WB, IFC providing assistance to offshore wind power projects

By Czeriza Valencia – March 10, 2019 – 12:00am
from The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The World Bank and the International Finance Corp. (IFC) have launched a program that would help developing countries assess their potential in adopting offshore wind energy projects and provide technical assistance for the development of a pipeline of projects that are ready for investment by renewable energy developers.

In an announcement on its website, IFC said offshore wind projects are gaining foothold in Europe, China and US with about $26 billion in annual investments, or eight percent of new global investments in clean energy.

“This represents an important opportunity for countries with strong offshore wind resources, including Brazil, Indonesia, India, the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Vietnam,” IFC said.

“Offshore wind can also provide additional clean generation capacity for developing countries with populations living without access to reliable electricity,” it added.

Offshore wind energy pertains to the use of wind farms built in bodies of water, usually in oceans, to harvest wind energy and generate power. This is because wind speed is higher offshore compared on land.

“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. We have seen it work in Europe – we can now make use of global experience to scale up offshore wind projects in emerging markets,” said Riccardo Puliti, senior director and head of energy and extractives at the World Bank.

“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 $5 million program is supported by a grant from the United Kingdom to help low- and middle-income countries implement environmentally sustainable energy solutions.

This program will be set in motion with the cooperation of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and its recently formed Offshore Wind Task Force which brings together leading offshore wind developers, equipment manufacturers and service providers.

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.

It will help lay down the groundwork for a pipeline of new projects that could be supported by financing from the World Bank or its sister organization IFC, which is focused on making investments in the private sector.

The two international entities will work with public and private sector partners to undertake technical studies and develop national strategies to facilitate the adoption of offshore wind energy projects.