The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will double its investment in clean energy projects to US$2 billion a year from 2013 as part of its commitment to accelerating low carbon growth in the region.
The annual US$2 billion investment target was set after ADB reached its original Energy Efficiency Initiative target of US$1 billion invested per year in 2008.
While ADB president Haruhiko Kuroda said US$2 billion is only a fraction of the region’s clean energy financing, he hopes the new commitment will encourage the private sector to do more. “We expect that this contribution will catalyze significant additional resources from the private sector, carbon markets and other sources,” he said.
ADB’s clean energy investments include power transmission enhancement in Azerbaijan; wind power projects in the China and India; hydro power development in Bhutan, China and Vietnam; plans for energy-efficient lighting for low-income households in the Philippines; and a biomass power plant in Thailand.
Meanwhile ADB also launched a new energy programme which aims to bring clean, modern energy to an additional 100 million people in the Asia-Pacific region by 2015.
The Energy for All Partnership will initially design and implement programs in high-impact areas such as increasing microfinance lending for energy investments and replicating business models for private sector service delivery across the following six working groups:
- domestic biogas;
- solar lanterns;
- liquid petroleum gas (LPG) ;
- financing for energy services;
- energy enterprise development; and
- the Pacific region.
According to ADB, more than 800 million people in the region have no access to energy, and nearly 1.8 billion people still rely on traditional biomass fuels to meet their cooking and heating needs. ADB says more than 1.5 million people, mostly women and children, die every year because of the indoor air pollution from the use of biomass fuel.
The Energy for All Partnership is guided by a steering committee that brings together partners from business, governments, NGOs, and international organizations, and includes ADB, e8, E+Co, GVEP International, the National Electrification Administration of the Philippines, ReEx Capital Asia, the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development. ADB will host the partnership’s secretariat for the next two years.