During the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the World Bank (WB) announced a plan to double support in developing countries for expanded electricity access and more renewable energy initiatives.
The WB outlined its plan to increase finance for energy projects from $8 billion (€ 6,3 billion) to $16 billion (€ 12,7 billion) per year. This will go towards scaling up initiatives to provide electricity, clean household fuels, and more sustainable cookstoves in various developing countries.
According to the UN, the access to energy in the developing countries could creating more jobs.
Specifically, the WB plans to include providing technical assistance and policy guidance to help countries establish energy access initiatives, expanding existing programs such as Lighting Africa, which supports sustainable and affordable lighting systems, and supporting clean cooking projects in Africa, South and East Asia, and Central America.
Indipendent experts said that a rapid declining costs of solar energy could provide access to electricity to millions of poor people in developing countries.
Furthermore, the World Bank pledged to provide risk mitigation in clean energy investments, support geothermal power initiatives, improve energy efficiency in urban settings, and expand the Global Gas Flaring Reduction partnership.
“Providing access to electricity to the world’s 1.3 billion people who are without it, and clean household fuels to the 2.7 billion without them, is a priority for the WB Group,” said Mahmoud Mohieldin, WB Managing Director.“ At the same time, we will promote energy efficiency practices and facilitate efforts by countries to shift to cleaner energy sources.”
Specifically, the WB pledged to: provide technical assistance, policy guidance and financing to help up to five selected countries establish energy access plans; expand access programs such as Lighting Africa, to provide affordable lighting to 70 million low-income households by 2020;advance the clean cooking agenda by supporting clean cookstoves and household fuels programs; support development of geothermal power in developing countries.