Feature Story | May 23 2017

Since 2008, the $8.3 billion Climate Investment Funds (CIF) has been leading efforts to empower transformations in the energy, climate resilience, transport, and forestry sectors. CIF concessional financing offers flexibility to test new business models and approaches, build track records in unproven markets, and boost investor confidence to unlock additional finance from other sources, including the private sector, governments, and the multilateral development banks (MDBs) that implement CIF-funded projects.

This year's Vienna Energy Forum had a focus on ways to contribute to the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. The global gathering was a timely opportunity for diverse institutions and individuals to meet, discuss and highlight their respective efforts, ideas and contributions towards SDG 7 (access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all).

The CIF contributed to the Forum conversation with several events, highlighting projects supported through the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) and the Scaling-Up Renewable Energy Program. 

 

May 9 - Energy Access Redefined: Emerging Findings from the Global MTF Survey

The Multi-tier Framework (MTF) heralds a shift away from the traditional, perhaps even simplistic, approach to measuring access to energy—either having access or not. By recognizing that there are nuances to energy access that a binary approach misses, the MTF method helps capture several key and informative aspects—capacity, duration, quality and reliability, affordability, and safety—as well as the impact on socioeconomic development. 

In collaboration with the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program and the World Bank's Energy Global Practice, the CIF organized an engaging session where Kenya and Rwanda, the first two countries to have completed the MTF survey, shared some initial findings and lessons from the process. By looking at the multiple dimensions of access in households, business, and community facilities, the MTF captures more detailed and more accurate information about the quantity and quality of energy services received by households, as illustrated in the visual below.

READ - session overview, participants and presentations

WATCH - Kenya's approach to the MTF survey
 

May 10 - Scaling up Energy Efficiency Financing: Lessons Learned from the CIF

The Clean Technology Fund has provided more than $5 billion concessional financing to middle-income countries to scale up the demonstration, deployment, and transfer of low-carbon technologies in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable transport. Energy efficiency makes up about 15 percent of the current CTF portfolio, compared with over 70 percent for renewable energy.

Given the growing interest in this topic, it was a full house when the session opened with a new video about how Turkey is using a leasing, not lending, model to spur energy efficiency in small and medium sized enterprises.

The side event featured three case studies from CTF-financed energy efficiency projects in India, Mexico, and Turkey. Government officials and financiers from these countries presented their experiences, lessons learned and perspectives on the role of public finance in unlocking the energy efficiency market. MDB participants also shared their insights on scaling-up energy efficiency financing, including in the context of implementing climate action plans.

5 Takeaways from the Conversation

  1. Macroeconomic drivers, such as current account deficits, can help drive supportive policies – such as favorable tax incentives - for energy efficiency. Also, export-orientated economies and sectors that rely on operational efficiency and cost-cutting can also create a fertile ground for energy efficiency financing.
  2. Even in countries where there are low-carbon targets and supportive policies for EE financing, access to financing can be a major challenge for banks to develop EE financing lines. Often times the money is available in local capital markets, and the business models are well known for deploying these for EE, though local banks will still not choose to develop these product lines due to high perceived risk and lack of capacity.
  3. Concessional funds can provide the incentives necessary to help local banks develop and build-out their energy efficiency financing line of business, while also allowing development financing institutions to open the door to work with strong local financing institutions. Also, concessional funds can help decrease the perceived risk of EE products by local banks, which helps decrease financing costs for end-use customers.
  4. Building capacity of loan officers and management from local banks and providing them with tools, such as the digitalization and standardization of energy audit process/reporting, can be critical to helping local banks understand the EE financing business and develop and market these new lines of business. Since EE and energy savings are often not the priority for end-use SME customers, 3rd party advisors can be critical to helping banks originate and disburse the initial tranche of loans for these products.
  5. Upstream work, such as surveying potential customers in a target sector in order to evaluate appetite for EE financial products, can be critical to mitigate uncertainty regarding the development of these products. Another way to mitigate this risk for local FIs is to develop legally binding performance contracts that guarantee proper installation and operation of EE systems, as well as providing a 3rd party guarantee for the performance of these systems.  

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May 12 - High Level Plenary: Financing Innovative Business Models

The side event contributed to the conversation when Mafalda Duarte, Head of the CIF, chaired a panel on Financing Innovative Business Models, with business leaders from Austria, Morocco, and Namibia as well as representatives from Climate Policy Initiative, Practical Action, SADC Centre for Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency, and the World Energy Council.  The panel explored innovative, inclusive, and sustainable business models that can deliver the best use of available financial resources for the transition required to achieve access to energy that is affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern, for all.

The session rounded off the CIF's participation at VEF 2017 by asking the tough questions about how the global community can achieve a win-win through policies that help incentivize the private sector to enter low-income markets, so poor people can gain access to affordable and sustainable energy and at the same time support new energy-smart markets and supply chains. 

Overall, the Forum facilitated rich conversations on a wide range of topics—from innovation in business models, to attracting private sector investment, how to finance the inevitable energy transition and more—with events of all sizes and participants from all corners of the world. 

Press Release | Apr 21 2017

"International commitment is essential to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, including by ensuring the availability of the necessary concessional financing." (para 12, pg 3)
 

Power Grid will make an equity contribution of $135 million for the transmission project that entails evacuation of power from the solar power plants to the grid. Photo: AP
In the News | Apr 07 2017

The Asian Development Bank has agreed to give a 20-year loan of $175 million to Power Grid Corp. of India Ltd to finance a proposed $450 million transmission project for transferring power from new solar power parks to the grid.

Press Release | Mar 14 2017

On March 13, the British newspaper ‘The Telegraph’ published an article about the Climate Investment Funds that contained a number of claims with which we strongly disagree:

The CIF Secretariat would like to provide some clarifications in the following areas:

The Purpose of the CIF

The CIF has been a crucial part of the international response to climate change as the largest source of multilateral concessional climate finance available to date.  They have played a pivotal role in helping to increase the volume of climate investment going to developing and emerging economies and have been instrumental in financing projects that would not have happened because of high costs and perceived risks.

The CIF has been addressing the main gaps and barriers to climate investments for many developing countries. These include the lack of access to affordable long-term capital, high commercial risks, and non-financial risks such as capacity gaps.  

The CIFs are a tried, tested, and trusted financing mechanism. Countries are now reaping the benefits from CIF investments in the form of cleaner and more reliable energy, new industries and markets, climate resilience and sustainable forestry. None of this would have happened without CIF involvement.

Results

The CIF is delivering – supporting over 300 projects in 72 developing countries, and mobilizing billions of dollars from development banks and the private sector that have scaled up new renewable technologies at an unprecedented rate.

The CIF’s Clean Technology Fund is reporting greenhouse gas emission reductions equivalent to taking 1.4 million cars off the road and it has supported installed power capacity of 3.3 Gigawatts.

In Morocco, the CTF supported the phased construction of the Noor Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant – the largest of its kind in the world. The first facility of the 3-phase Noor plant became operational in December 2015 and, by 2018, will be on track to generate over 500 megawatts of installed capacity, reduce carbon emissions by 760,000 tons per year, and supply power to 1.1 million Moroccan households. Low-cost debt provided by the CTF helped cut the cost of power production and slashed the Moroccan government’s power subsidy from $60 million to $20 million per year.

In South Africa, in 2014, KaXu Solar One Concentrated Solar Power project, financed by IFC and CTF, became the first private sector utility-scale CSP plant in the developing world. This 100 MW plant supplies enough base-load energy for 80,000 households. And the 100 MW Sere Wind Farm - one of the largest in Africa – is the first commercial utility-scale renewable energy project of the national energy utility Eskom.  It will save nearly 6 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions over its 20-year expected operating life.  Average annual energy production is estimated at about 298,000 megawatt hours (MWh), enough to supply about 68,000 standard homes. A total of $100 million in concessional funds from CTF were essential to bridge the cost gap relative to coal power generation and in providing the positive incentives required for Eskom and its lenders to proceed with the investment.

And in Thailand, the CIF’s Clean Technology Fund provided $4 million in debt, blended with $8 million of debt from IFC, to support a dynamic entrepreneur as she attempted to develop some of the country’s first utility-scale solar plants and move this high-potential market off the ground. CTF funds helped reduce long-term project finance risks for lenders and sent positive signals to the local financial markets for utility-scale solar. By late 2011, new solar farms began supplying clean and renewable power to Thailand, and the entrepreneur and her company have attracted over $800 million for their clean energy investments in the country. 

Every Clean Technology Fund dollar leverages a further nine dollars from other sources. As of December 31, 2016 the CTF has approved $4.1bn in projects, which in turn have crowded a total of $46.9 billion in in co-financing, including $12.9 billion in MDB funding and $19.2 billion in commercial finance.

Established in 2010, the Program for Scaling up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries (SREP) aims to demonstrate the economic, social and environmental viability of low-carbon development pathways in the energy sector by creating new economic opportunities and increasing energy access through the use of renewable energy.  By design, it aims to tackle a challenging development issue (energy access) in the most challenging countries.

The 18 projects that have been approved to date by SREP and reporting results are at various stages of implementation but even in these challenging markets and for these first-of-its kind investments in low income countries SREP is delivering. In Nepal, for example, the SREP supported project is providing access to electricity and facilitating productive end uses of energy at the “bottom of the pyramid” in rural locations, which are beyond the “last mile” of the grid. About 1,500 households, or 6,600 people are already benefiting from installation of lighting and mobile radio charging systems, displacing expensive diesel and gasoline use in generator sets and kerosene for lighting.

The Pilot Program for Climate Resilience has already supported 2.8 million people – half of them women - to cope with the adverse impacts of climate change, and is on course to support 40 million people through the implementation of 44 of its current 58 projects.

While most Forest Investment Program projects only started implementing in the field in 2015 they have already supported 65,000 people in Lao PDR, Mexico and Ghana through livelihood co-benefits. Good progress has also been observed on forest law enforcement, ensuring participation of all key stakeholders in decision making processes and tenure access and rights.  

Value for Money

The article also implicitly argues that helping developing countries tackle climate change is a bad deal for UK taxpayers.  We disagree.  Helping people prepare for the impacts of climate change – including floods, droughts, and natural disasters – and reducing the emissions that cause them, is an investment that will pay back many times over.

Press Release | Nov 18 2016

At the UN’s global climate conference this week, governments and development partners came together to examine the role of financing in shaping some of Africa’s groundbreaking renewables successes such as Morocco’s Noor Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant. 

Feature Story | Oct 05 2016

When India’s ambassador to the United Nations, Syed Akbaruddin, delivered his country’s signed agreement to the Paris climate change plan last Sunday, the world moved one big step closer to a monumental deal on climate.

That India chose to hold the ceremony on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, Oct. 2, made the occasion all the more poignant, with its nod to the importance of action on climate change in the context of the human impacts caused by a changing climate —from food security to how people earn a living.

India ratified the Paris Agreement on October 2, bringing the number of countries that have signed to 62. (PHOTO: Indian Express)

The journey to this point started in Paris last year, when 188 countries committed to being part of the solution in the urgent effort to mitigate against climate change.

Nine months after Paris and with COP22 in Morocco fast approaching, India’s signature helped to put the Paris agreement on the cusp of being a global and legally binding agreement on climate action.

So why did it matter so much that India signed on the dotted line?

Along with China and the United States – who ratified the treaty last month - India is among the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions levels. The country’s growing energy demand and emissions levels therefore have important consequences for international efforts to combat climate change.

After Paris the race to secure the signatures of the 55 countries that account for 55 percent of global greenhouse emissions was on. Every single country that signed the agreement in Paris matters, but for the agreement to be meaningful and effective, its ratification by countries like India, on a fast development trajectory and big contributors to emissions levels, was critical.

“India is committed to the shared global vision for combating climate change and protecting the most vulnerable citizens from its adverse impacts.

“India is committed to the shared global vision for combating climate change and protecting the most vulnerable citizens from its adverse impacts. Our commitment to a low-carbon path assumes the unhindered availability of cleaner sources of energy and technologies and financial resources from around the world,” said Saurabh Vijay, and Adviser to India’s Executive Director at the World Bank and chair of the Climate Investment Fund's Clean Technology Fund committee.

India has the world’s second largest population and fourth largest economy. To meet the growing energy needs of its commercial and industrial activity, urbanization and rising standards of living, the south Asian nation needs to increase primary energy supply by 300–400% increase its electricity generation capacity by 500–600% over the next two decades.

Coal-based power plants supply over 50% of India’s electricity, but with domestic supply constrained and imports likely to increase, diversifying its energy supply is critical.

As part of the effort to diversify energy sources and address the unmet energy needs of over 200 million people that are unconnected to the electricity grid, India secured a $625 million loan to support the widespread installation of rooftop solar photo-voltaic (PV), in May this year. The loan is complemented by a co-financing loan of $120 million on concessional terms and a $5 million grant from the CIF’s Clean Technology Fund.

In India, nearly 1 in 4 people still don’t have access to electricity. To increase energy access for the poor, India has set unprecedented, ambitious plans to boost solar energy nationwide.

The loan was made possible by the alignment of government policy and declining costs that make rooftop solar an opportunity to transform India’s energy sector and make access to sustainable, affordable and reliable energy a reality for more people. The overall potential demand for rooftop solar in India is estimated at about 124,000 MW.

To date, 72 countries representing about 56.75 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions have ratified the Paris Agreement.

Once in effect, the Agreement will enable concrete global action on climate change, including:

  • The reduction of emission levels and ensuring that the global average temperature stays below 2°C above pre-industrial levels;
  • Countries holding each other accountable through a meeting every five years to set progressively more ambitious targets that are informed by the best science; and
  • The strengthening of the world’s capacity to respond to the impacts of climate change, including through support to developing countries with their national adaptation efforts.

Over the past year, the momentum for ratifying the Agreement grew as the promise of Paris became the new normal in terms of building low-carbon economies. After India, all eyes were on the European Union, which, with its 28-country bloc, grabbed the baton to seal the deal that moved the world over the line by getting the highest greenhouse gas emissions contributors to ratify. 

The deal will officially go into effect on Nov. 4, 2016.

Press Release | Jun 21 2016

Washington, D.C. (June 21, 2016) – The governing body of the $8.3 billion Climate Investment Funds (CIF) last week gave an important signal by asking the CIF to develop options for a financing vehicle to attract private capital investors for renewable energy and clean technology projects in developing economies.
 
The steering committee of the CIF's $5.6 billion Clean Technology Fund (CTF), consisting of donor and recipient countries, gathered in Mexico to discuss new financing modalities which could make CTF's assets attractive for institutional investors.  
 
The CIF's Manager Mafalda Duarte welcomed the decision, which comes at a time when research from Brookings shows investments in sustainable infrastructure of $90 trillion USD are required over the next 15 years: 
 
"This work breaks new ground for climate finance and such innovation is needed if we are to move from billions to trillions and deliver on the ambitious agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals.  Scaling-up investments can be particularly transformational in areas that have lacked funding or for technologies on the threshold of becoming economically viable.  These will be crucial to delivering a low-carbon future."
 
This potential avenue to tap into new and much needed private sector financing would support climate-smart investments in areas such as energy storage, distributed generation, sustainable transport and industrial and residential efficiency.
 
"We have seen time and time again that concessional or de-risking financing is essential to ramp up low carbon investments in emerging markets", Duarte added.  "Institutional investors can be risk averse but they do want to build up a greener portfolio.  The CTF offers a unique opportunity for them and will allow us to provide developing countries the financial support they need to pursue their low-carbon development plans."
 
The green-light came as recipient countries unanimously endorsed the CIF as a key vehicle to deliver on the ambition outlined in the Paris climate agreement.  Members emphasized the importance of tested and proven financing options to support climate actions in developing countries and that those lessons should be shared with all main players in the climate finance architecture. “The appreciation and wide-spread support for the CIF by developing country members need to be acknowledged”, said Zaheer Fakir, Committee member for the South African Department of Environmental Affairs. “Developing countries within the CIF value it as an important instrument for financing, innovating and coordinating with all important actors around national climate investment plans.” 

In this context, trust fund sub-committees decided to support the forest investment plans of Mozambique and Côte D’Ivoire with US$ 48 million in total which will allow the countries to address major drivers of deforestation as well as promoting rural development. Another decision supported the renewable energy investment plan of Cambodia with US$ 30 million enabling the country to develop a solar energy program, including rooftop solar systems and minigrids, as well as a biomass power project.
 


About the Climate Investment Funds: The US$ 8.3 billion Climate Investment Funds provides 72 emerging and developing economies with urgently needed resources to manage the challenges of climate change and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. For more information: http://www-cif.climateinvestmentfunds.org/

Media contact: In Washington D.C – Angela Bekkers, Climate Investment Funds | Tel: +1 202 458 8831; mobile: +1 202 361 3459, Email: abekkers@worldbank.org

Download press release:  English

 

Press Release | Jun 12 2016

OAXACA - 12th June 2016 - This week Mexico is hosting the Climate Investment Funds’ governing body meetings as well as a knowledge exchange forum of the CIF’s forestry program. The meetings in Oaxaca bring together an audience of over 150 experts from about 50 countries, including representatives of developing and donor countries, international organizations and civil society.

Photo credit: CONAFOR

The official opening took place today, June 12, and included a welcome address by Mafalda Duarte, Manager of the Climate Investment Funds. “Mexico is a very fitting stage for these very exciting knowledge sessions. We have many countries in this meeting that offer valuable experiences about the sustainable use of forestry resources”, Duarte said, thereby referring to the $775 million Forest Investment Program (FIP) which is a funding window of the CIF and provides direct investments to benefit forests, development and climate.

The Mexican Government is presenting its community experiences in sustainable forest management to the 23 countries that make up the Forest Investment Program (FIP). Mexico was chosen in 2011 as a pilot country and has received 60 million dollars for four forestry projects.

Photo credit: CONAFOR

 “With the Forest Investment Program’s resources, matched by other funding sources of, for example, the World Bank, Mexican forestry communities have benefited from training and technical studies for forest land-use and land management”, said Jorge Rescala Pérez, Director-General of Mexico’s National Forestry Commission of Mexico (CONAFOR), during the opening session.

During this week’s meetings, the governing body of the CIF will decide on the future strategy of the funds. Other key issues concerning CIF’s Clean Technology Fund, its climate resilience fund (PPCR) and renewable energy program in low-income countries (SREP) will be discussed later this week. For the CTF, innovative ways to mobilize capital of institutional investors will be discussed. This would open up new investments into frontier areas, such as energy storage, distributed generation, sustainable transport, and residential and industrial energy efficiency, where an additional push could accelerate market development. Investment plans of Mozambique and Bangladesh, including funding envelopes, will be featured in designated committee meetings on forestry management and renewable energy, respectively.

allAfrica
In the News | Apr 12 2016

Kenya has received Sh2.9 billion boost to finance its drive for geothermal energy production in the Rift Valley.

The funding from the Climate Investment Funds' Clean Technology Fund (CIF-CTF), is a concessional loan secured with support from the African Development Bank (AfDB).

AfDB logo
In the News | Apr 07 2016

With African Development Bank (AfDB) support, Kenya has received approval from the Climate Investment Funds’ Clean Technology Fund (CIF-CTF) for a US $29.65-million concessional loan to co-finance up to two geothermal projects to increase the country’s power capacity, particularly drawing on untapped geothermal resources in the Rift Valley.

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