U.S. Initiates Clean Energy Transfer Program

By Roy Mark  |  Posted 2009-12-14

The United States launched a clean energy transfer program Dec. 14 that Energy Secretary Steven Chu could accelerate deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies in developing countries. The new Climate REDI (Renewables and Efficiency Deployment Initiative) includes three new clean energy technology programs and funding needed to launch a renewable energy program under the World Bank's Strategic Climate Fund.

The three programs include Solar and LED Energy Access, which will accelerate deployment of affordable solar home systems and LED lanterns to those without access to electricity; a super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment Program to improve efficiency for appliances traded throughout the world; and the Clean Energy Information Platform to establish an online platform for Major Economies Forum countries to coordinate various activities in deploying clean energy technologies.

Funding will be provided through the World Bank's Strategic Climate Fund, which will provide policy support and technical assistance to low-income countries developing national renewable energy strategies and underwrite additional capital costs associated with renewable energy investments.

The combined budget for the programs is $350 million over five years.  Funding for the first three programs above will total $100 million, $35 million that the United States intends to contribute, with the balance from Italy, Australia and other partners. Funding for a Scaling-Up Renewable Energy Program will total $250 million, $50 million that the United States intends to contribute and $200 million that the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland pledged previously.

President Obama launched the Major Economies Forum in March 2009, creating a new dialogue among developed and emerging economies to combat climate change and promote clean energy. At their July summit in L'Aquila, Italy, MEF leaders launched a new Global Partnership on clean energy technologies.

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