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Clean Energy: Green Power for Asia's Future Growth
With energy demand projected to almost double in the Asia and Pacific region by 2030, there is an urgent need for innovative ways to generate power while at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Compounding the problem is widespread energy poverty across Asia with almost a billion people still without access to electricity.
As many of ADB’s developing member countries (DMCs) forge ambitious plans to meet these challenges ADB is committed to helping them achieve access to clean energy for all.
The Asia-Pacific region is the global leader in clean energy development, but there is much more that can be done to raise the level of clean energy deployment.
From 1990 to 2009, ADB provided over $25.8 billion in assistance for energy projects, extending electricity and modern fuels to hundreds of millions of people in Asia and the Pacific. ADB’s updated Energy Policy aims to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy. Clean energy investments in 2010 reached $1.76 billion with access-to-energy projects exceeding $950 million, up from $418 million in 2009. Between 2003 and 2009 such assistance connected 1.27 million households to electricity. Improving access to cleaner, renewable sources of energy strengthens energy security in DMCs and is a key to mitigating climate change.
Clean Energy Program
ADB’s Energy Efficiency Initiative, responsible for the rise in ADB’s clean energy investment to a billion dollars a year has evolved into the Clean Energy Program which now focuses on supporting clean energy in smaller DMCs and facilitating the adoption of low carbon technologies throughout the region. ADB’s new technology focused initiatives, announced during the Asia Clean Energy Forum 2010, aim to greatly increase the amount of solar and wind power generated in the region and accelerate the transfer of low carbon technology through a private-sector led, ADB-backed market model.
ADB is on track to reach its clean energy investment target of $2 billion a year by 2013. The program has already invested $2.8 billion over the past 2 years in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and clean technology deployment, encouraging DMCs to embrace low-carbon energy generation and utilization. In 2010, ADB issued thematic bonds for the first time, thus raising $244 million through Clean Energy Bonds.
Promoting technology innovation
New initiatives to promote technology innovation transfer and diffusion included the Asia Clean Technology Exchange, the Asia Climate Change and Clean Energy Venture Capital Initiative, the Climate Public–Private Partnership Fund, the Asia Solar Energy Initiative, and the Quantum Leap in Wind Power.
Efforts also include $442 million under multitranche financing for energy efficiency in Pakistan and a $66 million loan and mobilization of about $12.2 million in grants for an integrated renewable biomass energy development and rural environment improvement in the People’s Republic of China. In South East Asia ADB is assisting clean energy projects and funds with financing approvals in 2010 for six projects related to renewable energy, amounting to $523 million.
In many rural communities in South Asia, wood for fuel remains the prime source of energy and women often walk great distances to gather increasingly depleted supplies. Exposure to wood smoke in kitchens seriously affects women's health and their ability to earn an income. A growing number of ADB funded small, off-grid clean, renewable energy systems are offering rural women new livelihood opportunities. Projects include the training of female technicians to run solar power systems in rural Bhutan, strengthening the community management of rural electrification in Nepal and helping Vietnamese farmers convert animal waste into biogas to cut fuel costs, improve health, and raise productivity. The Lighting for All initiative led by TERI under the Energy for All Partnership has business, government, and civil society working together to provide modern energy to 100 million people by 2015.
Promoting low carbon growth
ADB’s Carbon Market Program helps DMCs access critical financing and technology for low-carbon investments through the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism.
Strategically positioned to accelerate the diffusion of low carbon technologies, several ADB programs and approaches are being explored and implemented.
The Asia Clean Energy Venture Initiative provides early equity to start-up Asian companies with readily deployable clean energy technology to kick-start development and minimizes perceived risk of investing in clean energy technologies.
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) – ADB, in partnership with the Global CCS Institute of Australia is developing demonstration projects.
Renewable Energy Certificates are designed as a production subsidy to electricity generated from renewable sources to incentivize clean energy technology.
The Low-Carbon Technology Transfer Market Place supports entrepreneurs and prospective buyers of low carbon technologies to encourage the transfer of technology from developed to developing nations.
The Solar Energy Initiative’s dedicated Solar Energy Forum provides knowledge sharing, a platform to lower key barriers to developing utility scale solar photovoltaic technology, and incentives for faster solar technology deployment.
Wind Projects – ADB intends to scale-up wind power projects and lower the cost of technology through economies of scale.
One of the largest international collaborations to provide funding for technology transfer and deployment is the Clean Technology Fund. It is supported under the Climate Investment Funds, which is a joint initiative of many countries and the multilateral development banks.
Financing partnerships for a low-carbon future
Serving as a partnership platform between ADB and its financing partners the Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility’s (CEFPF) established in 2007 aims to help DMCs improve energy security and transit to low carbon use. By 2011 CEFPF’s projects had catalyzed more than $1.8 billion in clean energy investments. CEFPF breaks down barriers to the commercial-scale adoption of clean energy technology. When DMCs consider whether to implement clean energy or remain with a conventional energy source, CEFPF’s support can tip the scales towards the low carbon choice.
Since its inception, CEFPF has supported 82projects that have introduced new clean energy technologies and contributed to lowering the barriers to the deployment of clean energy technologies in 31 DMCs. Some of the technologies that CEFPF has helped to deploy include solar-photovoltaic powered irrigation systems, grid-connected solar, small hydropower, wind power, energy efficient lighting, solar thermal power, waste treatment, biomass, waste-to-energy, and carbon capture and storage.