Follow the Sun: World Bank Collects $5.5 Billion for Solar Projects in Middle-East and North-Africa

concentrated solar power photo

Photo: Sandia National Laboratory, Public domain
Why Should Germany Have All The Solar Power Fun?
The World Bank is announcing that 5.5 billion dollars will be invested in concentrated solar energy projects in five countries of the Middle-East and North-Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia), which makes a lot more sense than investing in solar projects in cloudy Germany, for example. The World Bank's Clean Technology Fund has already approved 750 million dollars, and this financing will "mobilize an additional 4.85 billion dollars from other sources."In a statement, the World Bank said:

The proposed gigawatt-scale deployment through 11 commercial-scale power plants over a three- to five-year time-frame would provide the critical mass of investments necessary to attract significant private sector interest, benefit from economies of scale to reduce cost, result in learning in diverse operating conditions, and manage risk.

Going where the sun is makes a lot of sense, as we previously wrote about (Solar Thermal Power in North-Africa: How Much Land to Power the World?), but what will matter most is whether this initiative will help with other barriers to the tapping of the huge solar potential of the region. A few months ago, Matt listed the biggest ones:

1. Risk Perception
2. Lack of Coherent Business Plans
3. Lack of the Right Policy Framework

If the projects are successful, it could certainly help with risk perception, which could lead to more efforts to make #2 and #3 work. The biggest challenge down the road will be to build transmission lines to Europe. At first, the electricity generated will probably be used locally, but the goal should still be to replace dirty sources in Europe.

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