LONDON (Reuters) – Investment group International Finance Corporation (IFC) has driven projects financing more than 10 gigawatts of renewable energy in the emerging world, its global head of mining said, enough to power 10 million U.S. homes.
Namrata Thapar told Reuters in an interview at the Reuters Next Conference that the IFC’s energy portfolio now amounts to some $8 billion.
“A lot of the projects are in difficult jurisdictions in the sense they may be secluded, far from power lines,” Thapar said.
As well as direct energy investment, IFC also provides funding for mining, a key element in the energy transition which cannot happen without metals such as copper, aluminium, cobalt, nickel and tin.
“Some of our engagements include being an anchor for critical shared infrastructures such as power, water and railways… (mining projects) can act as a catalyst for that sort of development in emerging markets,” Thapar said.
IFC is part of the World Bank Group, which has a long history of investing in mining as a source of economic growth. It is one of the world’s largest development financial institutions, with an investment portfolio of $64 billion in emerging markets.
The share of renewables such as wind and solar in the overall energy mix is expected to grow at a faster pace over coming years as it is a crucial part of plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Annual clean energy investment in emerging and developing economies needs to increase from less than $150 billion last year to over $1 trillion by 2030 to put the world on track to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, according to a report from the International Energy Agency.
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(Reporting by Pratima Desai; Editing by Jan Harvey)