In the News | Mar 08 2018

India is emerging as a front runner in the global fight against climate change, the World Bank has said, noting that the solar power is gradually displacing coal as an energy source in the Asian country.

In the News | Mar 08 2018

The Clean Technology Fund will lend up to US$ 3.9 million for the new Zadarya solar power plant in the South Kazakhstan region, near the city of Shymkent, complimenting an EBRD loan in local currency, Kazakh tenge, of up to an equivalent of US$ 8.8 million, for the solar park project that will be implemented by a special purpose company, Kaz Green Tek Solar LLP, incorporated in Kazakhstan and majority owned by Urbasolar.

In the News | Mar 08 2018

How a tangle of pipes, pumps, tanks, reactors, chimneys and ducts on a messy industrial estate outside the logging town of Squamish in western Canada could just provide the fix to stop the world tipping into runaway climate change and substitute dwindling supplies of conventional fuel. Carbon Engineering’s direct air capture plant in Squamish, British Columbia, one of the few such facilities in the world. Photograph: pembina.org   Read the article

In the News | Mar 08 2018

The Government of India and the World Bank today signed a US$98 million Loan Agreement and US$2 million Grant Agreement to help India increase its power generation capacity through cleaner, renewable energy sources. Read More Photo Credit: World Bank  

Press Release | Jun 09 2017

 IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced a landmark financing package of $55 million to build Mozambique’s first utility scale solar PV plant, which will help increase electricity sector climate resilience and deliver power to rural areas. It includes $19 million from IFC’s own account, $19 million from Climate Investment Funds, and a syndicated loan of up to $17 million.  

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.

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Blogs | Mar 15 2017

The post in العربية
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When it comes to solar energy, the market looks up to China.  Last year China added 34,000 megawatts (MW) of solar electricity capacity, more than that of the United States, Japan, and Europe combined.  Why then did China send a 30-member delegation last week on a study tour to Morocco to learn about solar energy?

What China is good at is solar photovoltaics (PV) – both at manufacturing PV panels and at building PV power plants.  Morocco has something that China does not have but is eager to learn: a technology called concentrated solar power (CSP).  CSP power plants use mirrors to concentrate sunlight and convert it into heat to drive steam turbines to generate electricity.  One of the advantages of the CSP technology is that the thermal energy concentrated in a CSP plant can be stored and used to produce electricity when the sun does not shine.

Last week Morocco’s Noor Solar Complex near the southern desert town of Ouarzazate hosted more than 100 government officials and utility managers from seven countries from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), industry experts, project developers, multilateral and bilateral development banks, as well as representatives from China, for the inaugural workshop of the MENA CSP Knowledge & Innovation Program (KIP).  Funded by the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) as part of the MENA CSP Investment Pan and implemented by the World Bank, the MENA CSP KIP is designed to support policy makers and practitioners across the region to better understand CSP technologies, markets, and financing and to build national capacities through targeted technical training, knowledge exchange and learning. 

In February 2016, Morocco launched the 160 MW first phase of its 580 MW Noor Solar Complex.  The Noor I plant covers 480 hectares of land with 500,000 cylindrical mirrors called parabolic troughs.  These solar mirrors are 12 meters high, produces 500,000 MWh of solar power a year, and are coupled with three hours of energy storage capacity.  The plant is operating at full capacity and provides electricity at USD 0.18 per kWh.  

As the host of last year’s UN Climate Change Conference (i.e., COP22), the Kingdom of Morocco has been providing the much needed leadership to fight against climate change.  The Royal Government has set ambitious targets of increasing its share of renewable energy to 42 percent by 2020 and to 52 percent by 2030.  To reduce fossil fuel dependence, Morocco launched the Moroccan Solar Plan in 2009, aiming to build 2,000 MW of solar capacity by 2020.  And they have put their plan into action, with remarkable results on the ground.

Noor II and Noor III are currently under construction.  The Noor II plant will use the same technology as Noor I, with an installed capacity of 200 MW and with seven hours of energy storage capability. 

Noor III will have an installed capacity of 150 MW, but it will employ a different CSP technology – a central tower with salt receivers – plus seven to eight hours of energy storage capability. Both Noor II and Noor III are expected to start producing electricity in 2018 and will provide electricity at less than USD 0.16 per kWh.

The Noor Solar Complex does not stop here.  A fourth phase is also under way for a 70 MW PV installation.  When fully completed, the Noor Solar Complex at Ouarzazate will be the world's largest multi-technology solar power plant with 580 MW of installed capacity and an overall investment of more than USD 2 billion.  In addition to providing clean, renewable electricity to more than one million homes, job creation has been valued highly by the Moroccan government and the Moroccan people.  The ongoing construction of Noor II and Noor III, I was told during the site visit, is providing employment opportunities to 4,000 Moroccans.  Aside from Noor Ouarzazate, other solar projects in Morocco are under planning and development, turning the kingdom into a true solar power.

The Clean Technology Fund CTF) has been instrumental in financing the three phases of the Noor CSP plants.  In total, the CTF has provided USD 435 million of highly concessional finance for the three CSP plants, with additional financing provided by the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and other international financial institutions (IFIs).  Due to the involvement of the CTF and IFIs, the cost of capital for developers was significantly reduced, thereby lowering the overall cost of electricity generated.  The economic as well as environmental and social benefits from solar electricity are already benefiting Moroccan residents, businesses, and communities and will continue to do so in many years and decades to come.

 The Noor site visit on March 8 was made all the more meaningful as we paid tribute to women working in the field of sustainable energy on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2017. 

The power of solar is endless, as is our ability to about solar power.  Participants at the MENA CSP KIP workshop may soon forget what the presenters said, but they will always remember what they witnessed at the Noor Solar Complex. 

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.