DELHI, INDIA - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is co-hosting the Asia regional rollout of the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All today, part of the UN's global initiative for achieving universal access to modern energy by 2030.
"A staggering 1.9 billion people in Asia and the Pacific are limited in their education, health and livelihood opportunities because they have no access to either electricity or modern fuels. Providing clean, efficient forms of power to all is essential in helping the region's poorest communities benefit from Asia's economic boom," said Bindu Lohani, ADB's Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development.
Today's event brings together leading organizations, including The Energy and Resources Institute, UN-Energy, UNIDO, and the UN Foundation, to raise awareness of the importance of modern access to energy for human development.
Providing universal access to basic energy will require annual investments of around $48 billion according to International Energy Agency estimates. ADB has invested approximately $2.8 billion in access to energy projects since the launch of its Energy for All Initiative in 2008. Given the vast development needs, ADB also seeks to mobilize funds from the private sector through public private partnerships and by developing bankable projects that can attract cofinancing support.
The rollout event takes place ahead of the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit, which will take stock of progress made since the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit and set the agenda for future sustainable development strategies. The International Year of Sustainable Energy for All initiative advocates for universal access to energy, a doubling of the rate of improvement in global energy efficiency, and a doubling of the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
ADB will play a leading role in the international initiative through its Energy for All and Clean Energy programs, and through the ADB-led Energy for All Partnership, which seeks to provide modern energy access to 100 million people by 2015. In less than 10 years, ADB's annual clean energy investment has gone from $225 million in 2003 to nearly $2.2 billion in 2011. The demand from developing member countries for clean energy investments is likely to increase in the future.