Global Pact: 10+ Nations Unite for Battery Energy Storage

At the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), the Global Leadership Council (GLC) of the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) unveiled a transformative initiative: the Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) Consortium. Over 10 countries, including Barbados, Belize, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Togo, joined this pioneering effort, signalling a commitment to deploy 5 gigawatts (GW) of BESS by the end of 2024. 

The BESS Consortium is a strategic response to the urgent need for renewable energy solutions in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). To achieve the estimated 400 GW of renewable energy required by 2030 and mitigate a gigaton of CO2 emissions, 90 GW of storage capacity is crucial. The initial goal of securing 5 GW by 2024 will set the stage for a comprehensive roadmap, demonstrating the Consortium’s commitment to a just energy transition. 

Countries participating in the BESS Consortium will receive support from a coalition of resource partners, including GEAPP, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Agence Française de Développement (AFD), German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), RMI, Africa50, Masdar, Infinity Power, COP28 Presidency, AMEA Power, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Net Zero World, and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL). Additional partners and countries are expected to join this collaborative effort. 

Jonas Gahr Støre, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway and Co-chair of the Global Leadership Council, emphasized the importance of collective action in addressing climate change. The BESS Consortium, established just three months ago, has garnered support from countries, resource partners, and champions, marking only the beginning of a collective journey that must continue at speed and scale. 

The Rockefeller Foundation’s recent research underscores the need for unprecedented global collaboration to keep global warming below the 2°C threshold. BESS is identified as a critical technology to achieve this goal, yet progress is hindered by unfavorable policies, high financing costs, and long project lead times. To overcome these challenges, the World Bank and the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) have published a comprehensive framework titled “Unlocking the Energy Transition: Guidelines for Planning Solar-Plus-Storage Projects.” 

Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation and Co-chair of the Global Leadership Council, highlighted the significance of the BESS Consortium in providing sufficient storage capacity for countries to integrate renewable energy at the needed scale. The initiative exemplifies the bold action required to break down barriers and drive climate transformations. 

In addition to securing 5 GW of BESS commitments and deploying $1 billion in concessional finance, the BESS Consortium aims to accelerate project deployment, enhance the regulatory environment, build a favorable market for BESS, and unlock commercial and public financing. Countries, utilities, and resource partners will collaborate to identify and co-develop tailored support packages for BESS investment, contributing to a greener and sustainable future. 

Joseph Nganga, VP of Africa at GEAPP, emphasized the Consortium’s commitment to delivering scalable solutions and measurable outcomes, citing an example in Malawi where a 20MW BESS project aims to improve access and power stability for 3 million people, enhance the lives of 450,000, and avoid 20,000 tons of CO2 by 2030. The GEAPP’s dedication to sustainability sets new benchmarks, inspiring others to join the crucial journey toward a greener future.