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World Bank investment in renewable energy hits $3.3b

By Sulaimon Salau
07 July 2007   |   9:54 am
THE World Bank has disclosed that its financing for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in developing countries has risen by 24 per cent in the last fiscal year to $3.3 billion. The apex bank in a statement released recently said that in the past five years, it had approved 366 projects in 90 countries, noting that last year alone, the bank approved 99 projects in 48 countries.

Besides, the bank said that it had surpassed the commitment made at the Bonn International Renewable Energies Conference in 2004 to increase support of renewables and energy efficiency projects by $1.9 billion between 2005 and 2009. In fact the increase has been more than $7 billion of over the period.

World Bank’s Vice President for sustainable development, Katherine Sierra said: “We have 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.”

The bank added that two out of every three dollars spent in private sector development were in the sector of renewable energy or energy efficiency.

“Commitments to renewable energy and energy efficiency for the year ending June 30, represented 40 per cent of the total energy lending by the bank,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, a report by an international renewable energy agency said that during 2007-2008, a number of countries exceeded existing targets for 2010, including China (10 GW of wind capacity target), Germany (electricity target), Hungary (electricity target) and Spain (solar PV target).

According to the report, by early 2009, policy targets for renewable energy existed in at least 73 countries and states. This includes state/provincial-level targets in the United States and Canada, which have no national targets to date.

It may be of interest to note that the European Union (EU) had set a target of 20 per cent of final energy consumption by 2020, which was enacted in 2007. The EU target was followed in 2008 by final confirmation of 2020 targets for all 27 individual EU member countries.

However, many policy targets have been enacted or upgraded in jurisdictions around the world. At the national level, new targets were enacted or upgraded in Abu Dhabi/UAE, Albania, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cape Verde, France, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russia, Rwanda, Samoa, South Korea, and Tunisia. At other levels, targets were enacted or upgraded in several states/provinces in the United States and Canada, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), Scotland (UK) and Gujarat (India), among others.