Friday, December 02, 2011
DURBAN, South Africa – Elizabeth Littlefield, President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), announced today at the UN Climate Change Conference that OPIC had committed $1.1 billion in financing to the renewable resources sector in Fiscal Year 2011, roughly tripling its commitments from the previous year. The OPIC commitments represented more than one third of all U.S. Government Fast Start climate financing for FY2011, which totaled $3.1 billion.

FY2011 was by every measurement and by a considerable margin OPIC’s most successful year in the renewable resources sector. OPIC financing supported economic growth in emerging markets, by leveraging more than $2 billion in additional financing for renewable resources projects; improved those markets’ access to electricity, by generating a ten-fold increase over FY2010 in megawatts generated from renewable energy sources in OPIC-supported projects, from 71MW to 728MW; and tripled the amount of CO2 emissions avoided by OPIC-supported projects, from 336,000 tons to 931,000 tons.

“Climate change has required every nation to reevaluate the way we use the planet’s natural resources and to find creative economic solutions so that all regions have the energy they need and the future we all want. OPIC’s success in FY2011 has shown it can be done, by mobilizing the innovation of the private sector to bring clean and sustainable energy to developing countries around the world” Ms Littlefield said. “This is what we call ‘renewing the future.’”

“The fact that OPIC’s renewable resources commitments have grown from $10 million in FY2008 to $1.1 billion in FY2011 demonstrates the vast scale of opportunity in the sector, which only stands to grow as more developing countries invite investment and more investors respond positively. We are very excited by the prospect of continuing this work in to 2012 and beyond,” Ms. Littlefield added.

OPIC’s intensive focus on renewable resources resulted in clean energy projects in nearly every emerging market – from Asia and sub-Saharan Africa to Latin America, eastern Europe and the Middle East and North Africa – as well as a host of innovative new products designed to further catalyze U.S. investment in the sector. Those products will provide financing for projects involving energy efficiency improvements; lease financing through American renewable energy equipment vendors to reduce capital costs for end users; and political risk insurance to protect U.S. investors against changes in feed-in tariffs and the inability to utilize carbon credits.

Highlights of OPIC’s year in renewable resources include: