Partnership Established to Bring Energy Storage to Developing Countries

May 29, 2019 by Scott McMahan

For the 10th Clean Energy Ministerial and 4th Mission Innovation Ministerial, the World Bank Group (WBG) established a new international partnership to help increase the deployment of energy storage and bring new technologies to improve the power systems of developing countries.

The Energy Storage Partnership (ESP) is comprised of the World Bank Group and 29 organizations working together to help devise energy storage solutions tailored to the requirements of developing countries.

Energy transitions have started in many countries with a significant increase in the use of wind and solar power. Integrating these intermittent renewable resources into grids at the scale needed to mitigate climate change, will require energy storage. ESP notes that the increased use of wind and solar power with the aid of storage can help decarbonize power systems, improve grid reliability, expand energy access, and increase the resilience of energy systems.

The demands of developing countries' grids have not yet been fully considered in the current energy storage market, despite the fact that these countries may have the largest potential for battery deployment.

Electric vehicle development is driving the current battery market, and most conventional technologies cannot provide long-duration energy storage or withstand harsh climate conditions as well as low operation and maintenance capacity.

ESP points to the clear need to catalyze a new market for batteries and other energy storage solutions that deployable on a large scale. Such battery and energy storage solutions must be suitable for electricity grids for a variety of grid and off-grid applications.

In order to accelerate the adoption of variable and intermittent renewable energy in developing countries, the WBG is organizing an Energy Storage Partnership (ESP) that is intended to encourage international cooperation on:

  • Technology Research Development & Demonstration, Applications
  • System Integration and Planning Tools
  • Policies, Regulations, and Procurement
  • Enabling Systems for Management and Sustainability

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

The ESP intends to take a holistic, technology-neutral including all forms of energy storage such as batteries. In this way the ESP hopes to expand the global market for energy storage, resulting in technology enhancements and accelerated cost reductions over time.

Ways Industry Players can Engage with the ESP

  • Bid on Public Procurement Packages and Requests for Proposals (RFPs) that will be publicly disclosed online.
  • Partner with International Finance Corporation (IFC) to develop private sector projects and mobilize financing.
  • Submit Expressions of Interest (for eligible WBG vendors) for contracts online.

"The fast growth we're seeing in the electric vehicle market 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. "This is why we are convening the Energy Storage Partnership and we are honored to work with the partners who have joined this initiative. We're looking forward to having more partners join the effort."

"Mission Innovation was born out of a global commitment to accelerate clean energy innovation, to make clean energy widely affordable and accessible. We recognize 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. "This Energy Storage Partnership with the World Bank aligns with a key innovation opportunity that Mission Innovation members have identified through our Smart Grid Innovation Challenge."

"Power systems are undergoing rapid change. Policy makers 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. "This is the focus of several areas of CEM work where storage is an area of increasing interest amongst CEM governments and other partners. Policy and regulatory design will remain key in order for storage-based solutions to contribute cost efficiently to the needs of a changing power mix. Hence, partnerships such as this targeting real-world, deployable solutions are very valuable."

ESP Partner Organizations

The World Bank Group will host the ESP at its Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), and the ESP will be developed and implemented in partnership with other organizations.

The ESP will augment the WBG's $1 billion battery storage investment program announced in September 2018 to help scale up support for battery storage projects and raise an additional $1 billion in concessional finance.