A new paper strategy by the World Bank Group sets a new direction for energy sector investments focusing on expanding energy access and sustainable energy. Along with expanding access to energy, the Energy Sector Directions Paper focuses on accelerating energy efficiency and renewable energy development as per the Sustainable Energy for All initiative’s 2030 goal for doubling global energy efficiency measures and the global renewable energy mix share.
“As part of a drive for universal access, financial solutions or guarantees will be made available for the most feasible energy options for the poor and for people living in fragile and conflict-affected states. If short-term options include those with moderate or high greenhouse gas emissions, complementary support will also be provided in the medium term to harness lower-emission options.
In rural, remote or isolated areas, off-grid solutions based on renewable energy combined with energy- efficient technologies could be the most rapid means of providing cost-effective energy services. Engagement in cleaner cooking and heating solutions will grow.”
The new energy strategy paper will limit financing of new coal-fired power plants to “rare circumstances,” and only to countries with “no feasible alternatives” to coal. This follows President Obama’s “climate action” speech at Georgetown University last month calling for an end to public financing of dirty coal plants abroad.
“The WBG will provide financial support for greenfield coal power generation projects only in rare circumstances. Considerations such as meeting basic energy needs in countries with no feasible alternatives to coal and a lack of financing for coal power would define such rare cases.”