The World Bank, which is providing billions of dollars for clean power and energy efficiency projects in developing countries, plans to fund its first smart grid project in Turkey, according to the World Bank’s vice president for Sustainable Development, Kathy Sierra. Sierra made the comments Tuesday during a Q&A session before the Commonwealth Club in downtown San Francisco, where she largely focused on the World Bank’s strategy and goals for investing in clean technology in developing regions.
Sierra told me after her presentation that the Turkey smart grid project represents the World Bank’s first foray into funding smart grid technology. While that might be surprising given smart grid tech is so hot in the U.S. and Europe, many developing countries are still working on getting a power grid built out. So far, not much has been decided for the Turkey smart grid project, Sierra said, explaining that the project is so new it is more like a place holder.
However, Turkey isn’t just getting World Bank funds to focus on the smart grid. Turkey will be among one of the first countries to work with a new $5.2 billion Clean Technology Fund managed by the World Bank that will provide money and loans for clean power and energy efficiency. In May, the World Bank approved a project in Turkey that will use $100 million of the Clean Technology Fund resources combined with a World Bank loan of $500 million for clean power and industrial energy efficiency projects, including “smart grid solutions aimed at helping better integrate renewable resources into the transmission grid.” The cleantech funds from the World Bank are also intended to start the ball rolling on local investments, so the smart grid project will likely have local and other international investors involved.
During Sierra’s Q&A, she called Turkey one of the leaders among developing countries creating clean power and energy efficiency projects, and said the region is acting aggressively on climate change in order to help it meet requirements to join the European Union.
Images courtesy of the World Bank.