World Bank Finalizes Landmark Loan for Brazil

The World Bank and the government of Brazil have signed an energy efficiency loan that will result in $125 million of conservation efforts in that country over four years.

WASHINGTON, DC – The $43 million loan is accompanied by a $15 million grant from the Global Environmental Facility. The loan and grant will be matched with $67 million in local funding to reach the $125 million target. “This is the first major loan the World Bank has ever provided solely for improving the efficiency of electricity use,” says Howard Geller, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. “It will help Brazil to reduce the number of new power plants needed over the next 20 years, lower the cost of energy services, lower pollutant emissions, and avoid future power shortages.” “It also can serve as model for World Bank and GEF energy projects in other countries,” he adds. PROCEL is part of Eletrobras, a national utility holding company, and Geller assisted Eletrobras with the preparation of the loan and grant proposals. The money will be used by PROCEL, Brazil’s national electricity conservation program, and its partner utilities and state agencies, to support large-scale implementation of proven efficiency measures such as street lighting upgrades, time-of-use meters and public building retrofits. The GEF grant will support pilot projects featuring innovative technologies or delivery mechanisms as well as capacity building and core activities such as training, equipment testing, labeling and standards, regulatory reform, and the development of financing mechanisms for efficiency projects. PROCEL was established 15 years ago by the government of Brazil. It has already saved 5 billion kWh a year, equivalent to 2 percent of the country’s electricity use.

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