The bank noted in its statement out of almost record lending total of 9.4 billion US dollars, about two-thirds of the group’s financing was concentrated in regions facing the largest energy deficits.
Most of the countries that benefited from this intervention are in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
(READ MORE: Africa needs an energy revolution: Mayaki)
“With 1.2 billion people still living without electricity across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, it’s clear where our work will be focused for the foreseeable future,” Anita Marangoly George, senior director for energy and extractives global practice noted.
“Our priority is to find the cleanest energy solutions to meet local needs in the smartest ways possible,” added George.
She added that energy financing was crucial to poverty alleviation.
“If we are to end extreme poverty, we must tackle energy poverty,” said George.
“With 1.2 billion people still living without electricity across Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, it’s clear where our work will be focused for the foreseeable future. Our priority is to find the cleanest energy solutions to meet local needs in the smartest ways possible.”
(READ MORE: Africa’s renewable energy developments still slow)
Energy financing for low-income (or IDA) countries was at 4.62 billion in the 2014 financial year.
This is the highest ever intervention from the bank – double the highest level the bank has previously provided for IDA countries.
A considerable proportion of the bank’s renewable energy financing also went towards building the policies and institutions countries need to manage a sustainable electricity supply as well as the smart transmission and distribution systems that connect people and industry to energy.
The World Bank mobilised over one billion US dollars of private sector finance through guarantees which help to mitigate the risk for potential investors.
International Finance Corporation (IFC) and MIGA each mobilised a further one billion US dollars from third party sources to complement their own investments.
Bernard Sheahan, IFC Global Head of Infrastructure and Natural Resources said the financial year was a success.
“This year we saw a tipping point for the competitiveness of renewable energy as a commercially viable part of the energy mix, particularly in places like Chile where we financed the largest solar plant in Latin America,” noted Sheahan.