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Clean Energy Ministerial and World Bank to Help Countries Scale Up, Integrate Renewable Energy in Grids

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Clean Energy Ministerial and World Bank to Help Countries Scale Up, Integrate Renewable Energy in Grids

Together, the ESMAP and CEM initiatives will deliver advanced knowledge and targeted technical assistance to help developing and middle-income countries integrate large shares of wind and solar energy into their electricity grids. Photo: NREL

The Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) will work with the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) to deliver targeted technical assistance that will help developing and middle-income countries integrate large shares of wind and solar energy into their electricity grids.

The price of wind and solar inputs has dropped substantially in recent years, and these energy sources are becoming cost-competitive with coal and gas for electricity generation in some markets. Over 144 countries have set renewable energy targets, and more than 100 have already enacted policies or measures to promote the use of renewables. Since 2011, over half of net capacity additions in the global power sector have come from new renewable energy deployment.

However, the prospect of meeting a sizeable share of electricity demand through wind and solar also requires expansion and modernization of electricity grids, as well as significant changes to policies and operational practices. There is tremendous demand for technical assistance to help countries make the transition to a “renewable-friendly” grid.

The CEM and the World Bank will work together to meet this demand by leveraging CEM’s wide-ranging technical expertise to support a new ESMAP initiative. The ESMAP Variable Renewable Energy Integration Program helps countries develop capacity for long-term grid planning, market design, renewable energy pricing, development of rules of access to electricity grids and strengthening of the electricity dispatch and transport infrastructure. 

Countries participating in this initiative will now have access to technical experts, knowledge and resources through CEM’s 21st Century Power Partnership (21CPP) and Clean Energy Solutions Center. The services provided will help countries address immediate issues and increase their capacity for longer-term policy and investment planning. 

“Technical assistance is critical to develop the sound policies, targeted investments and robust infrastructure that make possible the transition to the 21st century grid,” said Anita Marangoly George, Senior Director of the World Bank’s Energy and Extractives Global Practice. “By working together, the Clean Energy Ministerial and the World Bank will be able to bring together world-class technical expertise, extensive country engagement and the World Bank’s financing to help facilitate this transition.”

Together, the ESMAP and CEM initiatives will work to deliver the most advanced knowledge—from technical integration of variable renewable energy (VRE) and smart grids to harmonized policy and regulatory frameworks—that will draw from the experiences of vanguard countries already managing high percentages of wind and solar penetration. The Clean Energy Solutions Center will provide just-in-time technical assistance to policy makers participating in the ESMAP initiative through its “Ask An Expert” service.

Opportunities will also be identified to hold clean energy workshops and webinars to provide cooperative training for policy makers in participating countries. Additionally, ESMAP donors and the United States will support ESMAP by sending technical experts to play key roles in the Variable Renewable Energy Integration initiative.

”Accelerating clean energy deployment while maintaining reliability and affordability is an area of significant research and innovation in the United States and other countries around the world,” said Jonathan Elkind, Principal Assistant Secretary for International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy. “We are excited that through this partnership we can directly apply this knowledge to help other countries more effectively scale up their share of renewables."

This collaboration will expand the work of 21CPP on grid integration already underway through multi-year technical assistance programs in India, Mexico and South Africa. The ESMAP initiative, although still in its early stages, is already evaluating proposals for support in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Haiti, Mexico, Morocco, Ukraine, India, Philippines, Seychelles, South Africa and Vietnam. 

The 21st Century Power Partnership is an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial focused on power sector transformation and grid integration of renewable energy, energy efficiency and smart grid technologies. For more information and to view reports and publications, visit or contact

The Clean Energy Solutions Center, an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial, provides no-cost policy assistance, training and tools to help governments, advisors and analysts create policies and programs that advance the deployment of clean energy technologies. The Solutions Center is co-led and co-funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through support from the U.S. Department of State and the Australian Department of Industry and Science. For more information, visit

The Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), a multi-donor technical assistance trust fund program administered by the World Bank, helps countries increase their knowledge and institutional capacity to achieve environmentally sustainable energy solutions for poverty reduction and economic growth. For more information, please visit

Clean Energy Ministerial Contact:
Tracey Crowe (202) 586-4131,

World Bank Contacts:
In Washington: Elisabeth Mealey, (202) 458-4475,
For Broadcast Requests: Mehreen Sheikh, (202) 458-7336,

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