World Bank Considers Renewable-Energy Loans for Morocco, Jordan

The World Bank’s International Finance Corp. unit is studying renewable-energy project funding for Morocco and Jordan this year as their governments seek to reduce imports of fossil fuels.

“These are countries with strong renewables potential where the sector could potentially be a competitor with industrial sources of generation,” Adam Schwartzman, an Istanbul-based senior investment officer at the unit, said in a telephone interview.

The IFC has allocated a greater share of its power-generation funding to renewables since 2008 as nations seek to meet rising demand without adding to emissions. Jordan, which relies mostly on imported energy, has suffered disruptions in natural-gas deliveries from Egypt amid pipeline attacks, while Morocco, also dependent on imported fossil fuels, is developing a plan for 2,000 megawatts of solar capacity by 2020.

The IFC is studying funds for wind and solar technologies as Jordan faces fuel-supply constraints, Schwartzman said. Further north, Albania, Croatia and Ukraine are also “bringing potentially attractive projects to market,” he said, without elaborating.

Investments in clean sources of power now account for 60 percent of the IFC’s electricity generation business after the Washington-based unit invested $3.8 billion in 90 projects, or about 4,500 megawatts, in four years, according to Schwartzman.

Loans to the 60.4-megawatt Karadzhalovo solar project in Bulgaria, the 68-megawatt Zorlu wind project in Pakistan and the 228-megawatt Cernavoda and Pestera wind parks in Romania show that “significant, path-breaking renewables transactions can still be financed in these difficult times,” he said, adding that those nations continue to present financing opportunities.

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