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Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Financing by World Bank Group Hits All Time High

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Press Release No: 2010/057/WBG

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World Bank
– Roger Morier  +1-202-473-5675 

IFC – Katia Theriault  +1-202-458-9704 

MIGA – Mallory Saleson  +1-202-473-0844 


WASHINGTON, September 10, 2009 – The World Bank Group announced today that its financing of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects and programs in developing countries rose 24% in the last fiscal year to reach $3.3 billion, the highest ever.  Total renewable energy and energy efficiency commitments for the year ended June 30, 2009 accounted for more than 40% of total Bank Group energy lending


The Bank Group also said it far surpassed commitments made at the Bonn International Renewable Energies Conference in 2004 to increase support for new renewable energy and energy efficiency by nearly $1.9 billion over the period 2005-2009 included.  In fact, new Bank Group financing for renewable energy and energy efficiency during that period amounted to more than $7.0 billion, more than three-and-a-half times the target.  


“Five years ago, we thought we were stretching ourselves by promising to expand support for renewable energy and energy efficiency by 20% per year,” said Katherine Sierra, Vice President for Sustainable Development at the World Bank.  “As it turns out, our client countries have been even more ambitious in asking us to help them in this area, and we’ve been able to respond with robust investments to help build the low-carbon economies each country is seeking. We’ve now committed to even more challenging goals on clean energy and carbon intensity reduction investments as we strive to make reliable energy access for all a reality.” 


About two out of every three dollars spent on energy projects financed by the International Finance Corporation, the member of the World Bank Group focused on private sector development, were in the renewable energy or energy efficiency subsector. “We’ve shown that not only is lending for renewable energy and energy efficiency an environmentally and socially sound choice, but that often these options make good business sense as well,” said Rashad Kaldany, IFC’s Vice President for Asia, Middle East/North Africa and Global Infrastructure. “By stimulating private sector involvement in renewable energy projects, IFC is playing a transformational role in the sector.”


“The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) is helping investors and developing countries reduce the harmful practices associated with global warming by providing political risk guarantees to support investments in renewable energy, energy conservation, and increased efficiency”, said Executive Vice President Izumi Kobayashi. “Over the last five years, MIGA issued coverage of over $350 million to support projects geared to renewable energy and energy efficiency.”


During the past five years, the Bank Group approved 366 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in 90 countries, including 99 projects in 48 countries last year.  Among the projects were those in Bangladesh supporting private sector and civil society-led off-grid solar electrification.  This means 1.5 million households and rural businesses will have access to a clean and reliable source of electricity by 2012. 


In Tanzania, World Bank is funding solar, small hydro, and biomass power plants to expand grid electricity supplies and power to public health and education facilities (hospitals, clinics, and schools), enterprises, and households. As a result, electricity access is expanding faster and power shortages that have plagued the country are easing. 


In China, Bank funding is helping to install an additional 30,000 new biogas digesters.  This is enabling nearly half a million rural households to use biogas from their small farms to cook food, reducing the use of fossil fuels to heat homes and fertilize farms, and leading to 60,000 fewer tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.


In India, funding is being used to replace 370 CFC-based inefficient chillers used in commercial buildings and industrial establishments, helping India meet its goal of a 20% improvement in energy efficiency by 2016-2017.  The project leverages private sector funds through an innovative blending of Global Environment Facility, Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol, and carbon finance mechanisms.


IFC is promoting private sector efforts to develop sustainable renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.  In Turkey, IFC support for a 135-megawatt wind farm will help to increase the country’s wind energy capacity by 30% while reducing pollution.


In Chile, IFC financed the construction of one of the largest wind projects in the country, which will reduce environmental pollution while relieving supply constraints for the Chilean central power grid.


World Bank Group Lending for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

US$ Millions







New Renewable & Energy Efficiency







Large Hydro







New RE and EE (Bonn Commitment)








Building on the record high financing of the past fiscal year, the Bank Group is expanding support for renewable energy and energy efficiency.  In 2008, the Board of Executive Directors approved a Strategic Framework on Development and Climate Change.  Under it, fresh commitments were made to increase the investments in new renewable energy and energy efficiency by 30 percent per year between FY08-12, and increasing participation in environmentally and socially sound larger hydro power projects.


In addition to the $7.0 billion in new RE/EE financing in fiscal years 2005-09, driven by demand in developing countries the Bank Group also committed $2.7billion for hydropower projects of more than 10MW per facility. Contrasting this with commitments (respectively) for new RE/EE of $1.8 billion and $607 million for larger hydropower in the previous five year period reflects the increasing priority given to clean energy in poverty alleviation and sustainable development.


For more information on the World Bank Group’s commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency, visit:


For information on World Bank Group projects, visit:

Background on the World Bank Group’s Bonn Commitment

The World Bank Group. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) together with the International Development Agency (IDA) are commonly referred to as “The World Bank.”  Together with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the entities form the World Bank Group.


Bonn Commitment.  At the Bonn International Conference on Renewable Energies in 2004, the World Bank Group made a commitment to accelerate its support for new renewable energy and energy efficiency.  The WBG committed to increase its financial commitments for new renewable energy and energy efficiency at a growth rate of 20 percent per annum between fiscal years 2005 and 2009, compared to a baseline commitment of US$209 million (equal to the average of the previous three years).


New Renewable Energy. Projects that support  the following technologies were classified as new renewable energy: solar energy for heat and power, wind energy for mechanical and electrical power generation, geothermal and biomass energy for power generation and heat, and hydropower of 10 MW or less per installation.


Energy Efficiency. Energy efficiency comprises supply side and end-use thermal and electricity efficiency improvement activities.  Examples include efficiency improvements in industry, transport, buildings, and appliances; power generation rehabilitation, loss reduction in transmission and distribution, and improvements in the efficiency of heating systems. Hydropower rehabilitation projects are classified as energy efficiency when energy output is increased as a result of the investment with no increase in rated capacity of the installation.


Hydropower Greater Than 10 MW.  The World Bank considers hydropower, regardless of scale, to be renewable energy. For reporting purposes, hydropower projects in which the installed capacity at a single facility exceeds 10 MW are reported separately. Run-of-river hydropower, and hydropower projects with dams are included here if the capacity exceeds 10 MW.



World Bank Group Lending for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Fiscal Year 2009


(Commitments in Millions of US Dollars)

Source of Funds

Energy Efficiency

Hydro > 10MW

New Renewable Energy


World Bank












Global Environment Facility






Carbon Finance






IFC Own Funds












Note: Some columns and rows may not add up exactly due to rounding.



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