Energy Storage Partnership (ESP) | Learn more

A global partnership convened by the World Bank Group to adapt and develop energy storage solutions for developing countries.

Over the past decade, the prices for solar panels and wind farms have reached all-time lows, leading to hundreds of gigawatts worth of new renewable energy generation worldwide. However, as countries seek to transition from fossil fuels, energy experts and government officials need to find ways to secure constant renewable energy supply to power systems – even when the sun does not shine, and the wind does not blow. To provide flexibility, increase solar and wind power use, and energy systems resilience, energy storage solutions are pivotal. These technologies enable renewable energy storage when sunlight and wind power are available, and it is supplied when users need it the most.  In addition, energy storage provides a solution to achieve flexibility, enhance grid reliability and power quality, and accommodate the scale-up of renewable energy.

ESP Box 1

To enable the rapid uptake of Variable Renewable Energy (VRE) in developing countries, the World Bank Group convened the Energy Storage Partnership (ESP)¸ a global initiative involving national laboratories, research institutions, development agencies, and philanthropies. The ESP aims to foster international technological cooperation and training to develop and adapt to new energy storage solutions tailored to the needs and conditions of developing countries.

The ESP is hosted at the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program

(ESMAP). The partnership takes a holistic, technology-neutral approach by looking at all forms of energy storage, including but not limited to batteries. By developing and adapting new storage solutions to the needs of developing countries, the ESP supports the expansion of the global market for energy storage, leading to improved technologies and accelerating cost reductions over time.

The partnership is also committed to closing gender gaps in the energy storage sector by fostering the professionalization and leadership of women through the Women in Energy Storage (WES) mentoring program in partnership with GWNET.

Specifically, the ESP aims to foster international cooperation on:

  • Technology Research Development & Demonstration, Applications.
  • System Integration and Planning Tools.
  • Policies, Regulations and Procurement.
  • Enabling Systems for Management and Sustainability.

Box 2 ESP

Working together, the 41 ESP partners are developing a knowledge base in energy storage solutions tailored to the needs of developing countries. The ESP incorporates an international approach to research and development, knowledge-sharing, training, and capacity building to address some of the critical barriers to stationary energy storage market growth in developing countries. By connecting stakeholders and sharing experiences in deploying energy storage and advancements in storage technologies, the ESP helps bring new technological and regulatory solutions to developing countries and help develop new business models that leverage the full range of services that storage can provide.

Our Work

In 2021, the ESP focused on various activities including:

  • Accelerating commercial deployment: The ESP, alongside government partners India, Morocco, and South Africa, made strides in the development of a Global Network of Energy Storage Testbeds to accelerate the commercial deployment of pre/early-market energy storage technologies in developing countries and to improve renewable energy integration and energy access. Currently, the ESP is working on testbed design with the same three countries.
  • Fostering gender equality in the energy storage sector: ESP launched its signature Women in Energy Storage (WES) Mentoring Program in collaboration with GWNET. The mentoring program focuses on career development and improving technical knowledge on thermal energy storage and battery storage for the grids, batteries for renewable energy hybrids, and mini grids. In 2020, the program received over 240 applications from more than 50 countries. The first cohort of the WES Mentoring Program included 25 mid-career women from 17 countries, working in energy utilities, public sector, private sector, consulting, and academia. Following the first edition’s success, the ESP and GWNET plan to open applications for the second cohort of mentees, hence continuing to work together to close gender gaps in the energy sector.
  • Knowledge-sharing through the Energy Storage Academy: ESP fosters knowledge-sharing and discussions among government officials from developing countries, energy storage experts, and World Bank staff through a series of interactive virtual, high-level training sessions named Energy Storage Academy. Its mission is to provide a platform to share experiences on deploying energy storage in developing countries, share ESP’s insights and original research, and create an opportunity for participants interested in energy storage projects to learn from experts.
  • Global knowledge creation: ESP produced three World Bank-led reports focusing on (i) reuse and recycling of lithium-ion battery energy storage systems; (ii) warranties for energy storage systems in developing countries; and (iii) policy and regulatory considerations for the deployment of storage for power systems. Additionally, the partnership coordinated the development of three additional partner-led knowledge products alongside the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Global Battery Alliance (GBA), and the Canadian National Research Council (NRC). The partnership with the Korea Green Growth Trust Fund (KGGTF) has enabled the ESP to develop the Energy Storage Sizing App, intended to inform early discussions around solar PV and battery energy storage hybrid projects in developing countries.


Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)Australian Energy Storage Alliance (AESA) | Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) | Belgian Energy Research Alliance (BERA) | Center for Applied Energy Research (ZAE), Germany | China Energy Storage Alliance (CNESA) | International Council for Large Electric Systems (CIGRE) | Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa |Drexel UniversityEuropean Association for Storage of Energy (EASE) | European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) | Energy Storage Applications Branch (ESA) of China Industrial Association of Power Sources | Faraday Institution, U.K. | German Energy Storage Association (BVES) | Global Battery Alliance (GBA)/World Economic Forum (WEF) | Government of United Kingdom |International Energy Agency (IEA) | Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) | International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) | Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) | Korea Battery Industry Association (KBIA) | Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT) |Mintek|Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN) | National Physical Laboratory (NPL), U.K. | National Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC) | NITI Aayog |Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)Power Grid Corporation of India (POWERGRID) | Protermo Solar, Spain | Research Institute in Solar Energy and New Energies (IRESEN), Morocco | Ricerca Sistema Energético (RSE)The Rockefeller Foundation | Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) | South Africa Energy Storage Association (SAESA) | Technical University of Denmark (DTU)U.K. Low Carbon Energy Development Network, Loughborough University |United States Department of Energy (USDOE)| University of South Africa (UNISA) | U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA) | U.S. National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) | World Bank Group | Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP)

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