EBRD finances its first wind farm in Kazakhstan
In the News | Dec 04 2014
50 MW wind power project in Yereymentau will road-test new renewables legislation which EBRD helped develop

In a landmark project for Kazakhstan’s renewables industry, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting the first large-scale wind farm in the country to be financed under the new feed-in-tariff mechanism.
The EBRD and the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) will finance the construction, connection to the power transmission grid, commissioning and launch of a greenfield 50 MW wind power plant located in Yereymentau in central Kazakhstan.
The EBRD will provide a KZT 14 billion (€59.2 million) loan to Wind Power Yereymentau, a special purpose vehicle incorporated in Kazakhstan, while up to €18 million of concessional financing will be provided by the CTF. The loan will be guaranteed by JSC Samruk-Energo, Kazakhstan’s national energy company and the ultimate owner of the company.
Yereymentau Wind Park will be the first power sector project in Kazakhstan to receive CTF funding. “Signing of this Loan Agreement is in line with the Kazakhstan’s low-carbon economy agenda.  This year we are completing the construction of the first wind farm with 45 MW of capacity.  Our partnership with the EBRD and the CTF will enable us to increase capacity up to 95 MW” - says Almassadam Satkaliyev, Chairman of the Management Board of JSC Samruk-Energo.  “The partnership between EBRD and CTF on financing this first wind farm project in Kazakhstan under the new feed-in-tariff mechanism demonstrates the contribution that climate finance can make to move renewable energy into the mainstream”- adds Mafalda Duarte, Program Manager of the Climate Investment Funds.
The wind power plant is expected to offset 120,000 tons of CO2 per annum, an equivalent of 450 return flights from Astana to Almaty, in a country still dominated by coal-fired power generation.  Most of the electricity, over 70 per cent, produced in Kazakhstan today is still generated by coal-fired power plants benefiting from easily accessible local coal reservoirs.
However, Kazakhstan is seen as one of the most promising countries in the CIS for both wind and photovoltaic energy investments.  About 50 per cent of Kazakhstan’s territory has an estimated average wind speed of about 4-5 m/s with the overall wind potential estimated at around 18,000 GWh per year.  To date, renewable energy in Kazakhstan is mainly represented by a few hydropower plants mostly built in Soviet times.
“Supporting clean energy projects is at the core of the EBRD’s mandate.  We stand ready to assist Kazakhstan in unlocking its potential in renewables by financing pilot projects with strong local and foreign companies,” said Riccardo Puliti, EBRD Managing Director for Energy and Natural Resources.
The EBRD support for the Yereymentau wind project is the result of the successful cooperation with the government of Kazakhstan on creating the legal and regulatory frameworks for renewable energy.  The Renewable Energy Law was introduced in June 2013, with tariffs for renewable energy off-take agreed in 2014.
This first wind farm in the country will road-test the new regulations and will set the benchmark in terms of developing, building and operating a greenfield renewable project.

Orignally published here

How Thailand’s Solar Power Visionary Built an Industry with a Boost from IFC
In the News | Nov 26 2014
Courtesy of Solar Power Company Group


  • One of the winners of this year’s UN Momentum for Change awards has been transforming Thailand’s renewable energy capacity with utility-scale solar farms.
  • To get finance flowing for what was then a new industry in the country, she worked with the World Bank Group's International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Clean Technology Fund to access blended finance.
  • The project is increasing clean energy capacity while helping drive economic growth in one of Thailand’s most impoverished regions.

Thailand’s solar power market was at a standstill in 2008, with solar energy accounting for less than 2 MW of installed capacity. Technology costs were falling, though, and the government was starting incentives for renewable energy developers. Wandee Khunchornyakong, a retired solar panel manufacturing executive, saw potential.

She wanted to help reduce Thailand’s reliance on imported energy, and she believed she could drive economic growth in one of the country’s most impoverished regions at the same time by building utility-scale solar farms. Funding from the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation gave her Solar Power Company Group the boost it needed to attract investors to a then-untested arena in Thailand.

Six years and 250MW of solar capacity later, Wandee and SPCG and were recognized today by the United Nations’ Climate Change secretariat with the prestigious Momentum for Change – Women for Results award, part of the UNFCCC’s Lighthouse Activities honoring projects from around the world that address climate change as well as wider economic, social and environmental challenges.

"Blended Climate Finance is one of the tools that IFC has available to help pave the way for these types of transformational projects to catalyze climate-smart, private sector investments."
Kruskaia Sierra-Escalante, IFC Head of Blended Climate Finance

Blended Finance in Action

Wandee’s journey to UN recognition required forward thinking and determination, as well as realization by the Thai government that it needed more a diversified, climate-friendly energy supply. Thailand now aims to generate at least 20 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2022.

In 2009, Wandee obtained 34 solar farm permits with a vision of building 200MW solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in the sunny, rural areas of northeast Thailand.

There was one missing piece: financing. Wandee needed to convince investors to place big bets on her large-scale solar PV plants, but investors were hesitant to provide capital to a largely unproven market. So in 2010, the IFC stepped in to provide finance to SPCG’s two pilot projects of about 20MW of installed solar capacity.

With these initial projects underway, Wandee turned her attention to raising additional long-term finance for follow up projects to achieve SPCG's scale-up goal.

To help sustain the momentum, IFC provided a US$8 million loan “blended” with $4 million in concessional financing from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) – a multi-donor fund within the Climate Investment Funds that provides middle income countries with concessional resources for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. This blended financing enabled SPCG to mobilize enough capital from three local banks to get an additional 12MW capacity of projects over the finish line. The support also sent positive signals to local financial markets about utility-scale solar PV and gave investors more confidence.

In a few short years, Wandee and SPCG were able to attract upwards of $800 million of investment and have delivered 250MW of solar PV capacity in Thailand. This new generation capacity helps avoid over 200,000 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions annually – the equivalent of taking more than 40,000 cars off the road or eliminating the use of almost 500,000 barrels of oil each year.

“Blended Climate Finance is one of the tools that IFC has available to help pave the way for these types of transformational projects to catalyze climate-smart, private sector investments,” said Kruskaia Sierra-Escalante, head of Blended Climate Finance at IFC. “We have been honored to work with Wandee in support of her vision, and are convinced that helping visionary entrepreneurs like her through blended finance investments can help unlock markets.”

Setting an Example for the World

The financial success of the early solar PV projects has helped drive private investment in Thailand’s clean energy sector, prompting industry analysts to pick the Thai solar PV market as one of the most attractive among the world’s emerging economies.

As Thailand’s pioneer in utility scale solar and now, solar rooftop development, Wandee considers her solar farms a model for other countries.

“Solar energy is the ‘endless power’ – it’s clean and available at no cost,” she said. “Other countries can replicate our experience in Thailand and undergo similar transformations that benefit their citizens.”

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) chooses Lighthouse Activities to celebrate each year. The Women for Results award honors Lighthouse Activities that demonstrate the critical leadership and participation of women in addressing climate change. A 25-member international advisory panel selected Wandee as one of three winners this year in the Women for Results category. The Momentum for Change platform is implemented through support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and other partners. 

Orignally published at the World Bank Group website. 

Additional information -

  • To view the UNFCCC M4C award announcement, please click here
  • To learn more about the winning project, please click here
  • For a brochure on the winning project, please click here
Expansion of Morocco's Largest Solar Complex to Provide 1.1 Million Moroccans with Clean Energy
In the News | Nov 03 2014
Concentrated solar panel

The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors approved today a US$519 million project to support Morocco’s ongoing efforts to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels by developing its renewable energy resources. The project will back the government’s strategy of harnessing power from the sun through the use of concentrated solar power technology.
Morocco is the Middle East’s largest energy importer, and depends on fossil fuel imports to generate over 97 percent of its energy. The Noor-Ouarzazate Concentrated Solar Power Project will support the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy to finance the expansion of Morocco’s first utility-scale solar energy complex, helping increase its capacity and output, especially during peak hours
“Morocco stands at the forefront of climate-friendly policies in the region,” said Inger Andersen, World Bank Regional Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa. “The country is well-positioned to benefit from its head-start at a time when other regional powers are beginning to think more seriously about their own renewable energy programs.
An initial 160 megawatt phase of the project, approved by the Bank in 2011, is currently under construction. The new project will finance the second 350 megawatt phase, and include the installation of solar parabolic troughs and a solar energy tower. This project will be funded through US$400 million from the Bank and US$119 million from the Bank administered Clean Technology Fund.
With its bold investment in green energy, Morocco is also setting a global example for the kinds of actions called for at this year’s United Nations Climate Summit. The expanded solar plant is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 700,000 tons per year. While delivering these environmental benefits,  this project will also contribute to  energy security, job creation, and energy exports
“Apart from creating jobs, the construction of the plant and the development of Morocco’s Solar Plan will establish a future source of reliable green energy,” said Simon Gray, World Bank Country Director for the Maghreb.  “The Noor-Ouarzazate Solar Complex alone will supply power to 1.1 million Moroccans by 2018.”
Other contributors toward the project are the African Development Bank, European Investment Bank, l’Agence Française de Développement, Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau, and the European Commission
The World Bank currently has a portfolio of 22 projects in Morocco, amounting to a committed financing of US$2.44 billion, providing a diverse range of support in areas such as private sector, financial sector and governance reform, green growth and promotion of renewable energy, access to basic services such as rural roads, water, sanitation, the reduction of vulnerability and social exclusion, and improvements in agriculture and solid waste management. Since 2011, the World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation, has stepped up its engagement in Morocco and has invested US$590 million to support private sector development in the country.

World Bank Morocco country page and project video 

Mapping the Global Frontiers for Clean Energy Investment
In the News | Nov 03 2014

The Climatescope is a unique country-by-country assessment, interactive report and index that evaluates the investment climate for climate-related investment in 55 countries worldwide.  It evaluates their ability to attract capital for low-carbon energy sources while building a greener economy. The Climatescope is a snapshot of where clean energy policy and finance stand today, and a guide to where clean energy can go tomorrow.

EBRD: Joining Forces to Accelerate Climate Investments
In the News | Sep 24 2014

Addressing the challenges of climate change requires cooperation, collaboration, and commitment. The EBRD has responded to calls to finance clean energy projects through its own investments and by participating in the implementation of multi-donor funds.

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim to visit India
In the News | Jul 20 2014

WBG President Jim Yong Kim arrives in New Delhi tomorrow on a three-day visit to the country as it builds new momentum toward higher growth, which is required to lift its millions out of poverty.

EBRD and CTF will invest in warmer homes for people in Kyzylorda
| Jun 05 2014

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Kyzylordateploelektrocentr, the municipal heat and electricity provider in Kyzylorda, have agreed to support the programme of modernisation of the district heating system in the city. The programme will be supported by the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) administered by EBRD under the district heating sector modernization framework.

The EBRD’s Director for Kazakhstan, Mrs Janet Heckman, and the Akim of Kyzylorda Oblast, Mr Kusherbaev K.E., signed a pre-financing agreement today in Kyzylorda, during the III Investment Forum “Baykonur”. The agreement sets a formal basis between the two parties to consider supporting a project.
Janet Heckman said: “This modernisation programme is essential for the many people of Kyzylorda who will get more reliable heating thanks to individual heating substations in many buildings. We are pleased with our cooperation with the municipal authorities of Kyzylorda and look forward to working together to improve people’s lives”.
Mr Kusherbaev said: “We are very pleased with the high level of cooperation with EBRD. We see this Project as an important lead to improve the City residents’ lives quality as well as a tool to ensure sustainable development of the district heating company in future”.
The EBRD and CTF are considering a total loan of up to 4.3 billion Kazakh tenge (equivalent to US$ 23.5 million) to Kyzylordateploelektrocentr, a municipal heat and electricity supply service provider.
The modernisation programme will make heating stations, transmission and distribution networks more energy efficient and as a result cut harmful emissions into the atmosphere. It will also install individual heating substations to increase the efficiency and reliability of the system at the buildings level.
Originally posted on April 17, 2014 on EBRD website
EBRD acts on adaptation to climate change
In the News | Apr 03 2014

The EBRD continues to boost international partnerships supporting adaptation, with its recent accreditation as an implementing entity of the Adaptation Fund. The Fund was established under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to promote effective adaptation projects in developing economies. The accreditation is particularly timely; in a new report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) has issued its starkest warning yet of the severe challenges faced by countries worldwide as they adapt to a changing and more variable climate.

Big energy efficiency improvements for Kazakh railways, KTZ
In the News | Dec 13 2013

EBRD provides US$ 40 million for energy-efficient and renewable technology in lighting and heating: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ), the national railways company, in its drive to radically improve energy efficiency across its operations.

UNFCCC recognizes Ecocasa Program in Mexico as a global example in the fight against climate change
In the News | Nov 27 2013

ECOCASA Program in Mexico, another Clean Technology Fund program by Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) was also awarded as a "Lighthouse Activity" by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This IDB program provides support for construction of more than 27,000 efficient homes that will include technologies that will reduce GHG emissions by at least 20% compared to conventional homes.