World Bank Group commits $1bn to accelerate battery storage

UK’s energy storage capacity ‘set to soar’
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The World Bank Group has committed $1 billion to accelerate investments in battery storage for energy systems in developing and middle-income countries.

The program is expected to help these countries ramp up their use of renewables – particularly wind and solar power – improve energy security, increase grid stability and expand access to electricity.

The financing is expected to mobilise another $4 billion in concessional climate financing and public and private investments.

The program aims 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.

Currently, batteries used in energy generation systems are expensive, and most projects are concentrated in developed countries.

The “Accelerating Battery Storage for Development” program, in response to demand from countries, will finance and de-risk investments such as utility-scale solar parks with battery storage, off-grid systems – including mini-grids – and stand-alone batteries that can help stabilize and strengthen grids.

The program will also support large-scale demonstration projects for new storage technologies suitable for developing countries’ needs – such as batteries that are long-lasting, resilient to harsh conditions and high temperatures, and that present minimal environmental risks.

The World Bank Group is putting $1 billion of its own funds towards this new program and will fundraise another $1 billion in concessional climate funds through channels such as the Climate Investment Funds’ Clean Technology Fund.

The program is expected to raise an additional $3 billion from public and private funds and investors.

The new program will also convene a global think tank on battery storage, bringing together national laboratories, research institutions, development agencies and philanthropies to foster international technological cooperation and training that can develop and adapt new storage solutions tailored for the needs and conditions of developing countries.