October 3, 2019: Four European countries — the UK, France, the Netherlands and Denmark — have pledged millions of dollars to World Bank initiatives on energy storage, solar power, and clean cooking, the World Bank announced on September 25.
The UK has pledged the most — $250 million — to the Global Energy Storage Program, which is operated by the World Bank-approved Climate Investment Funds organization. This accepts donations from governments to assist other countries with their ‘climate action’.
The UK donation will go towards $1 billion committed by the World Bank in 2018 for a global programme to accelerate investments in battery storage for energy systems in developing and middle-income countries, which should then be able to expand their use of renewables and increase grid stability.
The programme aims to finance 17.5GWh of battery storage by 2025, which is three times more than is currently installed in developing countries.
“Energy storage is essential to maximize the use of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power,” said Riccardo Puliti, World Bank global director for energy and extractive industries and regional director for infrastructure, Africa.
“The transition to renewable energy and clean cooking are at the heart of development and two of our biggest priorities.”
France and the Netherlands have each pledged $100 million to a Solar Risk Mitigation Initiative, which aims to help countries scale up off-grid and grid-connected solar energy programmes. The Dutch government also pledged $44 million to a Regional Off-Grid Electrification Project in the Sahel, the zone that separates the Sahara desert to the north from the savannah to the south.
Denmark also announced it would donate $13 million to the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program’s ‘Clean Cooking Fund’ to help countries gain access to clean cooking.