Renewable Energy

Why we need green alternatives to fossil fuel-fired generators

Did you know annual spending on fossil fuel for backup generators is roughly $50 billion each year — at roughly twice the average hourly cost of grid electricity? Photo credit: International Finance Corporation

Today, the IKEA Foundation is proud to announce a new partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to support the growth of the renewable energy market.

Around the world, an estimated 1 billion people have no access to basic energy services, and another billion people have unreliable electricity services. IFC is working to create and support markets for alternative lighting and energy sources.

Our announcement comes as a new study by IFC reveals the environmental, health and financial costs of fossil fuel-fired backup generators and calls for the rapid adoption of renewable alternatives.

The report, ‘The Dirty Footprint of the Broken Grid’, estimates that there are 20-30 million sites using these generators globally. They consume 40–70 billion litres of fossil fuel every year at a cost of nearly $50 billion, enabled by an additional $1.1–2.1 billion in government subsidies. They also emit dangerous chemicals into homes and businesses causing respiratory illnesses and, in some cases, cancer.

Renewable energy solutions

New IFC report details environmental, economic and health impacts of # fossil fuel generators: The Dirty Footprint of the Broken Grid calls for the rapid adoption of clean alternatives.

Jeffrey Prins, Head of the Renewable Energy Portfolio for the IKEA Foundation, said: “Those living in poverty are often solving their energy needs, but at a high price. Their energy options are often expensive, noisy and polluting, such as the diesel gen-set.

“IFC is enabling a change that ensures that more and more families in the world’s poorest communities can power their homes and livelihoods with renewable energy in an affordable way. That is why we are supporting IFC with a €4.3 million grant for enabling a new renewables environment.” 

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, carried out the research in partnership with the Schatz Energy Research Center at Humboldt State University and with support from the IKEA Foundation. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea are also supporting the programme.

More information: International Finance Corporation