Latest update on sustainable energy finance

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) provides the August update on global developments in sustainable energy finance.


Sustainable Energy Finance Update: MDBs Offer Broad Energy Sector Support; Off-Grid, Transport, Industry Receive Boost

The month of August saw several financing announcements that, instead of focusing on a single project, will support many aspects of the energy sector in several countries, in the context of economic and infrastructure development. In addition, this Update reports on various initiatives that will support the expansion of off-grid energy access, “green” the public transport sector and increase industrial efficiency. It also includes a new ‘Go-To Resources’ section, which lists newly-released sources of information related to sustainable energy project development.

International finance institutions such as the multilateral development banks (MDBs) are behind many of these funding and capacity-building resources, with a view toward achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all) and, consequently, SDG 13 (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts), as well as the climate change mitigation objective of the Paris Agreement, which was adopted in December 2015.

MDBs Lend Broad Support to Energy Sectors in China, Ecuador, Pakistan, Portugal

The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) signed an agreement with the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) that will help ABC build a green finance portfolio of US$23 billion, beginning with a multi-million-dollar pool of energy efficiency and renewable energy loans.

A US$143 million programme announced by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is aiding Ecuador in creating a more sustainable and reliable energy system. One feature of the programme is supporting an effort to diversify the country’s energy mix. In addition, the loans will strengthen transmission to bring new sources of electricity online and expand distribution to bring new users online, including in rural and earthquake-affected areas. The National Program for Efficient Cooking will also receive support.

Transmission is receiving a boost in Pakistan too, where increasing demand for electricity is coupled with the need for better reliability and quality of supply. A US$810 million Asian Development Bank (ADB) loan that will be delivered in multiple tranches will help rehabilitate and expand the country’s transmission network.

As part of a €750 million investment in the Portuguese economy, the European Investment Bank (EIB) is supporting small and medium projects focused on, among other things, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Renewable Energy Projects Pipeline Continues to Grow…

In addition to the more general energy sector funding, the pipeline of specific renewable energy projects continues to grow, with announcements in the biomass, wind and hydro sectors.


IFC, the Government of Canada and the World Bank’s Climate Investment Funds (CIF) Clean Technology Fund (CTF) are supporting the construction of three biomass plants in the Philippines with a loan of US$161 million. Totaling 70 megawatts (MW) of capacity, the plants will be fueled by sugarcane waste, diverting it from being burned in fields.

In Brazil, the company CerradinhoBio, which produces electricity and biofuel from sugarcane, is the recipient of BRL150 million in long-term financing from IFC. The funds will help the company increase its production of bioethanol by 28% and more than double its biomass-based electricity production.

Wind Power

On 11 August, Jamaica welcomed the start of operations of its largest private-sector renewable energy project – a 36 MW wind farm. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), IFC and the Government of Canada contributed a US$62.7 million financing package to the project.

Water Power

Tanzania is setting its sights on the Kikonge Multipurpose Dam, Irrigation and Hydropower Project, with a €2 million grant from the African Development Bank (AfDB)-managed African Water Facility (AWF), which will fund the pre-feasibility study. The project is expected to result in a 300 MW hydroelectricity station, which will increase the country’s hydropower capacity by 53%. A high voltage transmission line and irrigation scheme will also accompany the project.

With a view to influencing policy to promote the sustainability and business operations of the hydropower sector in Myanmar, IFC and private, public and civil society stakeholders launched a working group with a General Forum on 18 August in Yangon, Myanmar. The group will focus on improving hydro’s private sector relations with government and promoting best practices for developing projects sustainably.

Off-Grid is Off and Running in Niger, Ethiopia, the Philippines

The AfDB-hosted Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) announced a US$994,270 grant to help the Government of Niger prepare a green mini-grid policy, regulations and an enabling framework that will promote market-driven private investment and development in the country’s green mini-grid sector.

The World Bank’s Carbon Initiative for Development (Ci-Dev) signed an Emissions Reduction Purchase Agreement (ERPA) with the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) to provide additional funding to the Electricity Network Reinforcement and Expansion Project (ENREP). The purchase of GHG emissions reductions will help finance ENREP’s work to promote solar home systems, specifically its need to address concerns over insufficient warranties and battery replacements. A tracking and enforcement system to ensure warranties are honored completely and consistently by the private solar suppliers will be demonstrated, and a subsidy supported through carbon revenues will enable battery replacements.

US$3 million from the World Bank’s Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA) and US$12.8 million from the EU will provide 40,000 families located in remote, off-grid areas of the Philippines with access to solar energy.

Clean(er) Transport Energy in Kazakhstan, Morocco

With the support of a US$18.8 million European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the city of Kyzylorda, Kazakhstan, will purchase 92 compressed natural gas (CNG) buses, providing cleaner, more efficient public transport. EBRD announced that the first 50 buses arrived in the city at the beginning of August.

The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in Marrakesh, Morocco, is set for a low-carbon upgrade through a US$1,319,863 grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and co-financing of US$56,173,683. The funds will facilitate development of a 1 MW High Concentration PhotoVoltaics (HCPV) solar farm that will power the electric buses of the BRT system.

Making Industry More Efficient in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey

The chemical maker Sisecam Soda Lukavac, which is a subsidiary of Turkey’s Sisecam Group that produces soda ash in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is receiving a €8.9 million loan from IFC to help it increase energy efficiency with a new boiler and make other environmental improvements through a filtering station and advanced effluent treatment.

Turkey’s Assan Aluminum, a Kibar Holding subsidiary that manufactures flat-rolled aluminum products, will increase its resource efficiency by modernizing two existing furnaces, installing five new furnaces and improving overall plant maintenance, thanks to a US$55 million IFC loan.

Also in Turkey, EBRD is helping the oil refiner Tüpraş reduce energy and water use, loaning the company US$150 million to modernize two refineries with the aim of lowering energy intensity and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Go-To Resources

  • Finance Guide for Policy-Makers: Renewable Energy, Green Infrastructure – 2016 Update: Noting how important it is for policy makers and non-financiers to understand and interface with the financial community in light of the Paris Agreement and the accompanying nationally determined contributions (NDCS), Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) produced this guide to give an overview of sources of capital, what the capital markets do, how transactions work, and more.
  • Comparative Analysis of Approaches to Geothermal Resource Risk Mitigation: A Global Survey: Available in both English and Spanish, this report presents the numerous approaches used around the world to mitigate risks and spur investment in geothermal. The World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) developed the report to help decision makers “identify suitable approaches that align with development goals, funding capacity, implementation capabilities, and other country-specific contexts.”
  • INFRALATAM: The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) and IDB created this website as a database of infrastructure investments, including energy projects, in 15 Latin American and Caribbean countries for the period 2008-2013. The data will support work toward SDG 9 (Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation).
  • A Greener Path to Competitiveness: Policies for Climate Action in Industries and Products: Also with a focus on SDG 9, the World Bank produced this report to demonstrate how industry can both reduce emissions and increase competitiveness. The guide helps industries focus on the most cost-effective and energy-efficient options, while also recommending ways government policies and institutional frameworks can help industry chart a climate-friendly path to competitiveness.
  • Mini-Grids Information Portal [ ]: Specifically focused on Tanzania, IFC launched this portal as a comprehensive repository of information for investors interested in developing renewable energy mini-grids in the country.


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