The World Bank Group has launched a US$1 billion plan to “accelerate investments” in battery storage for energy systems in developing and middle-income countries.
The ‘Accelerating Battery Storage for Development’ initiative, unveiled at the One Planet Summit in the US, aims to finance 17.5 gigawatt hours (GWh) of battery storage by 2025— more than triple the 4-5GWh said to be currently installed in all developing countries.
The $1bn in bank financing “is expected to generate another $4bn in concessional climate financing and public and private investments” the bank said.
A new “global think tank on battery storage” will be set up as part of the investment push, the bank said. This would bring 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”.
Bank group president Jim Yong Kim said: “Battery storage can help countries leapfrog to the next generation of power generation technology, expand energy access, and set the stage for much cleaner, more stable, energy systems,” Kim said.
“For developing countries, this can be a game changer,” Kim said.
The bank said the programme 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”.