story highlights

In May, the African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank (EIB), Global Environment Facility (GEF), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and World Bank announced funding for sustainable energy projects.

AfDB-ADB-EBRD-EIB-GEF-IDB-OPEC-World BankMay 2015: In May, the African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank (EIB), Global Environment Facility (GEF), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and World Bank announced funding for sustainable energy projects.

Recipient countries and regions include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Jordan, Lithuania, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Pakistan, Uruguay, Viet Nam, Africa and Europe. In addition, AfDB, World Bank, and Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative hosted events and came out with publications highlighting aspects of their work in sustainable energy.

In Armenia, EBRD is providing US$4 million in pilot project financing for energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) technology that will modernize Yerevan’s street lighting. The Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P) is anticipated to grant an additional US$2 million to the project. The project is expected to reduce energy consumption, hazardous heavy-metal waste and environmental pollution from current mercury-based lights. [EBRD Press Release]

In Azerbaijan, ADB signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Government to create a US$1 billion investment programme for upgrades to the power distribution network, which are expected to increase efficiency. ADB is loaning US$750 million through a multi-tranche financing facility and the Government is providing counterpart funding of US$250 million. The state-owned Azerishig Open Joint Stock Company, which will implement the programme, is also receiving capacity-building assistance under the MOU. [ADB Press Release]

In Georgia, EBRD announced it will contribute US$200 million in financing toward the country’s 280-megawatt (MW) hydroelectric station project. The plant, to be completed by 2019, is projected to generate 1.2 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) annually. [AA Energy News Terminal Press Release]

Also in Georgia, EBRD signed an initial agreement to cooperate on the country’s first wind farm. The mandate letter was signed at the 2015 EBRD Annual Meeting. EBRD is considering granting a US$25 million senior loan to Georgia via a special purpose vehicle for construction and operation of a 20-MW wind power plant in Gori. The Board of Directors is expected to vote later in 2015 on the project, which has a total estimated cost of US$35 million. [EBRD Press Release]

In Ghana, an investment plan to transform the country’s renewable energy sector was unanimously endorsed by governments under CIF’s Program for Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries (SREP). According to AfDB, the plan has four primary components: renewable energy mini-grids and stand-alone solar photovoltaic (PV) systems; solar PV-based net metering with storage; utility-scale solar PV and wind power generation; and a technical assistance project. The country is slated to receive US$40 million in SREP funding for the plan. [AfDB Press Release] [IISD RS Story]

In Jordan, a US$13 million loan to the Greater Amman Municipality from EBRD will help create a comprehensive landfill-gas recovery system. US$5 million of the loan is being co-financed from EBRD’s Green Energy Special Fund (GESF). The system will supply electricity to the national grid, replacing electricity previously generated from heavy fuel oil. [EBRD Press Release]

In Lithuania, EIB is continuing support for energy efficiency investments with the establishment of the €150 million Jessica II fund. The funds will be used to refurbish residential buildings, thereby cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and decreasing apartment dwellers’ energy bills. EIB is also providing a €300 million loan, the first tranche of a €1.3 billion facility, to Lithuania, for investment in development projects, including energy and sustainable transport infrastructure. [EIB Press Release]

In Mexico, IDB and the World Bank’s Climate Investment Funds (CIF) Clean Technology Fund (CTF) are assisting energy service companies (ESCOs) in financing energy efficiency projects. IDB announced the first phase of the project, during which US$125 million was lent to ESCOs for energy efficiency investments, is closed. In the second phase, IDB is securitizing the investments and issuing green bonds in the local debt capital markets. CTF is providing US$19 million in guarantees for the portfolio of projects. [IDB Press Release]

In Morocco, the European Commission agreed to help finance phase three of the Ouarzazate Solar Complex. The €43 million loan from the EU’s Neighbourhood Investment Facility will support the construction of a 100-150 MW concentrated solar power (CSP) tower. [AA Energy News Terminal Press Release] [European Commission Press Release]

In Mozambique, the AfDB-managed Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) has approved a US$750,000 technical assistance grant to enhance the enabling environment for private investment in the country. The grant will support the support the implementation of a feed-in tariff regime for small- and medium-sized renewable energy projects and the development of a mini-grid regulatory framework. [AfDB Press Release]

In Pakistan, ADB announced US$65 million in loan assistance for a private sector hydropower project. The 102-MW run-of-river hydropower project will be constructed and operated by Mira Power Ltd, a company owned by three Korean companies, on the Poonch River in the Kotli district. Expected completion date is March 2019. [ADB Press Release]

In Uruguay, IDB approved US$216 million to finance two wind farms with a total generating capacity of 70 MW. The Colonia Arias and Valentines wind farms will each be financed with a US$72 million IDB loan and up to US$36 million from the China Cofinancing Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean. The capital will be raised through an initial public offering (IPO) with a view to introducing innovative financing options for renewable energy projects in the country and increasing participation of Uruguayans in the sector. The projects are expected to meet the electricity needs of more than 200,000 individuals. [IDB Press Release]

In Viet Nam, the World Bank approved a US$124 million loan to enhance the efficiency and performance of public transport in Ho Chi Minh City. The Government of Viet Nam will provide an additional US$13.45 million for the project, which will develop a Bus Rapid Transport corridor to transport up to 28,300 passengers daily, including on at least 28 buses running on compressed natural gas. [World Bank Press Release] [Project Website]

In Africa, SEFA put out a call for proposals for creating enabling policy and market environments for green mini-grid development. SEFA is awarding a total of US$5 million to proposals from six Sub-Saharan African countries that address barriers to scaling mini-grid deployment and unlocking private sector investment in the sector. [AfDB Press Release]

In Europe, EIB’s Board of Directors approved four projects that are earmarked, subject to agreement by the European Commission, for support from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) as part of the Investment Plan for Europe. The projects include: energy efficiency investment to reduce heating bills of private homes in France; new renewable energy and related transmission links in northern and western Europe; reduction of industrial energy use in Finland; and improvement to gas transmission in Spain. [EIB Press Release]

Also in Europe, EIB is providing a €150 million loan to AB Electrolux, which will develop innovative household goods that consume less electricity, such as more efficient appliances and white goods. The company will also develop more resource-efficient production processes and improve recycling, emission levels and overall performances of household products. [EIB Press Release]

On publications, AfDB and CIF released a country profile on Mali, which finds ample opportunity exists for scaling the country’s renewable energy sector. Titled ‘Renewable Energy in Africa: Mali Country Profile,’ the publication reports that the country’s wind, solar, hydro and biomass resources are underutilized even as electricity access stands at 55% and 15% for urban and rural areas, respectively. The country, which has made inroads by introducing technologies and building an enabling environment, has the potential to be one of the largest solar-producing countries in the world, according to the report. [AfDB Press Release] [Renewable Energy in Africa: Mali Country Profile]

The World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) published ‘The State of the Global Clean and Improved Cooking Sector,’ which works to establish a common set of definitions and data for sector analysis, while also building the case for increased sector focus and investment. The report also informs policymakers as they plan intervention strategies in the sector. [World Bank Feature Story] [World Bank Publication Webpage] [The State of the Global Clean and Improved Cooking Sector]

The World Bank also published a report that tracks progress toward achieving universal energy access, a doubling of the rate of energy efficiency improvement and a doubling of the share of renewables in the global energy mix by 2030, the three goals of the SE4ALL initiative. The publication, titled ‘Progress Toward Sustainable Energy: Global Tracking Framework 2015,’ finds that the world is making progress toward these goals but not as rapidly as necessary. [World Bank Press Release] [World Bank Infographic] [World Bank Feature Story] [Progress Toward Sustainable Energy: Global Tracking Framework 2015] [IISD RS Story on Global Tracking Framework 2015]

On events, the World Bank hosted a two-day forum in Muscat, Oman on ‘Tapping a Hidden Resource: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in the GCC Countries’. The forum addressed challenges to scaling-up energy efficiency and clean energy deployment, focusing on, among others: buildings and industry; barriers to investment; and collaborative design and implementation of required policy changes. [World Bank Press Release]

SE4ALL held its Second Annual Forum in New York, US under the theme ‘Financing Sustainable Energy for All’. Numerous commitments were made at the Forum, including commitments by: the EU to leverage up to €30 billion in additional sustainable energy investments from €3.5 grants from 2014-2020; and GEF to support 11 countries and 23 cities with US$150 million in direct support and an additional US$1.4 billion in leveraged support under its new Sustainable Cities Programme. OPEC stated it would extend its existing US$1 billion pledge for energy poverty alleviation into a revolving fund. The UK pledged support for a new Green Mini-Grids in Africa programme. [SE4ALL Press Release] [IISD RS Coverage of SE4ALL Forum] [IISD RS Stories on SE4ALL Forum]