7/31/2009

World Bank to fund its first smart grid project in Turkey

Reuters - The World Bank, which is providing billions of dollars for clean power and energy efficiency projects in developing countries, plans to fund its first smart grid project in Turkey, according to Kathy Sierra, the World Bank’s Vice President for Sustainable Development. Sierra made comments during the Q&A session before the Commonwealth Club in downtown San Francisco, USA, where she focused mainly on the World Bank’s strategy and goals for investing in clean technology in developing regions. Sierra said the Turkey Smart Grid Project represents the World Bank’s first foray into funding smart grid technology. While that might be surprising given that smart grid tech is so popular in the US and Europe, many developing countries are still working on getting a power grid constructed. So far, not much has been decided for the Turkey Smart Grid Project, according to Sierra, but she also noted that the project is very new. However, Turkey is not getting the World Bank funds merely to focus on the smart grid. Turkey will be one of the first countries to work with a new USD 5.2 billion Clean Technology Fund managed by the World Bank that will provide money and loans for clean power and energy efficiency. In May, the World Bank approved a project in Turkey that will use USD 100 million of the Clean Technology Fund resources, combined with a World Bank loan of USD 500 million for clean power and industrial energy efficiency projects, including “smart grid solutions aimed at helping better integrate renewable resources into the transmission grid.” The Clean Technology Funds from the World Bank are also intended to start the ball rolling on local investments, so the smart grid project is likely to have local and other international investors involved. During Sierra’s Q&A, she regarded Turkey as one of the leaders among developing countries in creating clean power and energy efficiency projects, and said the country is acting aggressively on climate change in order to help it meet requirements for joining the European Union.

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