Main Issue

Renewable energy technologies — which range from wind and solar to hydroelectric, tidal, geothermal and biomass — generate many environmental and economic benefits. By definition, they do not use fossil fuels, which means they generate low or zero greenhouse gas emissions and less pollution. Investments in renewable technologies bring the added benefit of stimulating employment and economic growth, which move the world closer to a low-carbon economy. 

Dependable and affordable energy supplies are crucial to economic growth in both developed and developing countries — to power homes, connect communities, provide safe water and promote economic and human development. 

Yet some 1.4 billion people lack access to electricity. About 3 billion people rely on traditional fuels like coal and wood for cooking, and often have poor ventilation in their homes. Nearly 2 million people die each year from pneumonia and chronic lung disease from using these fuels.

Switching to renewable energy sources will reduce indoor air pollution, improving health and quality of life for millions around the world. It will also strengthen energy security, which will boost economic growth and help reduce poverty.

What We Do

The GEF is a catalyst to promoting renewable energy on many fronts — from removing barriers and building capacity to direct financing of investments in renewable energy technologies. 

Removing barriers: Developing countries face many policy, regulatory and technical hurdles to adopt renewable energy technologies. The GEF was among the first to help developing and transition countries remove these barriers, and transform their energy markets, such as through renewable feed-in tariffs, and independent power producers. Read more+

Results

Our support has been instrumental in putting renewable energy on the agenda of most developing and transition countries — from the People’s Republic of China to India, from Argentina to Brazil, from Mexico to South Africa, from Morocco to Turkey, from the Russian Federation to Romania. 

The GEF has promoted the demonstration, deployment, diffusion and transfer of renewable energy technologies at every level of society. In households and villages, for instance, the GEF is a leader in financing and disseminating solar home systems, solar lanterns and renewable power for water and irrigation pumps in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. We also help utilities increase their capacity to operate and integrate renewable power generation into existing facilities and grids. Read more+