Improving access to power is a key priority for IFC. More than 1.3 billion globally people live without electricity, and for many millions more, power supplies are irregular and expensive. There is a clear development imperative to turn the lights on—reliable electricity bolsters jobs in industry and services; it provides light to schools, hospitals and health clinics; it improves urban safety; and it helps farmers grow, process, and store food more effectively.
IFC finances electricity generation, transmission, and distribution upgrades in developing countries, with a particular focus on natural gas and renewable energy such as solar, wind, and hydropower. We have financed more than 320 power projects in over 60 countries representing over 33,000 megawatts of generation capacity. More than 150 million people have been reached through our projects.
A key IFC objective in the power sector is making renewable energy more accessible in developing countries – particularly places with abundant sun, wind, and hydro resources. Many of the projects we have financed were first-of-their-kind initiatives making the case that renewable energy is a commercially viable option for developing countries such as South Africa, Mexico, Jordan, China, and Pakistan.
IFC provides long-term financing to match the asset life of hydropower projects. We also specialize in helping clients manage and mitigate environmental and social risks related to hydro projects.
IFC has a long track record in thermal power. We have increased our focus on natural gas, energy efficiency, and gas flaring reduction, and continue to finance diesel and heavy fuel oil projects where development needs are great and limited alternatives exist.
IFC is a leading investor in emerging-market wind projects, offering developers equity and debt financing as well as the capacity to navigate new regulatory support mechanisms.
IFC offers a wide range of financing products for solar power, focusing on best-in-class developers and projects with utility-scale production potential. We supported the first concentrated solar plants in Sub-Saharan Africa, the first merchant solar plant in Latin America, and the largest solar plant in Latin America.
IFC can offer debt and equity financing to the geothermal sector, with innovative structuring options and technical expertise on handling issues such as resource risk.
Transmission and Distribution
IFC finances capital expenditure programs for electricity distribution companies, including electrification concessions. IFC also provides financing for new private transmission assets and recently privatized transmission assets.