Maximizing Access to Energy for the Poor in Developing Asia

Publication | December 2013

Access to energy decreases poverty and empowers people, but in Asia and the Pacific more than 600 million people have no electricity and about 1.8 billion use wood or charcoal for cooking and heating. Find out what ADB is doing to help.

Despite years of sustained economic growth and enormous technological progress, energy poverty in the Asia and Pacific region remains at unacceptably high levels. Addressing energy poverty is an ADB priority. This publication highlights recent and ongoing projects which contribute towards that goal, through focused efforts and innovative solutions aim to bring the benefits of access to modern energy to all.

What ADB is doing

ADB's support for increased access to energy is guaranteed. In the future, ADB is looking to broaden the support it gives, not only financially, but also by identifying innovative solutions, sharing knowledge with partner development institutions, national governments and with the private sector as well.

The next phase of the fight against energy poverty will tap into the power of the private sector, ADB aims to help entrepreneurs craft business models that are affordable and appropriate for a market of billions looking for reliable, affordable energy. In light of the increased global focus on energy poverty, ADB will maintain its leadership role in Asia and the Pacific region, and channel this new support into real gains on the ground.


  • Introduction: Supporting Access to Energy in Developing Asia and the Pacific
  • ADB’s Energy for All: Empowering the Poor through Increasing Access to Energy
  • Afghanistan: Multitranche Financing Facility for the Energy Sector Development Investment Program in Afghanistan (Tranches 1–4)
  • Bangladesh: Natural Gas Access in Bangladesh
  • Bangladesh:Power System Efficiency Improvement Project in Bangladesh
  • Bhutan: Rural Renewable Energy Development Project in Bhutan
  • Cambodia: Rural Energy Project in Cambodia
  • People’s Republic of China: Integrated Renewable Biomass Energy Development Sector Project in the People's Republic of China
  • India: Off-Grid, Pay-as-You-Go Solar Power in India
  • Lao PDR: Greater Mekong Subregion Northern Power Transmission Project
  • Mongolia: Ulaanbaatar Clean Air Program in Mongolia
  • Papua New Guinea: Improved Energy Access for Rural Communities in Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines: Rural Community-Based Renewable Energy Development in Mindanao
  • Sri Lanka: Clean Energy and Access Improvement Project in Sri Lanka
  • Tajikistan: Access to Green Finance Project
  • Regional: Improving Gender-Inclusive Access to Clean and Renewable Energy in Bhutan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka
  • Going Forward

Additional Details

  • Energy
  • Access to energy
  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • Cambodia
  • China, People's Republic of
  • India
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Mongolia
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tajikistan
  • ARM135478-2

Subscribe to our monthly digest of latest ADB publications.

Follow ADB Publications on social media.