The SDG Knowledge Hub of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) provides the January update on global developments in climate mitigation finance.
Climate Mitigation Finance Update: Renewable and Energy Efficiency Financing and Guidance for Paris-compatible Investments
Funding for several renewable energy projects has been announced in January, including initiatives to support photovoltaic (PV) solar projects in Jordan, Mauritius, Peru and Rwanda, and wind power in Peru and the Dominican Republic. Investments in energy efficiency are expected to reduce energy intensity and improve energy security in Kosovo. A debt fund has been launched in Africa to finance clean, off-grid electricity access. Seven leading finance organizations have launched an initiative to guide investors in enabling their investments to be compatible with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement.
Renewable Energy Projects Funded in Mauritius, Rwanda, and Peru
Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) have announced US$25 million in concessional loans for solar PV projects in Mauritius and Rwanda, financed through the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility. Of the total US$25 million, US$10 million will go towards enabling the Central Electricity Board in Mauritius to equip 10,000 households with rooftop PV solar systems. The project, which is estimated to save the country over US$35 million in avoided fossil fuel imports over its lifetime, will improve energy security and contribute to the Mauritius’s national target of reaching 35% renewable energy in its energy mix by 2025 through bringing 10 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy capacity online. US$15 million of the loan will contribute to the installation of 500,000 off-grid solar PV home systems in Rwanda, as part of the government’s rural electrification strategy which is expected to improve electricity access and provide more than 2,000 local jobs, bringing benefits to an estimated 2.5 million people in rural communities.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced that it will provide US$150 million to invest in renewable energy in Peru. Expected to be completed by 2018, the project will contribute towards building a 132 MW wind farm, the largest in the country to date, and a 180 MW solar plant.
Investor Agenda Launched
An initiative to provide guidance to investors in the transition to a global low-carbon economy has been launched by seven expert organizations. Citing supply, fiduciary duty, consistency with previous commitments and definition and interpretation as key issues on which guidance is needed, the initiative aims to provide investors with the advice they need “to act boldly, swiftly and collectively to help keep global temperature rise below 2ºC.” The Investor Agenda will urge governments to implement the Paris Agreement and to enhance their climate policy ambition by 2020.
The Agenda provides guidance on four key themes, including investment, corporate engagement, investor disclosure, and policy advocacy. It was jointly developed by seven organizations: Asia Investor Group on Climate Change; CDP, Ceres, Investor Group on Climate Change, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, Principles for Responsible Investment and UNEP Finance Initiative. The Agenda was released during the Investor Summit on Climate Risk on 31 January in New York.
Residential Energy Efficiency Improvements in Kosovo
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced a loan of up to €1.5 million to a Kosovan microfinance institution named ‘Agency for Finance in Kosovo’ (AFK), for investments in energy efficiency including high-performance technologies, materials and other solutions in the residential sector. The investments are expected to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy intensity to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, in line with the EBRD’s Green Economy Transition approach.
Dominican Republic Wind Farm to Help Energy Security and Reduce Fossil Fuel Dependence and Solar PV in Jordan
The Dominican Republic will see the construction of a 50 MW wind farm, expected to increase energy security and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 91,000 tCO2eq per year, through an US$80 million financing package from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, with support from the Government of Canada. The project will contribute to the country’s target of reducing GHG emissions by 25% by 2030.
Expected to be operational in 2019, the project has a total cost of $125 million. The IFC arranged finance package includes US$18.5 million for IFC’s own account, US$18 million from the Dutch Development Bank (FMO), US$17 million from the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program (a partnership between the Government of Canada and IFC), US$15 from million Proparco, the French development finance institution, and US$11.5 million from the German Investment Corporation (DEG).
In related news, IFC has also arranged a financing package of up to US$188 million for the largest PV solar power plant in Jordan to date. The 248 MW facility, developed by Masdar, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, includes US$54 million from IFC’s own account and US$134 million mobilized from other senior lenders including Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), as well as Dutch Development bank FMO and Europe Arab Bank, the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and the German development bank (DEG).
Off-Grid Energy Access Fund Launched by AfDB
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a US$30 million investment in the Facility for Energy Inclusion Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (“FEI OGEF”). The AfDB approval comes following additional investments of US$10 million from Calvert Impact Capital (CIC), US$8.5 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and €6 million from the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), as well as a €0.5 million grant from NDF for technical assistance to the project.
Known as FEI-OGEF, the US$100 million debt fund is expected to result in the reduction of up to 8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions over its lifetime, through providing loans to off-grid energy companies to scale up access to clean electricity for off-grid households and set up co-lending agreement with local financial institutions. The Fund is part of AfDB’s “High 5” priority to light up and power the African continent, with an aspirational target of connecting 75 million households through off-grid energy access solutions by 2025.