An international meeting on climate finance has approved plans to mobilise US$40 billion for country-led low-carbon growth. The Clean Technology Fund endorsed investment plans for Colombia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, bringing the number of plans in place around the world to 13. Donors to the Fund, which is managed by the World Bank, are the United States, Britain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway and Japan.

The Clean Technology Fund’s finance is intended to leverage local investment in low carbon technologies. For example, following the Fund’s endorsement ot a $US5.6 billion investment in concentrating solar power for Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia, Morocco has announced plans for a $US9 billion solar energy project which will supply 38% of the country’s electricity by 2020.

The Moroccan project consists of five power generation sites to produce 2,000 megawatts of electricity, with a combined surface area of 10,000 hectares.

Indonesia is using Clean Technology Fund money as part of the funding for its plan to double its geothermal energy production capacity.

In separate developments:

  • South Korea has announced plans to invest $US1 billion to build 20 tidal power plants between 2011 and 2014. The power plants, to be located in about 200 kilometres southwest of Seoul, will have a total capacity of 520 megawatts and will be the world’s largest tidal power complex.
  • Italy has announced that Europe’s largest solar power plant will begin operation at Rovigo, near Venice, later this year. The plant, which will produce 72 megawatts, will occupy 850,000 square metres.
  • Construction has begun on the United States’ first commercial wave energy farm which will be located off Reedsport, Oregon.
  • Norway has announced plans to build the world’s largest and most powerful wind turbine standing 162 metres tall with a rotor diameter of 145 feet. It will generate 10 megawatts of power, making it three times more powerful than the largest current turbine.
  • A French consortium, called Transgreen, is reportedly working on plans to build a vast network of undersea electricity lines to bring solar power from Africa to Europe. The network is intended to complement the German-led Desertec project, which aims to build a huge network of wind turbines and solar electricity sites in North Africa and the Middle East which would meet 15 percent of Europe’s electricity needs. The Transgreen project is expected to be officially announced in May.

( Source: Renewable Energy Focus, Global Arab Network, AFP and Reuters)