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IFC Introduces Innovative Study to Protect Biodiversity, Spur Sustainable Investment in Renewable Energy in Jordan and MENA


In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Tel: +20-2-2461-4230
E-mail: rmustafa@ifc.org

In Washington:
Irina Likhacheva
Tel: (202) 473-6978
E-mail: ilikhacheva@ifc.org


Amman, Jordan, February 23, 2017—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today unveiled an innovative study designed to reduce the risks that wind farms pose to wildlife in Jordan, part of efforts to support the development of renewable energy and other sustainable infrastructure in the region.

The study - the first of its kind in Eastern Europe, Middle East, and North Africa - lays the foundation for wind-energy projects in Jordan to comply with international best practices in biodiversity and encourage more sustainable investments. Wind power is a vital source of domestic electricity in a country heavily reliant on expensive – and polluting – foreign fuel.

“In Jordan and the wider region, wind power is becoming an increasingly important source of electricity because it's climate-friendly and cost-effective,” said Ahmed Attiga, IFC’s Regional Head of Operations in the Middle East and North Africa. “When we financed the first such project in the country, we quickly saw that industry expansion could risk impacting the animals and birds that live near or fly past these facilities. So we set about developing and coordinating a plan to address this.”

IFC, one of the largest renewable energy investors in the world, has played a key role in the development of Jordan’s power sector, solving regulatory and environmental constraints, financing several major projects, encouraging private investment, and pioneering innovative financing models.

The study highlights practical steps that wind farm operators can take to protect bats and 13 species of birds, including raptors such as the Steppe Eagle, Egyptian Vulture and Eastern Imperial Eagle. The suggestions are based on expert analysis of the migratory and resident bird populations in Jordan, which sits on the Rift Valley and Red Sea, the second largest flyway for migratory birds in the world.

Key proposed measures to minimize the impact on birds include identifying wind-farm layouts with the least impact on known flight paths, monitoring threatened bird species during the operations phase of the projects, and shutting down turbines when birds are flying at heights where they may collide with rotating turbines. The study, the Tafila Region Wind Power Projects Cumulative Effects Assessment, is available at www.ifc.org/JordanWind.

IFC has invested in nearly 7 gigawatts of hydropower, nearly 4 gigawatts of wind power and nearly 2 gigawatts of solar power in emerging markets globally. In Jordan, IFC was a financier and mandated lead arranger of the country’s first commercial-scale renewable energy project, the 117 megawatt Tafila wind farm.

In addition to investment, IFC provides support and solutions globally to expand the development of sustainable infrastructure.  In Laos, Myanmar and Nepal, IFC is supporting the expansion of sustainable hydropower by working with officials to strengthen the sector through improved policy and regulation; and by building private developers’ knowledge on how to lower environmental and social risk. In Brazil, IFC is working with multiple stakeholders on an Amazon initiative to adopt a more systematic approach to common challenges such as territorial planning, governance, social participation in decision making processes, and anticipatory measures for the preparation of localities.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY16, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $19 billion, leveraging our capital, expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org

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