PRESS RELEASE | IFC Expands Energy Access Partnership With Italian Government

Washington D.C., March 26, 2019 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, expanded its transformational ten-year partnership with the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land, and Sea (IMELS). At IFC headquarters in Washington D.C. today, IMELS Director General for Sustainable Development and Environmental Damage, Francesco La Camera signed an additional $9 million agreement to renew the Italian government’s commitment to expand energy access in developing countries.

“The results of this partnership have already benefitted more than 165 million people with modern energy services, catalyzing what is today a $1 billion solar off-grid energy industry,” said La Camera. “We are confident that this next phase of partnership will continue to innovate, pioneer new approaches, and reach new markets including the Sahel as a priority.”

The amendment signed today will:

  • Continue to strengthen IFC’s core global energy access initiatives including off-grid development work through Lighting Global;
  • Develop market solutions to displace backup diesel generators by creating a viable market for cleaner, cheaper energy alternatives for the two billion people without access to reliable grid electricity;
  • Catalyze the renewable energy market development in key African and Asian countries; and
  • Strengthen off-grid public private partnerships across Sub Saharan Africa with Italian companies that have established global leadership as innovators and executors of cutting-edge energy access solutions for developing countries.

“The Italy-IFC Clean Energy Access Partnership has been a distinctly effective and impactful collaboration since its creation nearly ten years ago,” said Russell Strum, who leads IFC’s energy access market development work. “The partnership has changed the landscape of the previously intractable challenge of energy access. We have combined our institutional strengths to catalyze a dynamic new industry and improve the lives of over 165 million people while reducing greenhouse gases by 3.3 million tons CO2 equivalent per year.”

Around the world, nearly one billion people have no access to basic energy services, and another billion are connected to unreliable electricity services. Kerosene lamps and diesel generators pump gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year, harming not only people, but the environment as well. Through this expanded collaboration with IMELS, IFC will mobilize private innovation and capital to increase the provision of clean, reliable safe energy solutions to people living with no, or intermittent, access to the energy grid.