Energy Investment in Asia and the Pacific: 12 Things to Know

Article | 16 May 2013

Large investments are needed to secure cheap, clean and sustainable energy to power the fast-rising economies of developing Asia, and for the region's poor to access safe, clean and affordable modern energy. Here are 12 things to know about energy investments in the Asia-Pacific region.

  1. From about a third in 2010, Asia's share of world energy consumption may rise rapidly to as high as 56% by 2035, making it the largest energy consumer in two decades.
    Source: ADB. 2013. Asian Development Outlook
  2. Yet, as of 2010, there are 628 million people living in Asia without access to electricity.
    Source: ADB. 2013. Asian Development Outlook
  3. The 2012 World Energy Outlook estimates that total investment of nearly $1 trillion ($979 billion) would be required to achieve universal energy access by 2030, an average of $49 billion per year from 2011 to 2030.
    Source: International Energy Agency. 2012. World Energy Outlook
  4. The same report states that achieving universal access to electricity by 2030 would require new investment of $602 billion, with developing Asia needing 36% of that, or over $200 billion. Additional investment of $76 billion would ensure universal access to clean cooking facilities by 2030.
    Source: International Energy Agency. 2012. World Energy Outlook
  5. ADB founded the Energy for All Initiative to maximize energy access, especially for the region's rural poor. Within the initiative, ADB launched the Energy for All Partnership to provide access to safe, clean, affordable modern energy to an additional 100 million people by 2015.
    Source: Energy for All Initiative
  6. Only three countries in developing Asia - Azerbaijan, Brunei Darussalam, and Kazakhstan - are energy self-sufficient, thanks to indigenous oil supplies.
    Source: ADB. 2013. Asian Development Outlook
  7. In comparison, by 2035, the rest of Asia will be even more dependent on energy imports, particularly oil. Most Asian countries will produce less than half the energy they need from indigenous sources, and many will produce only a tiny fraction. Securing an adequate and reliable energy supply will be a persistent challenge across the region.
    Source: ADB. 2013. Asian Development Outlook
  8. Most countries cannot meet all their power requirements on their own, so Asia must accelerate cross-border interconnection of power and gas grids to improve efficiency, cut costs, and take advantage of surplus power. With increased cooperation, a pan-Asia energy market is achievable by 2030.
    Source: ADB. 2013. Asia's Future Prosperity Requires Major Change in Energy Use
  9. Managing energy demand more efficiently, as in the case of Japan, can make a positive impact on energy security. Promising demand management strategies are eliminating consumer subsidies and taxing greenhouse gas emissions; green innovation, such as smart cities and clean transportation; and changing behavior to curtail wasteful consumption.
    Source: ADB. 2013. Asian Development Outlook
  10. Though the use of renewable energy sources is growing, all renewables together will account for only 13% of the power generation mix in 2035, unless opportunities are found to substantially strengthen their role.
    Source: ADB. 2013. Asian Development Outlook
  11. The massive energy market in Asia provides opportunity and room to introduce and develop new energy technologies. The region is already a world leader in the manufacture of state-of-the-art equipment for renewable technologies, including photovoltaic cells for solar generation.
    Source: ADB. 2013. Asian Development Outlook
  12. In 2012, ADB achieved clean energy investments of $2.3 billion, with renewable energy investments making up the largest share at $1.3 billion.
    Source: ADB. 2013. Clean Energy Investments: Project Summaries