Washington, D.C., United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] The World Bank’s Clean Technology Fund (CTF) has approved financing of US $750 million, which it said is expected to spur an additional $4.85 billion from other sources, to accelerate global deployment of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP). The funds will be used for projects in five countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA): Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia.
The total investment is expected to result in approximately 900 megawatts (MW) of installed CSP capacity in those countries by 2020.
Specifically, the CTF approved an investment plan which will:
- Enable MENA countries to take advantage of its geography as no other region has such a favorable combination of physical and market advantages for CSP
- Support the deployment of about 1 gigawatt of CSP generation capacity
- Support associated transmission infrastructure in the Maghreb and Mashreq for domestic supply and exports, as part of Mediterranean grid enhancement
- Leverage public and private investments for CSP power plants
- Support MENA countries to achieve their development goals of energy security, industrial growth, diversification and regional integration
The proposed gigawatt-scale deployment through 11 commercial-scale power plants over a 3-5 year time-frame would provide the critical mass of investments necessary to attract significant private sector interest, benefit from economies of scale to reduce cost, result in learning in diverse operating conditions, and manage risk.
“This is a most strategic and significant initiative for MENA countries. The initiative would leverage energy diversification, while promoting Euro-Mediterranean integration to the benefit of MENA countries that will be able to exploit one of the major untapped sources of energy. This endeavor is far-reaching with global objectives, implications, and potential impact. It will facilitate faster and greater diffusion of this technology in this region which holds significant potential for CSP,” said Shamshad Akhtar, World Bank regional vice president of the Middle East and North Africa.
The CTF is a multi-donor trust fund to facilitate deployment of low-carbon technologies at scale.