Pedro Alba,
Country Director,
World Bank
 
Buenos Aires, Argentina --- (METERING.COM) --- June 27, 2008 - The World Bank through the Global Environment Facility (GEF) is to provide a US$15 million grant towards increasing efficiency in the use of energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Argentina.

The objective is to develop a sustainable and growing market for energy efficiency services and equipment in Argentina and the project will help establish regulatory and policy measures, scale up efforts to phase out inefficient lighting, disseminate information, and develop financial risk reduction instruments needed to promote energy efficiency.

Specifically the project consists of three components – the development of a local energy efficiency fund, support for an efficient lighting program, and strengthening the incentive framework for energy efficiency.

The first component will develop the Argentina Energy Efficiency Fund as well as a pipeline of energy efficiency projects to be financed through a grant facility.

The second component will develop a Utility Energy Efficiency Program, which will support the acquisition and distribution of compact florescent lamps (CFLs), provide technical assistance for exploring new delivery mechanisms of energy efficiency services through utilities, and analyze the specific language and cultural needs of the social groups benefited by the CFLs.

The third component is for capacity building and project management within both the private and public sectors and for strengthening incentives for investments in energy efficiency.

Argentina is the fourth largest consumer of energy in Latin America, second only to Venezuela in per capita energy consumption. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 44 percent between 2003 and 2007, leading to a corresponding increase in the demand for energy of more than 5 percent per year.

Pedro Alba, World Bank country director for Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, says the grant will contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by helping remove the regulatory, financial, and informational barriers that prevent activities and investments in energy efficiency and energy conservation.

The project will be implemented over a six-year period.