World Bank New Partnership To Boost Power Systems In Developing Countries

Yemisi Izuora 

The World Bank has entered into new international partnership which aims to expand the deployment of energy storage and bring new technologies specifically targeting developing countries’ power systems. 

The Energy Storage Partnership comprises the World Bank Group and 29 organisations, the Bank said in a statement. 

“The fast growth we’re seeing in the electric vehicle emarket is exactly what we need for energy storage in power systems around the world. We want to see batteries connected to the grid, serving mini-grids, and enabling much more use of renewable power from the sun and wind,” said Riccardo Puliti, senior director for energy and extractives, World Bank. 

He added that this is why they were convening the Energy Storage Partnership and said they are looking forward to having more partners join the effort.

The bank said the requirements of developing countries’ grids are not yet fully considered in the current energy storage market even though these countries may have the largest potential for battery deployment. The current battery market is driven by the electric vehicle industry and most mainstream technologies cannot provide long duration storage or withstand harsh climatic conditions and low operation and maintenance capacity.

“Mission Innovation was born out of a global commitment to accelerate clean energy innovation, to make clean energy widely affordable and accessible. We recognise that this cannot be done by Mission Innovation alone and that we need strong partnerships with organizations like the World Bank to be successful,” said Frank Des Rosiers, Chair of the Mission Innovation Steering Committee. 

By connecting stakeholders and sharing international experiences in deploying energy storage solutions, the ESP will help bring new technological and regulatory solutions to developing countries, as well as help develop new business models that leverage the full range of services that storage can provide. 

“Power systems are undergoing rapid change. Policymakers and regulators need to actively identify options to increase the flexibility of power systems in their jurisdictions; this not least to accommodate the integration of increasingly larger shares of intermittent renewable generation and distributed energy resources,” said Christian Zinglersen, head of Secretariat, Clean Energy Ministerial. 

Zinglersen further added that policy and regulatory design would remain key in order for storage-based solutions to contribute cost efficiently to the needs of a changing power mix.

“The increased use of wind and solar power with storage can help decarbonize power systems; expand energy access; improve grid reliability; and increase energy systems’ resilience,” the release said.

There is a clear need to catalyze a new market for batteries and other energy storage solutions that are suitable for electricity grids for a variety of grid and off-grid applications and deployable on a large scale. 

The ESP will complement the World Bank’s $1-billion battery storage investment programme announced in September last year.

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