Power Failure

How the World Bank is Failing to Adequately Finance Renewable Energy for Development

Power Failure - read the report (pdf)The World Bank Group has emphasized the global leadership role it hopes to play in addressing climate change and financing for renewable energy. But this report shows that the World Bank group is missing a tremendous opportunity - and failing to fill an urgent need - by not adequately financing renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries.

If the World Bank Group is to deliver on the potential of renewable energy to promote development and poverty alleviation, it will have to dramatically increase its funding for renewable energy, both in absolute terms and as a proportion of its overall energy funding.

"Power Failure: How the World Bank is Failing to Adequately Finance Renewable Energy for Development," questions the central role that the World Bank claims it wants to play by financing renewable energy globally.

The report finds that the World Bank, despite being tapped by the G8 countries to develop a framework for financing renewable energy sources, fell far short of its own target for increasing financial support for renewable energy and energy efficiency. The Bank increased funding by only 7 percent, or $14 million, in fiscal year 2005 -- less than half its announced target of a 20 percent increase annually over the next five years.

The renewable and efficiency financing by the World Bank for fiscal year 2005 represents only 9 percent of all the Bank's financing in the energy sector. Meanwhile, the Bank continues to finance fossil fuel pipelines and is making a move back into destructive large dams for energy generation in developing countries.

Download the report (pdf). Note of clarification (pdf). Download the annex (pdf) of spreadsheets with specific World Bank Group project and lending information.