The World Bank Group has announced stepping up its efforts to expand energy access and increase its support for renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries.

Currently the Bank provides $8b funding spread across 60 countries for energy projects and programs that raise a similar amount from other sources – donors, governments and the private sector.

This funding is set to double to $16b annually with an emphasis on low-carbon energy and will augment the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative.

World Bank Managing Director Mahmoud Mohieldin said the Bank plans to scale up initiatives to provide electricity, clean household fuels and improved cook-stoves in selected countries, while also seeking increased financing to implement them.

"At the same time, we will promote energy efficiency practices and facilitate efforts by countries to shift to cleaner energy sources," added Mohieldin.

Additionally, $7b from the Climate Investment Funds, managed by the World Bank regional multilateral development banks, will also be predominantly invested in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.