The World Bank Group announced a new program to fast-track the adoption of offshore wind energy in developing countries. The World Bank and IFC will help emerging markets assess their offshore wind potential and provide technical assistance to develop a growing pipeline of projects that are ready for investment by renewable energy developers.
Offshore wind now represents about $26 billion in annual investments – or 8% of new global investments in clean energy – and this proportion is set to increase dramatically, with about $500 billion expected to be invested in offshore wind projects by 2030.
“Offshore wind is a clean, reliable, and secure source of energy with massive potential to transform the energy mix in countries that have great wind resources,” said Riccardo Puliti, Senior Director and Head of Energy and Extractives at the World Bank. “We have seen it work in Europe – we can now make use of global experience to scale up offshore wind projects in emerging markets.”
The program will convene developing country governments, commercial developers, development partners, and wind energy experts to raise awareness around offshore wind opportunities in emerging markets and lay the groundwork for a pipeline of new projects that could be supported by World Bank or IFC financing.
The World Bank and IFC will work with public and private sector partners to undertake technical studies and develop national strategies to facilitate the adoption of this increasingly cost-competitive technology.
“We see great opportunity for offshore wind development at scale and are looking forward to working with private sector developers to open up new investment opportunities in countries that could benefit from this increasingly competitive source of renewable energy,” said Bertrand de la Borde, IFC Director and Global Head of Energy and Mining.
Led by the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), in partnership with IFC, the US$5 million program is being initiated thanks to a GBP£20 million grant to ESMAP from the United Kingdom government to help low and middle-income countries implement environmentally sustainable energy solutions.
The offshore wind industry has grown nearly five-fold since 2011, with 23 GW installed at the end of 2018 and a large volume of planned projects in Europe, China and the United States. The new program represents an important opportunity for countries with strong offshore wind resources, including Brazil, Indonesia, India, the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. Offshore wind can also provide additional clean generation capacity for developing countries with populations living without access to reliable electricity.