The FINANCIAL — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $25 million in a pioneering power company, to help develop a series of renewable energy projects in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa, spurring economic growth and helping meet the growing demand for power.
IFC’s equity investment will help Alcazar Energy develop and operate renewable energy projects, with a focus on solar and wind power plants. This will increase power generation capacity, support economic growth, and help create jobs.
“MENA’s solar potential alone is massive,” says Maroun Semaan, Alcazar Energy Co-founder and Chairman. “Enough solar energy hits the region every year to satisfy the planet’s demand for power. The investment from IFC will help tap into that potential and boost power generation across the region at more competitive costs.”
The rapid growth in electricity demand and lagging supply has resulted in power shortages across many MENA countries. According to studies, the demand for power across MENA countries will grow 84 percent by 2020. Renewable energy projects will assist in bridging this gap. It is estimated that around $280 billion of investment will be needed required in over the next five years to meet MENA’s growing electricity demand, according to IFC.
“Powers shortages are a key barrier to economic growth and development across the region,” says Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “By harnessing the region’s considerable renewable potential, we can increase supply of sustainable, clean energy, helping to boost economic growth and alleviate poverty.”
The initiative is part of IFC wider strategy in the region that focuses on improving the region’s infrastructure with focus on power and renewable energy projects and fostering regional integration by helping companies expand operations to different parts of the region.