Asia's premier clean energy forum launches hub to catalyze investment and innovation

19 June 2014

NEW DELHI: This week in Manila, Asia's premier clean energy forum kicked-off with the launch of a hub to catalyze investment and innovation in the region.

The 9th Asia Clean Energy Forum (ACEF) jointly hosted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), US Agency for International Development and World Energy Council, took place this week at ADB headquarters in Manila, Philippines.

Each year ACEF brings together over 1,000 policymakers, project developers, investors and technical experts from around Asia to discuss and progress clean energy growth in the region.

The opening plenary set the scene for the three-day forum and included opening remarks from ACEF organizers as well as a keynote address from Dr. R. K. Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This was followed by the launch of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Hub for Asia Pacific, which aims to catalyze investment and explore innovative ways to bring clean, modern energy to Asia.

The hub, which is one of three such regional hubs under the United Nations’ Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s SE4All initiative, will help Asian countries prepare action plans for meeting the UN's targets of providing universal access to energy by 2030.

Energy access demand has grown at an unprecedented rate in the region and ADB noted that developing countries in Asia will account for 56% of global energy use by 2035, up from 34% in 2010.

During his keynote address Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and CEO of SE4All, called for "an energy revolution that will create jobs for people in the region".

Other speakers highlighted the importance of identifying innovative and scalable solutions for solving the energy crisis while reiterating the need for large-scale clean energy investments.

The International Energy Agency estimates that the Asia Pacific region needs an investment of more than US$200 million for providing energy access for the region by 2030.

The main forum follows the two day pre-forum event, International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference, which was hosted by the International Renewable Energy Agency, ADB and Alliance for Rural Electrification, that focused on promoting clean energy deployment in rural, off-grid communities.

Over the next couple of days, ACEF will continue with interactive and in-depth workshops on specific challenges and opportunities for scaling clean energy.

Krishnan Pallassana, Executive Director of The Climate Group India who was in Manila to attend the events, commented: “More than 600 million people in the Asia Pacific region lack access to modern energy services, and the ninth Asia Clean Energy Forum reiterated the need for increased focus on financing, policy and institutional support that are required to propel clean energy market and reach the heights it deserves. It is clear the technology is available, money is available and market is available.

"But what is missing is the crucial link of a favorable policy and regulatory framework. At the same time, there is also a need to meet expectations of the energy entrepreneurs with that of financiers. Through The Climate Group’s Bijli - Clean energy for all program in India, this is precisely what we have been trying to address; we’re tailoring the financial interventions to the needs of the entrepreneurs working in the space in order to catalyze investment to help scale energy access in India.”

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By Subaskar Sitsabeshan

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