The World Bank has committed $ 1 billion for a new global program to accelerate investments in energy storage in developing and middle-income countries. The program is expected to help these countries increase the use of renewable energies – in particular, solar and wind energy – improve energy security, increase network stability and expand access to electricity.
Early indications point that the US $ 1 billion from the World Bank will enable the mobilization of additional 4 billion under favorable conditions in public and private investments for climate-related activities. The program aims to finance 17.5 GWh of battery storage by 2025, more than triple the 4-5 GWh currently available to all developing countries.
“The storage of energy in batteries can help countries to expand access to energy and lay the foundations to establish much more ecological and stable systems”
“For developing countries, this can be a decisive change,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said. “The storage of energy in batteries can help countries to move directly to the new generation of technologies applicable to the production of electric power, expand access to energy and lay the foundations to establish much more ecological and stable systems,” he said.
Storage solutions in difficult conditions
Currently, batteries used in power generation systems are expensive and most projects are concentrated in developed countries. Created as a Development Instrument, in response to the countries demand, the Acceleration of Energy Storage in Batteries program will finance investments such as large-scale solar parks with storage batteries, systems not connected to the grid -including mini-grids- and individual batteries that can help stabilize and strengthen networks. Thus the risks of such investments will be eliminated.
Storage technologies tailored to the needs of developing countries, such as long-lasting resilient batteries, will be supported.
In addition, large-scale demonstration projects will be supported for new storage technologies tailored to the needs of developing countries, such as long-lasting resilient batteries, which operate under difficult conditions and withstand high temperatures, with minimal environmental risks.
“Batteries are essential for decarbonising energy systems. They allow us to store solar and wind energy to use it when it is most needed providing people with ecological and affordable energy 24 hours a day, ” Dr. Kim said. “We urge our associates to join us and match the investments we are making. We can create new markets for energy storage in batteries in countries with great potential for the generation of solar and wind energy, a growing energy demand and populations that still live without a stable supply of electricity ” the President of the World Bank concludes.
The World Bank bet for energy storage
The new program will also brings together a global team for study and research dedicated to energy storage in batteries, involving national laboratories, research institutions, development entities and philanthropic organizations to foster international cooperation and technology training that can develop and adapt new storage solutions, according to the needs and conditions of developing countries.
The World Bank has been working with the countries for several years to promote the use of batteries in the generation of solar and wind energy, with projects currently under development in Africa, South Asia and the Pacific. Likewise, it has financed about 15% of the fixed capacity of energy storage in batteries already in use or currently under development in developing countries, mostly through mini-grid projects, and in island states to increase resilience.