Washington, D.C. — The World Bank and the government of Brazil signed a landmark $43 million energy efficiency loan on December 5, 2000. The loan is accompanied by a $15 million grant from the Global Environmental Facility. The loan and grant will be matched with $67 million in local funding for a total of $125 million to be devoted to electricity conservation efforts in Brazil over four years.
The loan and grant will be used by Brazil's national electricity conservation program (PROCEL) and its partner utilities and state agencies. The loan will support large-scale implementation of proven efficiency measures such as street lighting upgrades, time-of-use meters, and public building retrofits. The GEF grant will support pilot projects featuring innovative technologies or delivery mechanisms as well as capacity building and core activities such as training, equipment testing, labeling and standards, regulatory reform, and the development of financing mechanisms for efficiency projects. PROCEL is based in Eletrobras, a national utility holding company.
"This is the first major loan the World Bank has ever provided solely for improving the efficiency of electricity use," according to Howard Geller, Executive Director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. "It will help Brazil to reduce the number of new power plants needed over the next 20 years, lower the cost of energy services, lower pollutant emissions, and avoid future power shortages. It also can serve as model for World Bank and GEF energy projects in other countries," said Geller. Geller assisted Eletrobras with the preparation of the loan and grant proposals.
PROCEL was established 15 years ago by the Government of Brazil. It is one of the most effective energy conservation programs among developing countries, already saving over 5 billion kWh per year or about 2 percent of electricity use in Brazil.
For further information about PROCEL, contact Mr. Amilcar Guerreiro, Eletrobras, Rio de Janeiro (Ph: 55-21-514-5038). For further information about the loan, contact Mr. Luis Vaca-Soto, World Bank (Ph: 202-473-8587),