UK pledges $250m towards Global Energy Storage Programme

The UK pledged £200 million ($250 million) to the Climate Investment Funds’ Global Energy Storage Programme, 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 programme 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 17.5GWh of battery storage by 2025 – more than triple the 4-5GWh currently installed in all developing countries.

“Energy storage is essential to maximise 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,” said Riccardo Puliti, World Bank global director for energy and extractive industries and regional director for infrastructure, Africa.

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 programmes.

Upendra Tripathy, Director General of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), commented: “I am extremely proud and honoured 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.”

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, ISA and the International Renewable Energy Agency.