Turkey invited to multi-million dollar global energy storage program

The International Renewable Energy Agency estimates the average investment volume in renewable energy will reach $737 billion per year up to 2030. (iStock Photo)

Turkey, which is a country that initiated energy convention programs and values renewable energy, needs more support in the fight against climate change

Countries like Turkey, which launched energy convention programs should receive more support in the fight against climate change, Washington-based Climate Investment Funds (CIF) head Mafalda Duarte said.

In a recent interview with Anadolu Agency (AA), Duarte said Turkey should be a part of the Global Energy Storage Program [GESP] -- a program expected to reach $1 billion in loans.

"We will be reaching out to Turkey asking if they are interested in these programs. We have put $450 million and $4.3 billion of additional financing from our own resources in renewable energy and energy efficiency investments in Turkey," she said.

Duarte explained that thanks to the CIF's direct and indirect investments in Turkey, 1.4 gigawatts (GW) of installed renewable energy capacity has been built saving 16 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of energy.

The investments ensured the reduction of 30 million tons of CO2, she said.

Duarte further noted Turkey is set to benefit from its Zero Waste Management System regulation, which aims to reduce the volume of nonrecyclable waste, as well as hold public institutions, organizations and provincial governorates with a population of more than 250,000 responsible for waste management by 2020.

Saying that the CIF has invested $20 million in the zero waste program, Duarte, however, noted that public resources are not enough to fully combat climate change.

"Private capital is also needed. Public resources may be the driving force, but I think that private capital can also stimulate energy transformation in developing countries," she asserted.

Batteries to support grid flexibility

According to Duarte, storage systems are necessary to support the grid in the event of problems from growing renewable energy capacity.

The GESP was launched to support energy storage solutions in two ways. One of these ways is to provide the flexibility that energy systems require renewable energy generation. The second is to support mini-grid and decentralized solutions.

She said the CIF aims to enable the use of storage solutions that are critical for the energy transition in developing countries.

GESP is the world's largest multilateral investment program for scaling up energy storage systems in developing countries. With the capital envisaged, the initiative seeks to triple energy storage capacity in developing countries, mobilizing up to $8 in partner financing for every dollar invested in energy management systems, policy enhancements, technical assistance and knowledge sharing.

This type of financing is expected to support approximately 17.5 GWh of new energy storage capacity by 2025 and broaden energy access for 6.5 million people, according to the CIF's website.

The $8.3-billion CIF is the largest multilateral climate-financing instrument in the world providing developing countries with financing for climate-resilient and low-carbon development.

These grants, concessional loans, risk mitigation instruments, and equity leverage significant financing from the private sector, multilateral development banks (MDBs), and other sources. Five MDBs—the African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and World Bank Group (WBG)—implement CIF-funded projects and programs.

Countries to show more effort for Climate Agreement targets

Duarte highlighted that in recognition of the global climate change problem, countries need to create more nationally distributed contributions (NDC) to reach targets set in the Paris climate agreement.

In 2015, government representatives from 197 countries met in Paris and agreed to limit the global temperature rise by the end of the century to well below 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C. In the four years since the historic meeting and 24 years after the first Conference of the Parties (COP) in 1995, progress on climate action has been limited at best.

"Global greenhouse gas emissions continued to increase by 1.5% per year in the past decade, with no signs of peaking. A reduction of approximately 5% per annum is needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Government commitments so far are far from sufficient," the World Economic Forum (WEF) said in its latest published report entitled The Net-Zero Challenge: Global Climate Action at a Crossroads.

The report showed that only 67 countries – among them none of the top five emitters – have committed to the goal of achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions and even most countries with this commitment have not enacted sufficiently robust policies to attain the emission reductions required.

"The world is at a crossroads. The coming decade will decide whether humanity can achieve the goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C. Without a meaningful reduction in emissions in the next five years, the ability to act will increasingly be lost, resulting in damage that could become irreversible," the WEF warned.

Duarte said renewable energy is key in terms of realizing climate action targets. However, she added even though renewable energy capacity quadrupled over the past decade, it is still not enough.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) calculates that global investment in renewable energy agency capacity was $329 billion per annum between 2009 and 2018. IRENA estimates the average investment volume will reach $737 billion per year up to 2030 when it will create a cumulative $10.3 trillion.

"Because we have population growth and more than 800 million people without energy access, what we have managed is almost meeting additional demand with renewable energy but we still have a big chunk of energy from fossil fuels," she noted.

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