Solar and wind power are seeing incredible uptake. But how can we store the electricity they produce and use it when it is needed most and at a much greater scale? Energy storage—batteries in particular—can help solve this problem.
Battery storage offers fast response, ease of deployment, and cost reductions. Yet battery technology is still expensive and not widely used in large-scale projects. The gap is particularly acute in developing countries, where clean energy demand is growing and large populations often live without reliable, affordable electricity.
Fast-tracking investments in battery storage
“Accelerating Battery Storage for Development” is a new, first-of-its-kind, US$1 billion World Bank Group program to accelerate the deployment of battery storage for energy in developing and middle-income countries. The program is expected to help countries ramp up their use of renewable energy, increase grid stability, and leapfrog to a new era of energy technology.
For several years, the Bank has been working with countries to support the deployment of batteries with solar and wind power, with projects underway in Africa, South Asia, Latin America, and the Pacific. The new program will finance and de-risk investments such as solar parks with battery storage, off-grid systems, and stand-alone batteries. The program will also support large-scale demonstration projects for new storage technologies.
“Accelerating Battery Storage for Development” also aims to fundraise US$1 billion in concessional climate funds, through channels such as the Climate Investment Funds’ Clean Technology Fund, and mobilize at least another US$3 billion from the public and private sectors. The goal is to finance 17.5 gigawatt hours of battery storage by 2025—more than triple what is currently installed in all developing countries.
“To make full use of solar and wind power, we need at-scale and affordable battery storage. Our goal is to catalyze new markets that will help drive down costs and make batteries a viable storage solution for developing countries.”
Riccardo Puliti, Senior Director and Head of Energy and Extractives at the World Bank
Major learning curriculum on the energy landscape
The Open Learning Campus intends to capture and package all of the learning that will arise from this program, to increase understanding and applications of battery storage solutions. The Open Learning Campus already offers an extensive catalogue on energy topics, particularly on the renewable energy sources that are so crucial right now.
Just a few of the learning offerings available through the Open Learning Campus include: Investment Planning toward Low Emissions Development (course); Energy Sector Strategies to Support Green Growth (course); A Renewable Energy Tipping Point? (podcast); Africa Electricity Grids Explorer (data visualization); and How Vietnam is Meeting Energy Demands Sustainably (video).
Through these current—and future—dynamic learning opportunities, diverse audiences will be better equipped to help countries embrace clean energy, usher in new technologies, and become warriors in the global fight against climate change.