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New Program on Battery Storage to Boost Renewable Energy Globally

The World Bank Group has announced yesterday that it is proposing to commit $1 billion for a new global program – the Accelerating Battery Storage for Development program - to help fast-track investments in battery storage for energy systems in developing and middle-income countries.

The program also aims to fundraise $1 billion in concessional climate funds and mobilize at least another $3 billion from the public and private sectors over the next 5-6 years. The goal is to finance 17.5 gigawatt hours (GWh) of battery storage by 2025 – more than triple the 4.5 GWh currently installed in all developing countries.

The program will help countries leapfrog to a new era of energy technology and improve their energy security and grid stability while bolstering global efforts to transition to clean energy. It will focus on financing and de-risking investments in utility-scale renewable generation supported by batteries, stand-alone batteries used to stabilize the grid and deployment of batteries in mini grids. It will also support large-scale demonstration projects for new battery technologies that are resilient to harsh conditions often experienced in developing countries and that minimize environmental risks.

The World Bank has already financed over 15% of the grid-related battery storage in various stages of deployment in developing countries to date and has a strong pipeline of projects in Africa, the Pacific, and South Asia. This new program will help accelerate the effort that is already taking place.

The program was developed by the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) and Energy Climate Finance teams, which will continue to lead its implementation working with World Bank regional energy units and IFC.

ESMAP already supports multiple engagements in battery storage across countries.

  • In the Central African Republic, ESMAP has helped assess the feasibility of solar deployment with battery storage in a fragile grid with the purpose to provide reliable delivery of electricity. It is also helping ENERCA, the national utility, to build capacity for operating solar photovoltaic (PV) plants with batteries in the capital Bangui and other secondary cities.
  • In the Middle East and North Africa, ESMAP is helping countries strengthen their investment planning and decision making for energy storage by quantifying the technical and economic aspects of several options for utility-scale energy storage. This analysis includes a comparison of concentrating solar thermal power and integrated thermal storage, and of solar PV and battery storage.
  • In Guinea Bissau, ESMAP is funding an in-depth assessment for the development of utility-scale solar PV plants with battery storage. The aim is to inform the government about the feasibility of such deployment, building on the initial results that identified a large potential for solar deployment in the country’s optimal energy mix by 2030.

Feature Story: Powering New Markets for Battery Storage

Press Release: World Bank Group Commits $1 Billion for Battery Storage to Ramp Up Renewable Energy Globally

Infographic: Accelerating Battery Storage for Development