- Barbados, Belize, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Togo committed to the Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) Consortium as first-mover countries with AfDB, the World Bank, IDB, ADB, AFD, RMI, GIZ, Africa 50, Masdar, Infinity Power, AMEA Power, COP28 Presidency, NREL, Net Zero World, and SEforAll signing on as resource partners.
- Securing 5 GW of energy storage commitments by the end of 2024 is a key deliverable of the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet’s Global Leadership Council, which was formed in 2022 to significantly reduce the cost of renewable energy technologies in LMICs while increasing their accessibility and addressing the climate crisis.
- Commitments demonstrate progress towards enabling 400 GW of renewable energy by 2030 in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) and solving energy poverty.
DUBAI | December 2, 2023 ― Today, at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), The Global Leadership Council (GLC) of the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) announced that Barbados, Belize, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Togo committed to the Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) Consortium with Indonesia showing strong interest. Through the BESS Consortium, these first-mover countries are part of a collaborative effort to secure 5 gigawatts (GW) of BESS commitments by the end of 2024. In order to achieve the estimated 400 GW of renewable energy needed to alleviate energy poverty by 2030 and save a gigaton of CO2, 90 GW of storage capacity must be developed. The BESS Consortium’s initial 5 GW goal will help create a roadmap for achieving the rest by 2030, demonstrating a key mechanism for accelerating a just energy transition. Vietnam also participated in the BESS Consortium launch with Honorable Prime Minister, Pham Minh Chinh addressing the gathering on the country’s commitment to clean energy transition.
Battery Energy Storage Systems are a critical element to increasing the reliability of grids and accommodating the variable renewable energy sources that are needed to power economic development. In many cases, a combination of BESS and renewables are already cheaper than fossil fuel alternatives. The BESS Consortium is a multi-stakeholder partnership set up to ensure these BESS benefits transform energy systems across low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The Consortium is on track to meet its target of securing 5 GW of BESS commitments by the end of 2024 and deploying these by the end of 2027.
BESS Consortium first-mover countries will be supported by resource partners including GEAPP, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), RMI, Africa50, Masdar, Infinity Power, COP28 Presidency, AMEA Power, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Net Zero World, and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), with additional partners and countries expected to join.
Jonas Gahr Støre, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway and Co-chair the Global Leadership Council said during the launch, “The Global Leadership Council was formed to expedite change, and bring forward transformative initiatives that will cut emissions, create jobs and expand access to clean and affordable energy in low- and middle-income countries. Three months ago, we committed to establishing the BESS Consortium, and already we have countries, resource partners and champions on board. This is only the beginning, we must continue to move at collective speed and scale.’’
New research from The Rockefeller Foundation shows that keeping global warming from breaking the 2° Celsius threshold will require unprecedented global collaboration. BESS is a critical technology to achieve that goal, but progress is being severely hindered by unfavorable policies and regulations, high financing costs, long project lead times, and other challenges. To accelerate the shift to cleaner and more affordable energy systems, the World Bank and the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) recently published a comprehensive framework, “Unlocking the Energy Transition: Guidelines for Planning Solar-Plus-Storage Projects.” Written for policymakers and project developers, the report provides a step-by-step approach to planning and executing utility-scale solar photovoltaic projects, including practical advice on feasibility assessments, business model selection, risk allocation, and navigating the procurement process.
Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation and Co-chair of the Global Leadership Council said, “Without sufficient storage capacity, countries will be unable to add renewable energy to their grids at the scale needed to reduce emissions and create economic opportunity. The BESS Consortium is an example of the sort of big, bold action required to break down the barriers keeping so many people and communities from joining the climate transformations underway.”
In addition to securing 5 GW of BESS commitments in LMICs and deploying $1 billion in concessional finance, the Consortium will accelerate project deployment, work to improve the regulatory environment, build a favorable market for BESS, and unlock commercial and public financing. Countries, utilities, and resource partners in the Consortium will partner to identify and co-develop tailored packages of support for BESS investment. These will be refined and negotiated between country stakeholders and partners with complementary advocacy and accelerating actions championed by the Consortium.
Joseph Nganga, VP of Africa at GEAPP said, “The Global Energy Alliance’s GLC initiatives including the groundbreaking BESS Consortium are driving real actionable progress. We are determined to deliver scalable solutions and measurable outcomes at speed by the time world leaders reconvene at COP29 next year. In Malawi for example, we are supporting the Government to deploy and operate a 20MW BESS project which, by 2030, will improve access and power stability for 3M people, improve the lives of 450,000 and avoid 20,000 tons of CO2. Our unwavering dedication to sustainability is leading us to set new benchmarks and inspiring others to join this crucial journey towards a greener future.”
Statements of Support for the BESS Consortium:
- His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana
“Recently, I unveiled Ghana’s new Energy Transition and Investment Plan, a roadmap for fighting climate change and fostering economic development in tandem. Our commitment to the BESS Consortium is a bold and concrete step as Ghana works toward a sustainable industrial revolution that will help our nation prosper and achieve net-zero emissions by 2060.”
- The Honorable Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados
‘’Now is the time to act. We have long passed the time to promise and plan. The issues before us are simply too critical at this stage. Barbados is committed to playing a leading role in urging concrete deliverables on climate and climate financing. We are here with the BESS Consortium today because we support their efforts to improve access to battery energy storage systems as part of the energy transition in countries like ours. BESS brings together partners spanning development, technology, and finance, to improve access to technology, finance, research, and innovation. Bringing these things together Is important in creating the ecosystem necessary for the energy transition.’’
- His Excellency Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi
“Malawi knows first-hand how climate change-induced disasters are reversing years of developmental gains. And unless the international community concentrates on investing in resilience-building, economic development, and access to clean energy for the most vulnerable, the global pledge to leave no one behind will be an empty promise. Malawi is committed to maintaining a renewable energy generation pathway for a sustainable future – and it’s projects like the BESS Consortium that will make our low carbon pathway a reality. We need more projects like that.”
- His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, COP28 President, UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change, and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology
“Ensuring that Africa can rapidly advance on a low-carbon intensive development pathway is a critical priority that is in everyone’s interest. That is why COP28 has built its action agenda that includes the key pillars of fast tracking a just and orderly energy transition and fixing climate finance. To confront the climate crisis, keep 1.5C within reach and leave nobody behind, we must focus all our efforts on delivering these priorities. I see great synergies between the BESS Consortium and the UAE-led $4.5 billion ‘Africa Green Investment’ initiative launched at the Africa Climate Summit. We both seek to deliver transformational projects on-the-ground and to create the right policy frameworks by working jointly with committed Governments. I see great transformational power in this partnership and call on others to join.”
- Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank
“Africa must achieve universal access to electricity, for powering its economies and to provide clean cooking for 990 million people. Unlocking Africa’s enormous renewable energy potential will require massive investments in solar and wind energy and battery energy storage systems (BESS) will help reduce the variability of electricity supply from the resulting power systems and support the integration of greater renewable energy into the grids. That is why the work of the BESS Consortium, which is an innovation of GEAPP’s Global Leadership Council, is so important, and has the strong support of the African Development Bank Group”.
- Ilan Goldfajn, President of the Inter-American Development Bank
“Collaboration is crucial to effectively address the challenges of climate change at the scale we need. Supporting green infrastructure like BESS will build more sustainable and inclusive economies for everyone. Together with the IDB, GEAPP’s Global Leadership Council is working to build a more prosperous future for Latin American and the Caribbean region.”
- Woochong Um, Managing Director General, Asian Development Bank
“Energy storage is becoming an integral part of the clean energy transition, with increased electrification of the energy system and rising share of variable renewable energy in power supply. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is actively supporting and promoting the use of best available clean energy technologies by governments and private sector, and one of our major priorities is Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS). ADB is implementing BESS projects across Asia and the Pacific, from small-scale projects in the Maldives, Philippines, and Pacific Islands, to large-scale projects in Cambodia, Thailand, and Mongolia. We are also assisting governments to ensure the necessary regulatory framework is in place to attract private sector investment in BESS, such as in Georgia and India, and to develop pilot BESS projects in our DMCs including Viet Nam. As the climate bank for Asia and the Pacific, ADB is delighted to be actively working with GEAPP to accelerate the uptake of BESS and unlock transformative projects through dedicated technical assistance and concessional financial resources.”
- Rémy Rioux, CEO, Agence Française de Développement
“Ensuring access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy for all is key to opening up a new world of opportunities for millions of people. Achieving SDG7 will benefit other SDGs related to climate change, economic opportunities and jobs, women’s empowerment, social justice, education and health. Unlocking finance for BESS investments is an important milestone that will enable the development of renewable energy at scale. We need new and innovative ways to mobilize all relevant stakeholders, which is why I am delighted that AFD is joining the BESS Consortium initiative. We are committed to sharing our technical expertise and financing solutions with the 10 first movers and bringing new countries on board to reach the +5GW target.”
“Solving a problem as complex as climate change requires collaboration. The BESS Consortium is a new way of working to tackle this challenge together, partnering across governments, utilities, regulators, investors, corporates, communities, and NGOs. RMI looks forward to supporting the BESS Consortium’s first-mover countries by providing technical expertise to help deploy battery energy storage and create roadmaps to scale.”
- Guangzhe Chen, Vice President for Infrastructure, World Bank
“To make progress toward climate goals and alleviate energy poverty in emerging economies, we must think creatively to forge partnerships. The BESS Consortium is such an innovative partnership that leverages the expertise of finance and technology partners to advance deployment of battery energy storage at scale. As one of our first contributions, we are making a toolkit available that provides guidance to policymakers and project developers on best practices for implementing solar-plus-storage projects.”
- Per Heggenes, CEO, IKEA Foundation
“The BESS Consortium is an opportunity to leverage philanthropic partnerships with the public and private sectors to unlock renewable energy solutions at scale. We cannot keep global warming at or below 1.5 degrees without a rapid and sustained decrease in global emissions. The consortium will demonstrate how supporting renewable energy infrastructure can help countries lower their emissions and expand energy access for the people who need it most.”
- Andrew Steer, President and CEO, Bezos Earth Fund
“The deployment of 5GW energy storage promises to have transformative impact. The BESS Consortium exemplifies the power of collaborative, multistakeholder partnerships and how philanthropic dollars can be put to work to mitigate risks and boost climate innovation. This work, if done well, can help provide energy access to millions across the globe.”
- Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy
“We cannot achieve net-zero emissions without tackling ongoing development challenges. The quickest way to economic growth is through energy access,” said Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO of Sustainable Energy for All. “We have the solutions. The BESS Consortium will help close energy gaps and prove that a just transition is possible. With the right tools, developing countries can transform from climate victims into climate leaders.”
- Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO, Masdar
“We are deeply committed to enabling a just energy transition and unlocking the enormous renewable energy potential of the global south. As the UAE’s clean energy powerhouse, Masdar is proud to have developed and partnered in projects in 40 countries. Masdar has a strong track record in battery energy storage systems, which play a key role in overcoming intermittency issues. As the UAE hosts the UN climate change conference, COP28, we will double down on our mission to deliver reliable, continuous clean energy to transform lives and livelihoods around the world.”
- Mohamed Ismail Mansour, Chairman, Infinity Power
“Battery storage will be crucial in the effort to decarbonise and lower emissions from energy production. For Africa in particular, it is an ideal technology, enabling us to capture more of the abundant wind and solar energy available and use it to provide clean, affordable power at scale. We are proud to be members of the Consortium and look forward to continuing to support this vital work.”
- Nayer Fouad, CEO, Infinity Power
“Our own portfolio of renewable energy projects already includes battery storage facilities in Senegal, and we hope to add more in the coming years as we work towards our goal of 10GW of clean energy across Africa by 2030. Working as part of the Consortium will help us accelerate our goals for battery storage, and enable countries across Africa to access more clean, affordable energy more quickly.”
- Hussain Al Nowais, Chairman, AMEA Power
“Green energy transition is no longer a need, it’s a must. Climate is becoming increasingly important for all the living beings on the planet. Battery storage solutions can have a catalytic impact to achieve a mass integration of renewable energy sources into the existing power systems and to achieve the green transition targets. We, at AMEA Power, are excited to join forces with the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) to participate in the Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) Consortium. Many renewable power solutions that we discuss with our clients consider a BESS element. Some projects require a BESS component to integrate into the existing grid well. We see the BESS Consortium as an important platform to accelerate the proliferation of renewable energy sources and to build a more sustainable future for all.”
- Alain Ebobissé, CEO, Africa50
“The Battery Energy Storage Systems programme will be transformative for Africa as it will help increase the penetration rate of intermittent renewable power on the continent. We are pleased to count several African countries among the first movers of this initiative, and we look forward to contributing Africa50’s strong project development and financing expertise to help scale up renewable energy investments in Africa and accelerate the continent’s path to Net-Zero.”
- Sir Alok Sharma, COP26 President and Rockefeller Climate and Finance Fellow
“Battery energy storage systems have the potential to supercharge the transition to renewables and increase access to clean energy. It is exciting to see national governments, the private sector, MDBs and philanthropy coming together to make this vision a reality, and I am proud to support the BESS Consortium.”
The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) is an alliance of philanthropy, governments, technology, policy, and financing partners. Our common mission is to enable emerging and developed economies to shift to a clean energy, pro-growth model that accelerates universal energy access and inclusive economic growth while supporting the global community to meet critical climate goals during the next decade. As an Alliance, we aim to reduce 4 gigatons of future carbon emissions, expand clean energy access to one billion people, and enable 150 million new jobs. With philanthropic partners the IKEA Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation and Bezos Earth Fund, GEAPP works to build the enabling environment, capacity, and market conditions for private sector solutions, catalyze new business models through innovation and entrepreneurship, and deploy high-risk capital to encourage private sector solutions and assist just transition solutions. For more information, please visit www.energyalliance.org and follow us on Twitter at @EnergyAlliance.
About the GLC
The GLC is a high-level coalition of global leaders brought together by GEAPP and co-chaired by Jonas Gahr Støre, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway, and Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. It includes leaders of multilateral development banks, development finance institutions, international agencies, NGOs, corporate executives, and government representatives. The Global Leadership Council was established in 2022 to effect collective action on a more ambitious and inclusive global renewable energy agenda and to ensure the philanthropic capital and aligned co-investments of the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) are deployed as fast as possible with optimal impact. For further information on the GLC and its members please see here.
About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation is a pioneering philanthropy built on collaborative partnerships at the frontiers of science, technology, and innovation that enable individuals, families, and communities to flourish. We make big bets to promote the well-being of humanity. Today, we are focused on advancing human opportunity and reversing the climate crisis by transforming systems in food, health, energy, and finance. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at rockefellerfoundation.org and follow us on X @RockefellerFdn.
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