2018 in Review: Energy and Extractives at the World Bank

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2018 continued to see major shifts in global energy markets and extractive industries, which were reflected in the work done by the World Bank in developing and middle-income countries . From expanding off-grid electricity projects in rural and remote areas, to announcing an ambitious $1 billion battery storage program, to a new initiative to help countries with coal mine closures, the Bank fulfilled existing commitments and announced new plans for 2019 and beyond.

Here are some highlights of the World Bank’s work in energy and extractives over the past year:

Riccardo Puliti, Senior Director and Head of Energy and Extractives at the World Bank, wrote a piece about how getting methane – which makes up 16 percent of greenhouse gas emissions -- out of energy production and use could provide a major boost to the fight against climate change .

In what is one of the largest programs of its kind in Africa, the World Bank is supporting Ethiopia’s efforts to take electricity to all its citizens by 2024 through the $375 million Ethiopia Electrification Program, which focuses on last-mile connections in addition to strengthening the capacity of the sector. The Program’s ultimate goal is to directly support new connections for over one million households in Ethiopia.
A video shows how investing in solar-powered mini-grids like this one in Ghana, is changing lives. In the towns around the Volta River, nearly 10,000 Ghanaians now enjoy uninterrupted power, which enhances security and brings new economic opportunities to these communities.

The World Bank announced a new project to finance off-grid solar power systems in Yemen to power basic services and improve access to electricity for vulnerable Yemenis in rural and outlying urban areas. The new project will rely on the commercial solar market, which has grown despite the conflict in the region, providing further support to the local economy and helping create jobs.

The World Bank announced $55 million in additional financing to Bangladesh’s already successful renewable energy project, to install 1,000 solar irrigation pumps, 30 solar mini-grids and 4 million improved cookstoves in rural areas. The World Bank has been helping Bangladesh expand solar-powered electricity in remote and rural areas since 2003 – and today, the country has one of the world’s largest solar power programs , covering nearly 20 million people.

The World Bank is working with China to fight air pollution in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region by encouraging business investments to increase energy efficiency, clean energy and reduce air pollutants and carbon emissions by tightening regulations in the sector.

A new financial instrument -- FinBRAZEEC -- will help Brazil increase its investments in urban infrastructure, make the country more energy efficient and meet its goal of improving energy efficiency in the electricity sector by 10 percent by 2030, set as part of its Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement on climate change.

A new $250 million development policy loan for the state of Rajasthan in India aims to support the state improve the performance of its electricity distribution sector under the state’s 24x7 Power for All program, which aims to provide continuous, reliable power to all households in Rajasthan by 2019.

A new, first-of-its-kind $1 billion program - which is expected to leverage $4 billion more in funding - aims to help fast-track investments in battery storage, so it can be deployed affordably and at scale in middle-income and developing countries, including some of the fastest growing economies in the world. Battery storage allows for wind and solar energy to be used at a much greater scale by making it possible to store electricity and use it when it is needed most .

A first-of-its kind report series on floating solar technologies, “ Where Sun Meets Water,” aims to help policymakers, private developers and practitioners understand the market potential, costs and policy implications, as well as the challenges to overcome to get this emerging technology off the ground. Floating solar technologies can help significantly scale up the use of solar energy around the world, especially in countries with high population density and scarce land .

The latest edition of the Regulatory Indicators of Sustainable Energy (RISE) 2018 finds that the world has seen a huge uptake in sustainable energy policies – a clear indicator that policies are a vital building block of the world’s transition to sustainable energy. However, progress is far from where it needs to be for the world to reach global climate goals and the Sustainable Development Goal on Energy (SDG7).

The World Bank, Canada and the United Kingdom announced financial, technical and advisory support for developing countries that have decided to transition away from coal and accelerate their uptake of clean energy. The announcement came alongside the launch of “Managing Coal Mine Closure: Achieving a Just Transition for All,” which outlines the lessons learned from coal mine closures to date, and key steps governments can take to minimize social conflict and economic distress.

To find out more about the World Bank’s work on energy, visit our website or follow us on Twitter – @WBG_Energy .


Aarthi Sivaraman

Communications Officer

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