World Bank boosts hydro, other renewables funding

The World Bank says its group funding for hydropower, other renewable energy projects, and energy efficiency increased 67 percent in the past year to US$1.43 billion.

Of that, the bank said, in the year ending June 30, it allotted US$751 million for hydropower projects of more than 10 MW. It awarded US$421 million for new renewable energy projects, including hydropower up to 10 MW, wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal projects. Energy efficiency projects received US$262 million.

�The World Bank considers hydropower, regardless of scale, as renewable energy,� the bank said October 20. �However, for reporting purposes, hydropower projects in which the installed capacity at a single facility exceeds 10 MW are reported separately. Pumped storage, run-of-river hydropower, and hydropower projects with dams are included here if the capacity exceeds 10 MW.�

The bank said there has been a steady increase in the share of financing the World Bank Group committed for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects since 1990, with total financing topping US$11 billion. Financing for such projects represents 40 percent of the group’s commitments in the energy sector for the year.

Individual World Bank units committed the following in FY 2007:
o World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and International Development Agency combined), US$430 million for hydropower, US$70 million for renewables including small hydro;
o Global Environmental Facility, US$121 million for renewables including small hydro;
o World Bank (Carbon Finance), US$66 million for hydropower, US$68 million for renewables including small hydro;
o International Finance Corp. (Own Funds), US$140 million for hydropower, US$154 million for renewables including small hydro;
o International Finance Corp. (Carbon Finance), US$7 million for renewables including small hydro;
o Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, US$115 million for hydropower.

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