currently installed in all developing countries.
The World Bank Group is putting $1 billion of its own funds towards this new program and will fundraise another $1 billion in concessional climate funds through channels such as the Climate Investment Funds’ Clean Technology Fund (CTF). The program is expected to raise an additional $3 billion from public and private funds and investors.
Currently, batteries used in energy generation systems are expensive, and most projects are concentrated in developed countries. The Accelerating Battery Storage for Development Program, in response to demand from countries, will finance and de-risk investments such as utility-scale solar parks with battery storage, off-grid systems – including mini-grids – and stand-alone batteries that can help stabilize and strengthen grids.
The program will also support large-scale demonstration projects for new storage technologies suitable for developing countries’ needs – such as batteries that are long-lasting, resilient to harsh conditions and high temperatures, and that present minimal environmental risks.
The new program will also convene a global think tank on battery storage, bringing together national laboratories, research institutions, development agencies and philanthropies to foster international technological cooperation and training that can develop and adapt new storage solutions tailored for the needs and conditions of developing countries.
“For developing countries, this can be a game changer,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “Battery storage can help countries leapfrog to the next generation of power generation technology, expand energy access, and set the stage for much cleaner, more stable, energy systems,” he added.
Previously, the bank also announced that it will provide $220 million in loans and an $80 million guarantee to India’s Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL). The funds will be utilized for EESL’s India Energy Efficiency Scale-Up Program which is aimed at increasing energy savings in residential and public sectors, strengthening EESL’s institutional capacity and enhancing its access to commercial financing.
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Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.