The World Bank is supposedly changing its ways and putting more and more money into clean energy. This is what it keeps telling us. Though, some analyses would tell you otherwise and it just recently approved approximately $3 billion for what will be the 4th largest coal power plant in the world, despite ongoing US requests that the World Bank stop funding coal-fired power plants and the US, the UK, the Netherlands, and others abstaining from the vote above (essentially, showing that they were against it) .
Nonetheless, its latest effort on the clean tech front looks like a good one (even if it should have done something along these lines years ago). The World Bank announced last week that it appointed California professor Daniel M. Kammen as their new “clean tech czar.”
Kammen is professor of energy at the University of California, Berkeley. He will start as the World Bank’s first ever chief technical specialist for renewable energy and energy efficiency on October 4th.
Demand for Renewable Energy and Energy-Efficiency Projects Growing
While my comments above might lean on the side of cynicism, World Bank vice president Inger Anderson says that the need for this new role comes from “unprecedented” renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects and loans and isn’t just a greenwashing announcement and assignment.
“More than ever, our clients and countries are looking for solutions as they put in place economic growth and poverty reduction policies for their citizens today, while taking into account the needs of the planet tomorrow,” Anderson says. “The supply and use of clean energy is a prime element in responding to both concerns.”
Kammen is an Experienced Energy Policy Advisor
Kammen is no stranger to high-level advisor roles. He has worked as an advisor to the California government and the US federal government on renewable energy policy.
His UC-Berkeley “experts” page reads:
Kammen brings to the analysis of national and international energy policy an understanding of the technology as well as of the economics and the policy landscape. He sees value in greater emphasis on renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power and biomass, not only because it is better for the environment, but also because it would improve our nation’s security by lessening reliance on imported oil. Renewables also would produce more jobs than an equivalent investment in fossil fuel energy sources, according to a recent study by Kammen.
Although Kammen is to be the chief technical specialist for renewable energy and energy efficiency, he will have a good (and also new) partner working with him on the issue of climate change:
“Kammen will work alongside World Bank veteran Andrew Steer, who was appointed earlier this summer as special envoy on climate change and has been tasked with overseeing $6bn in projects funded through the organisation’s Climate Investment Funds,” Business Green reports.
Hopefully, the World Bank will continue to move forward from here on out and not sit idle on the issue of promoting clean energy or clean tech any longer.
Photo Credit: UC-Berkeley